While 2016 wasted 365 days in making Indians virtually social, the year would definitely go back in the records for making social media an important medium to enhance business innovation. How does 2017 have in store?
The growing numbers of netizens in India and the increasing Internet proliferation have witnessed some remarkable landmarks that 2016 will be remembered for. The year when Snapchat became Snap Inc, the year when chat bots invaded our personal space and the year when LinkedIn was bought and Twitter was not! Amidst all the dramatic events in real life such as demonetisation in India, Brexit in Europe and the triumph of Donald Trump in the US presidential election, what made the year interesting was the penetration of social media in the daily lives of the Indian netizens. Every big story hit the screens of the new age smartphone users in India through social media and a nation that believes in democracy turned their opinion buttons on to react and respond to every world story. Be it the political strife in the Middle East, the refugee crisis in the west or the current affairs – every story found a fresh and quick analysis as Indians engaged themselves in conversations proactively through the year.
2016 also witnessed challenges in the form of increasing number of fake news, unnecessary trolling depicting the dipping taste of humour and of course the growing misogyny. However, we are probably seeing the better side of social media playing a role in helping freedom of expression and are trying to make online communication more meaningful. They have coined it as ‘Internet for good’.
Now, what can we expect from 2017?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a new platform in education, business, and daily life, according to industry experts. Customer service will not be the same next year as organisations are trying hard to change it to something that they would call customer delight. There are platforms that will be emerging to help companies manage their social media profiles with more purpose; something similar to what a 2008 start-up called Hootsuite has already developed. However, the importance of reaching your customers and understanding their demands and complaints will get revolutionised in the coming days. That makes social media a completely different tool altogether, changing its paradigm from being just a marketing option to a platform providing customer service.
So, what could be the most effective strategy to leverage social media in 2017?
Not trying everything seems to be the key. People waste a lot of time and energy trying to have a presence everywhere and end up losing their target audience on the most conducive medium as well. It’s very similar to the idea that you end up playing no sport well if you try five different ball games at once. While the coming year will be critical for small businesses, it will be interesting to comprehend how innovation in the gradually growing silicon noise can help you stand out from the crowd.
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