Predictions for 2017 in Social Media

Bob Pritchard predicts 

2016 was one of the most interesting, transformative years on record in social media.  We saw the introduction of live video on Facebook, fake news stories and editorial issues in abundance, a hardware introduction from Snapchat, and Instagram creating Snapchat-like features almost monthly.


Twitter finally on the chopping block?
Twitter struggled in 2016 and faces a plethora of challenges including profitability, questions over leadership, and the layoff of nearly 10% of its workforce.  Speculated buyers including Salesforce, Google, and Disney all passed on the opportunity. Other digital ad platforms are growing steadily so the pressure is on.  But how the hell do you turn tweets into not only dollars, but profits.
Video will dominate…
Live videos increased dramatically in 2016, with all of the major players making substantial investments in enhancing live video offerings. Facebook encouraged users to post and jump the algorithm, getting in front of a larger viewership rather than a traditional post. In 2017 more brands, businesses, and individuals increased their focus on video.  Live video readily enhances other content. Podcasts can go live on YouTube, staged videos can record Facebook Live or Periscope content simultaneously, reaching a whole new audience.
Expect more creative content on live video in 2017.
Pinterest will go public
Pinterest recently hired their first CFO, the former VP of Finance at Twitter. The hiring of a high caliber finance expert is often a precursor to going public. Pinterest’s revenues are continuing to grow, going public could definitely be a possibility.
New collaboration software
Tools ranging from intranets to project management, private cloud storage, document sharing, and internal messaging will enable a seamless flow of data and ubiquitous access to back-end systems. This will help companies expand productivity beyond historic geographical constraints. Team collaboration. will replace older, siloed approaches to information sharing.  In 3 years, the U.S. mobile worker population will reach 75% of the workforce.
B2B organizations will fully embrace customer analytics increasing adoption of marketing automation, web analytics and the ability to leverage those technologies for more effective marketing and sales and higher conversion rates. About 60 percent  of businesses believe “big data” can improve their decisions and competitive advantage.

Analytics provides more options for mass personalization, the ability to trace campaign initiatives to closed deals, and a deeper understanding of each funnel stage. For salespeople, analytics will provide visibility into each lead’s unique journey (sales intelligence), which helps the sales development stage run smoothly.
Customer experience clouds as core business drivers
A customer experience (CX) cloud provides integrated functionality for marketing, sales, service, and e-commerce, all required to build a positive customer experience. Businesses will continue  to adopt integrated technology suites as their core business engine.
Businesses will transform their brand into a digital platform
Businesses in 2017, will strive to transcend “brand” and “product” and create a trusted digital platform in their vertical or industry.  The new frontline of competition will focus on who can create the most expansive, most successful digital platform.   In 2015, 14 of the top 30 global companies were platform-oriented companies, increasing to  over 120 in 2016 giving businesses the opportunity to connect with new partners, markets, development projects, and ultimately meet the needs of constituents faster than their competitors.
Unified Communications sets priority  
UC brings all corporate and customer communication channels such as real-time services like instant messaging, VoIP, and video conferencing with non-real-time services like voicemail, email, SMS, and fax together under one, integrated system. Businesses can choose one UC provider to meet all of their needs leading to cost savings, better collaboration between users and customers, increased productivity, and tighter administrative control.
Remaining anti-BYOD policies will fail
The “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) trend has been losing appeal for reasons of economy and convenience. According to Gartner, at least half of all companies will expect employees to supply their own devices by 2017.
On behalf of the team at the Bob Pritchard Radio Showon VoiceAmericaBusiness Channel and this newsletterI wish everyone a very happy, healthy and successful 2017.