Top 7 Social Trends from Social Media Week Chicago 2017


Social Media Week Chicago 2017 (SMW) has come and gone. Arguably our favorite “holiday,” SMW offers a veritable cornucopia of the tips and trends that continue to move our industry forward. Here are some of the key takeaways from SMW that are sure to inform our social media thinking for 2018:

By 2019, 80 percent of social media content will be “snackable sized” video.

If you’re not on the video train yet, hop on before it leaves the station. Remember: not all video is created equal. When it comes to length, keep your video to under a minute and grab the attention of your target audience in the first three seconds (or risk them passing you by).

Organic content is a thing of the past.

In the next five years, paid social media efforts are predicted to triple in size. Between the rise of paid content and consistent algorithm changes, organic content does not have the power it once did. Diversify your efforts to include paid strategies—and begin to see greater success with your KPIs.  

Don’t lose the big picture with paid versus organic content.

With paid content predicted to skyrocket, it’s time to stop thinking of paid campaigns and organic content as two separate entities that don’t overlap. Take a step back and see how the two can play together for one, picture-perfect campaign.

Facebook Ads are like a date, content marketing is the conversations in between.

Think about it: You want to get to know someone a bit before you ask them out and expect them to say yes. The same goes for marketing on social media! Users are much more likely to respond to advertisements if you’ve built a relationship beforehand.

Hyper-personalization is key.

Think beyond the traditional demographic data. Campaigns like Potbelly’s #FeedYourSmile campaign utilized the “Smile Scale,” an algorithm that listens in on social conversations to collect data on happiness (or lack thereof). So when Chicagoans were cranky about traffic or the citizens of Detroit were mad the Tigers lost, users saw different ads tailored to their city’s unique topics. Content that resonates is almost always a success!

Influencer marketing is on the rise.

Influencer marketing, which targets influential individuals instead of a broader target market, is HUGE, and it’s only getting bigger. The trend now involves everyone from A-list celebrities to bloggers to the everyday individual. By collaborating with key market leaders, your brand has access to a wider audience base from a more genuine perspective. Get right on the feed of your targeted audience by tapping into influencers when possible.

Social media is social: Don’t be afraid to connect with audiences on a human level.

Big brands like National Geographic are moving from monologue to dialogue by engaging with users on a more personal, one-on-one level to foster a closer relationship and humanize their brands.

SMW Chicago may only happen once a year, but social media is constantly evolving. Stay up to date on the latest social news with our 60 Seconds for Social delivered right to your inbox each week:


Subscribe to TOP Talk