This is the 3rd year that I do a social media predictions roundup featuring industry colleagues. Looking back on previous year’s predictions, (click here for

Looking back on previous year’s predictions, (click here for 2015 and 2016) if there are two things that you can bank on happening in the year ahead it’s that Facebook is not going anywhere and social networks will continue to evolve at a quicker pace than even the savviest of marketers can keep up with.

In this year’s roundup, over 60 social media professionals were asked the following questions:

• What’s your social media prediction for 2017?

• What will be the most important social media channel in 2017 and why?

Fun facts about the results include:

• 58 out of 68 pros are on Snapchat
• Only 29 use the same username on both Snapchat and Twitter
• Word frequency: Video (100), Facebook (98), Snapchat (94), Twitter (86), Instagram (27)
• Most common name: Brian (Carter, Clark, Fanzo, and Bryan Kramer),

Now onto why you are here, enjoy 🙂



Andrea Vahl

Author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies

Twitter: AndreaVahl

Snapchat: AndreaVahl

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Marketing is going to get much more personalized in 2017 with the rise of Retargeting ads on social media and the ability to do more marketing in Facebook Messenger and in small focused groups. But businesses will have to keep their marketing messages relevant, useful, and engaging.

Most Important Social Network:

Social Network: Facebook is going to continue to dominate in 2017 but Instagram is rising as the place people like to be.

Aaron Kilby

Director of Marketing, Artisan Colour, Inc.

Twitter: Kilby

2017 Social Media Prediction:

In 2017 more brands and advertising agencies will add influencer marketing to their campaigns through social media. We have seen a small decline in content marketing and a rise of influencer marketing over the past year which will continue to happen. I also feel that the larger platforms like FB, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat will sit back and take notes on all of the smaller private tech companies launching new services on live streaming and VR and will either buy them up or take what works from each to only strengthen their own services by the end of the year.

Most Important Social Network:

I think that e-commerce through social media will be very important for brands. With Instagram introducing shopping tags and Pinterest with the ability to buy products from inside of pinned items only making it that much easier for the end user to buy their product.

Andy Crestodina

Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios

Twitter: crestodina

2017 Social Media Prediction:

MarTech (especially social media management tech) has exploded. Now it’s going to settle down. Look for convergence of platforms and a lot of acquisitions. By the end of 2017, you’ll be more reliant on fewer tools.

Most Important Social Network:

The value of LinkedIn will become even more obvious as people realize the value of the data. How many major networks let you export your connections? One. LinkedIn.

Angus Nelson

Partner Consultant, Brain+Trust Partners

Twitter: angusnelson

Snapchat: mr.angusnelson

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I believe we’ll see an explosion of live event video, becoming more highly integrated into social channels. Media (not just sports) will penetrate FB in the same way the NFL experimented with Twitter.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook to rule them all.

Azriel Ratz

CEO, Ratz Pack Media

Twitter: RatzPackMedia

Snapchat: AzrielR

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Early 2016 Snapchat really stepped up their game, releasing multiple amazing updates to the platform. As 2016 comes to a close Instagram has been innovating faster than Snapchat can keep up. The winner of the social media war in 2017 will be the platform that can innovate the most consistently and keep their fan base interested.

Most Important Social Network:

While social media platforms come and go Facebook remains to be the most important social media platform through 2017. Facebook simply holds their user’s attention, continually giving them new content they want and new features that keep them interested.

Bernie Borges

CEO, Find and Convert

Twitter: BernieBorges

Snapchat: Bernie.Borges

2017 Social Media Prediction:

While social media platforms come and go Facebook remains to be the most important social media platform through 2017. Facebook simply holds their user’s attention, continually giving them new content they want and new features that keep them interested.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla that no one can touch. This game is over.

Brian Carter

CEO, The Science of Digital Marketing

Twitter: BrianCarter

Snapchat: BrianBCarter

2017 Social Media Prediction:

More and more brands will rely on Facebook advertising (and increase said budgets) to drive social media branding, marketing, and sales-oriented campaigns. The consumer experience of this marketing will be primarily mobile (except when targeting people over 55), and the format will shift somewhat toward video. Some brands will experiment with live video but most will still prefer conventional planned and edited videos for now.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook. It is still the biggest social network, the most addictive, the one people (in the West, at least- I assume we’re not talking about China right now…) spend the most time on, the one some people love to hate because it has so much power over us, because it works on our emotions so effectively. It’s the mainstream social media platform, yet it contains tons of subgroups.

It has the most powerful online advertising platform in the world, or if you want to still call AdWords #1, the second most powerful advertising platform in the world… with which you can achieve any marketing goal you want, from awareness to leads to sales.

At a time when Twitter has been courting buyers (but no one is buying) and LinkedIn is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, and we don’t know how that will affect LinkedIn’s future, Facebook is going full-throttle. On their current course, it looks like their ultimate goal is to become the Internet.

Brian Clark

CEO, Rainmaker Digital

Twitter: BrianClark

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Social media marketing is facing a crossroads in 2017. Organic reach has been throttled in favor of profit, even while sponsored posts from unknown brands will face greater skepticism and higher cost thanks to click bait, terrible website UX, and fake news. Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, users will be spending more time in messaging apps and email than social media.

Most Important Social Network:

Speaking for myself only, it will remain Twitter. That’s my largest audience, and the integration with Medium for content syndication presents unique opportunities for digital marketers.

Brian Fanzo

Founder & Millennial Keynote Speaker, iSocialFanz

Twitter: iSocialFanz

Snapchat: iSocialFanz

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I believe live video use from brands will continue to grow as more brands are able to link actionable data like repeat viewership and demographics of unique viewers. I also believe no brand will be prepared for AR/VR without first having a live video strategy, therefore, brands will start thinking like a media company in 2017 to be prepared for AR/VR in 2020. Lastly, I believe employee takeovers & influencers creating video content on the brand social accounts will become the norm as brands switch to a culture & customer experience focused social media from the traditional sales and marketing of the past.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook, the dedication to live video led by Zuckerberg has only just begun. In 2017 we’ll be able to promote live videos, target replays towards certain profiles and leverage Instagram live video as an amplification of Facebook live content. Facebook will become the home for all live video programming in 2017

Bryan Kramer

CEO, PureMatter

Twitter: BryanKramer

Snapchat: BryanKramer

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Social with the main attraction of live video this last year will finally settle into itself and we will begin to see more business use cases. Content will also continue to target based on deeper video analytics enabling a much higher level of personalization. Our definition of entertainment will share air time with more online channels. And the dichotomy of all these areas will share the spotlight with the newest up at bat…. virtual reality. VR will steadily step into our lives and will quickly grow as a brand new marketing channel.

Most Important Social Network:

This is a toss-up between YouTube and Facebook video. Eventually, I think Facebook will win but we are a little farther away for that. Snapchat live video and Instagram live video will give everyone a run for their money, but again I think Facebook Live video will become the winner.

Carlos Gil

Global Head of Social Media, BMC Software

Twitter: CarlosGil83

Snapchat: TheCarlosGil

2017 Social Media Prediction:

As we saw throughout 2016, each social network is committed to growing and retaining its user base by continuously rolling out new features which in some cases as we’ve seen are a copy-cat of another platform. The more that social networks deviate from being unique, and offering a distinct value proposition to its users, to being a mere replica of another the more that users will be forced to choose where they spend their time on one vs. many. In 2017, we will see a mass exodus and consolidation occur as a result of oversaturation in the market. The proverbial “social media bubble” is bound to pop and when it occurs you’ll see two platforms standing: Snapchat and Facebook along with its myriad of channels (i.e. Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.)

Most Important Social Network:

While many will argue that Facebook controls everything it’s actually Snapchat. While winning the Live Video game, Facebook is clearly trying its hardest to appeal to younger consumers including Generation Z and Millennials by rolling out features which those on Snapchat are already accustom to. Snapchat controls the market right now because of its user base, everyone else is adapting to what the audience that lives on Snapchat wants. From a marketing standpoint, if you are trying to sell to anyone on the planet ages 13 to 35 you must be on Snapchat, there’s no question about it. Everything else is a “nice to have”.

Cathy Hackl

VR/AR Evangelist & Speaker, Latinos in VR/AR

Twitter: CathyHackl

Snapchat: Cathy.Hackl

2017 Social Media Prediction:

VR storytelling will take off in 2017 and we will also see a lot of news coming from mixed reality devices. Social VR will be a topic that many in the social media space will start to look into. The VR/AR/MR conversation is at its core one about the future of communications and the next computing platform. This, in turn, will greatly impact social media.

Most Important Social Network:

Whichever social media channel embraces VR or AR fully will win the race.

Cyrene Quiamco

Snapchat Producer, The 11th Second

Twitter: CyreneQ

Snapchat: CyreneQ

2017 Social Media Prediction:

1. Video will dominate over static text/graphic posts. You already see every platform – facebook live video, Instagram stories, Snapchat stories – giving prominence to video sharing.

2. Social media will be as important as email for communication (if not already). You see some forwards brands already accepting job applications through social media. It won’t be long that social media will be the main form of communication and replace email entirely. It’s easier to use and faster than email.

3. VR and AR are coming! Snapchat is already dipping its toes to AR by its lens features. I think a lot more can be done with it. Maybe seeing people’s profile info when you take your camera out and seeing them through the app lens – something cool like that, but totally possible with today’s technology.

Most Important Social Network:

Snapchat is growing incredibly fast in 2016 and I don’t see it stopping in 2017. There’s so much information today, that no one has time to sort out yesterday’s or last week’s news. Snapchat offers the freshest new – they only last 24 hours and they disappear! It’s the most forward app on the market right now.

I think once Snapchat offers a user discover, not just for verified accounts, there would be less need to use other social media to find other accounts/users, therefore, it has the chance of being the most used social media app.

Dan Rosenbaum

Sr. Manager, Content and Social Media Marketing, San Francisco Travel Association

Twitter: DanJRosenbaum

Snapchat: DanJRosenbaum

2017 Social Media Prediction:

The type of social content that will continue to gain traction will be video. With Snapchat/Instagram stories and live video, gone are the days of expensive video production. It’s now easier to roll out a video strategy that integrates with your content strategy.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook Live. This type of platform is still in its infancy and Facebook is favoring it in their algorithm, which means much more people will see it. There’s still a lot of room for growth as Facebook starts to take on traditional cable and TV.

Daniel Newman

Principal Analyst, Futurium Research

Twitter: DanielNewmanUV

Snapchat: DanielNewmanUV

2017 Social Media Prediction:

The combination of real-time data and analytics with better-educated marketers has led to an era of “Right Time” marketing. Since social media has increasingly just become “The Media,” we are now looking at putting the right content in front of the right buyer at the right time. Thanks to advanced data and analytics marketers are now empowered to deliver the most relevant content making the online user experience better and brands more closely connected to their customers.

Most Important Social Network:

The most important social media channel in 2017 is the one where the highest number of your customers and community spend their time.

Donna Moritz

Founder, Socially Sorted

Twitter: SociallySorted

Snapchat: DonnaMoritz

2017 Social Media Prediction:

We will continue to see a shift from the “be everywhere” approach of churning out content to producing better content that provides an “experience” across a website, email and social. This means getting to know your audience more than ever and focusing on consistently producing core, quality “owned” content that is highly useful to your community (ie blogs, podcasts, video/live video). And, as algorithms continue to infiltrate every platform (including email deliverability), paid social will continue to become an accepted part of the content promotion.

Most Important Social Network:

My heart says Instagram (for pure creativity, engagement and connection) but my head can’t go past Facebook. With or without organic reach, the power of Facebook Ad targeting is massive. Facebook Groups are also one of the best ways to build community on social at the moment, and Facebook Live is huge (and just getting started), so Facebook gets my vote.

Gordon Meyer

Head of Marketing, YouVisit VR

Twitter: GordonMeyerJR

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Augmented Reality and 360/VR features to gain traction beyond basic AR on SnapChat and 360 support on Facebook. These more immersive tools for telling personal and brand stories will raise the bar and up the game for everyone. This evolution to highly immersive content will further cement Social as THE dominant medium for THE COUCH.

Most Important Social Network:

Twitter. Trump now has a global attention and favors Twitter as his social media channel to circumvent traditional media. Twitter will get a massive lift and will pull itself out of its stagnant growth. Twitter will make further gains as it integrates with OTT Television.

Ian Cleary

Founder, Razor Social

Twitter: IanCleary

Snapchat: Ian.Cleary

2017 Social Media Prediction:

In 2017 we’ll see a major push from Facebook for selling through Facebook and other providers will follow. There is no reason why people will not buy on social media channels if the social media channels create an environment for sales. Facebook Messenger will play a role in social selling.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook – There are 1.7 billion people on the channel and you’ll be seeing more on the channel.

Jeff Gibbard

Founder/President & Chief Strategist, True Voice Media

Twitter: jgibbard

Snapchat: jeffgibbard

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Short form video will continue to explode on every platform and Facebook will slowly morph into a video based platform with further updates being made to emphasize videos over other types of content. Snapchat will expand its advertising options.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook will continue to be the most important channel as it is the most predictable and has the most advertising options for businesses to use.

Jeff Julian


Twitter: jjulian

Snapchat: JeffJulianKC

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Video, live and produced, will continue to dominate. However, I think access to your audience will become more difficult without promotion on the big platforms. Find ways to share a portion of the content created specifically for each network are on, and drive your audience back to your site.

Most Important Social Network:

LinkedIn for B2B marketers. The Microsoft/LinkedIn integration announcement from December 2016 is very exciting from a marketing perspective. They will have to do something to increase consumption of video like all the other platforms are.

Jeff Sieh

Head Beard, Manly Pinterest Tips

Twitter: JeffSieh

Snapchat: JeffSieh

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Live video will continue to dominate. An irrelevant video that doesn’t provide value with flood the feeds until algorithms force the cream (entertaining and informative content) to rise to the top. Content creators who consistently create high-quality content that resonates with their audiences will be rewarded.

Most Important Social Network:

2017 will see an increase of Pinterest solidifying their goal of becoming THE visual search engine. Major brands will continue to join Pinterest because of the new video features, buyable pins, and promoted video pins. With Pinterest, more than another platform, being 5x more effective at driving a sale even OFFLINE at a brick and mortar store, it’s a sleeping giant you can’t ignore. Especially if you have a product to sell.

Jen Hoverstad

Principal, Harvlee Consulting

Twitter: JenHoverstad

Snapchat: JHoverstad

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Your mom will regularly live stream. In other words, we’re going to see live streaming explode from mainstream social media users across multiple platforms!

Most Important Social Network:

Instagram is the key channel to watch in 2017. With the addition of business analytics and Instagram Stories in 2016, as well as the upcoming launch of live video, Instagram is continuing to prove it’s a major player for user attention. Brands, businesses, and influencers will have to keep up with the updates in order to stay in front of their fans. And if they do? They’ll be ahead of the competition.

Jess Bahr

Director Paid Social Strategy, SocialFlow

Twitter: JessaBahr

Snapchat: JessaBahr

2017 Social Media Prediction:

2017 will be the year in which video stops being a competitive advantage and becomes the norm, with brands that can’t master video being left to the side.

Most Important Social Network:

There isn’t one most important channel for 2017, but finding ways to more effectively distribute content and customize content for each platform. It isn’t just about sharing the same piece of content everywhere, but customizing the content and message per each platform.

Jessika Phillips

Founder, NOW Marketing Group

Twitter: JessikaPhillips

Snapchat: JessikaNow

2017 Social Media Predictions:

In 2017 I believe the big focuses will be on Online Reviews, getting a handle on how businesses will use Virtual Reality and Live Video but the main social media channel still holding strong will be Facebook because of how it continues to adapt for business.

Most Important Social Network:

In 2017, Facebook will still own the social media space. Facebook will continue to grow Live, Trending Stories to replace Twitter. Facebook business tools like message bots, marketplace, Ads and it’s integration with Instagram will make it the go-to social media channel for business.

Jed Record


Twitter: JedRecord

Snapchat: JedRecord

2017 Social Media Predictions:

In 2017 Social Networks will begin to resemble TV networks without the traditional “prime time” scheduling. On-demand and live broadcasting will be here to stay. The only people left watching TV over-the-air will also be using dial-up Internet, calling people from their land-lines, and wondering why they can’t find new release movies for their VCR.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook will continue to lead the social networks in 2017. The exciting channels to watch will be Instagram, Snapchat and FB Messenger as they continue to battle it out matching each other feature-for-feature.  Instagram surged in the second half of 2016, and Snapchat may now be the struggling rebels of the “Social Clone Wars”.

Joel Comm

CEO, Joel Comm, Inc.

Twitter: JoelComm

Snapchat: JoelComm

2017 Social Media Prediction:

2017 will be the year of live video as we move from early adopter to mainstream by the end of the year. Snapchat will soon enter the live video space with their Spectacles providing new first person perspective to live experiences around the world.

Most Important Social Network:

I expect Facebook to continue leading the way as their reach continues to dominate. However, Snapchat’s approach to hardware may find Facebook scheming to develop hardware solutions of their own in order to reach a more consumer-oriented user-base for live video.

John Lee Dumas

Founder, EOFire

Twitter: JohnLeeDumas

Snapchat: JohnLeeDumas

2017 Social Media Prediction:

People screaming into the wind and adding more noise to the world will fade away, replaced by people giving incredibly niche and specific value, serving less people but in a MUCH more meaningful way.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook. They rule. Others drool.

John White

Founder and CMO, Social Marketing Solutions

Twitter: JuanBlanco76

Snapchat: socialmktgsltns

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Social networking will become interest based, rather than users searching for people on social media that they already know. When you create a stronger connection with someone you’d like to work for or do business with via a personal interest, it gives you a leg up on the competition that has no connection with that person other than a sales pitch and a resume.

Most Important Social Network:

I don’t see one channel emerging in 2017 as the most important. I believe that it will continue to be a personal choice based on each individual’s personal and business networking goals. That said, I believe we will see a big emergence from smaller social sites like Snapchat and beBee that will challenge the most established sites. Market competition from smaller sites will encourage the established sites to innovate faster or be disrupted.

Jon Ferrara

CEO, Nimble

Twitter: Jon_Ferrara

Snapchat: JonFerrara

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Video streaming like Facebook Live will reign supreme and social media influencers who don’t adapt will fall Behind like silent movie actors such as Charlie Chaplin

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook – Live Video

Kate Talbot

Marketing Consultant

Twitter: katetalbot2

Snapchat: kataya102

2017 Social Media Prediction:

In 2017, Facebook Live will shift the social media landscape. I predict product launches, thought leadership interviews and educational series will all be hosted on the platform with live video. Brands, media, individuals, and influencers will learn to utilize all the Facebook Live partnerships and tools to create authentic, professional content, that inevitably — due to the algorithm — will reach a large audience.

Most Important Social Network:

The most important social media channel in 2017 will be Snapchat. With their expected IPO and launch into the hardware space with Spectacles, they will have the ability to expand immensely. They can acquire innovative technology in the augmented reality space to create a robust product that will expand beyond the millennial audience.

Kim Garst

CEO, Boom Social

Twitter: KimGarst

Snapchat: KimGarst

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Live video has been a part of the landscape for awhile now but I predict that we will see more integration and more usage of live video in 2017 by individuals, business owners and brands. Live video is like having a TV in your hand. Anyone with a phone can broadcast to the world. Pretty powerful!

Most Important Social Network:

While this may not be the most popular answer, I am going to say Facebook. Facebook is the elephant in the room and they are innovating at an astonishing pace. Beyond that, they have the most advanced monetization structure in their ads platform and that is an incredible opportunity for marketers.

Kim Reynolds

Marketing Manager, Social Media Examiner

Twitter: KimReynolds

Snapchat: PickyKim

2017 Social Media Prediction:

2017 is going to be the Year of the Bot. Facebook Messenger will continue on its course to becoming a powerhouse for personalization and customer service. Bots will become easier to create–while incorporating more diverse use-cases. Innovative marketers will focus their attention on creative ways to utilize the Messenger platform and Facebook ads.

Most Important Social Network:

With the unparalleled success of WeChat in China (once also just a messaging app), Facebook has a viable path to ubiquity with Messenger. Mobile first has been Facebook’s mantra for several years. Messenger–with its bots and AI–opens up an opportunity for making Facebook the world’s mobile gateway to everything from mobile payments to home automation and beyond.

Laurel Su

Social Media Manager, DocuSign

Twitter: iamlaurelsu

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Immersive 360 videos will be the new form of advertisement. Stock and still photos will be a thing of the past. Unless you can 360 a “demo” environment, people won’t click on your software-focus image.

Most Important Social Network:

Instagram for Americas. WeChat for International.

Instagram – Because of its seamless ability to stream LIVE videos, Snapchat-esque videos, the increased use cases of Boomerang, and its usual visual presentation. Instagram is the easiest platform to “ignore” advertising so if someone engages with your Instagram shot — you know you’ve done something right. A lot of Snapchat users are migrating from Snapchat to Instagram within this past year, simply because of the ease of using 1 platform.

WeChat – Because of its international presence. The ultimate all-in-one tool, WeChat is no longer just social media. It’s a “social life”. Their platform allows you to book an uber, share reviews of a restaurant like Yelp, share reviews of an Airbnb, post in a moments, share instant videos like Snapchat, et al. They’re opening up an office in San Francisco and are currently mapping out AliPay with a variety of other eCommerce platforms like Amazon and fashion stores like PopSugar. Currently, you use western companies like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, BuzzFeed, Tech Crunch, BBC, Nat Geo, etc leveraging WeChat to reach a more international audience.

Mari Smith

Premier Facebook Marketing Expert, Mari Smith International

Twitter: MariSmith

Snapchat: MariSmithChat

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Facebook video + Live broadcasting, will really take off in 2017. Businesses will make a quantum leap in a) telling their stories better, b) making more emotional, personal connections with their audiences, c) using simple video creation tools (such as Animoto & Adobe Spark), and d) retargeting video views with Engagement Custom Audiences. As a result, businesses will see marked improvements in their video marketing.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook Messenger. Savvy businesses will begin to realize the rapid trajectory that Facebook is on with Messenger: gearing up to be a ‘mobile operating system’ similar to China’s WeChat. Those companies that build Messenger bots, and integrate commerce solutions inside Messenger, plus include live video customer service will be light years ahead of their competition. Coupled with stellar personal social customer care, bots help consumers get the information they need faster and more efficiently, resulting in increased conversions and customer satisfaction. Shopbots will come to Instagram, too.

Mark Schaefer

Executive Director, Schaefer Marketing Solutions

Twitter: MarkWSchaefer

Snapchat: MarkWSchaefer

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Overwhelming information density makes it more difficult to get our content to be seen. Engagement and social sharing are way down in most places. Content Shock has arrived and will continue to bully marketing efforts in 2017.

Most Important Social Network:

The answer varies by business and industry but I don’t think you can deny the overwhelming progress of Facebook to dominate messaging, video, live streaming, and news distribution. And virtual reality will change everything.

Marsha Collier

President, Collier Company, Inc.

Twitter: MarshaCollier

Snapchat: MarshaCollier

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Time to pay more attention to psychographics. Outreach deployed via traditional demographics won’t reach today’s audience for your brand. Stop selling with every post and reach out in new ways by facilitating intimacy with your community. Make proactive customer experiences the top goal.
Engaging one-on-one remains the most effective way to build a brand and convert customers. Chatbots still have a way to go and in 2017 we may see them lead in developing a more responsive AI, but relying solely on them is foolhardy. Get more visual! Pictures, infographics, and circular video can blend brand and personal to evoke present a human connection.

Most Important Social Network:

Targeting your audience through demonstrable data will prove which platforms work best. For B2B, the Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn has gained more meaning; also look to Twitter as it still gains traction as the water cooler of the internet.

For B2C know that Snapchat grabs the eyes of a huge audience; their addition of Spectacles will only broaden its reach. Facebook and Instagram have a mesmerizing hold on their community, and if you read the data just right, it will remain a strong marketing platform. Twitter, the top “real-time’ newsfeed in our short attention span days, is a great arena for brand building.

Martin Jones

Sr. Marketing Manager, Cox Business

Twitter: martinjonesaz

Snapchat: martinjonesaz

2017 Social Media Predictions:

The marriage of social media, artificial intelligence and native advertising in video content is going to be a game-changer, and it’s coming. Imagine dynamic social ads, personalized in real time, within a social stream. That’s the future of social advertising, and if it doesn’t happen in 2017, look for it soon after.

Most Important Social Network:

One word – Micro-influencers (or does that count as two words).

While they have much smaller social followings (usually 500-10,000 followers) than celebrity influencers, their impact shouldn’t shouldn’t be underestimated. They can often provide much better results in getting their followers to take action, engage and respond to your message.

Who are they? They’re everyday individuals with smaller, dedicated followings that tend to have a much narrower focus than celebrity influencers. They’ve trusted authorities with strong relationships in specific niches, local communities, and industries, and they’re passionate about what you do.

A few added benefits – they don’t have agents representing them, they truly appreciate you recognizing the trusted value they bring, and more often than not, they’ll usually respond personally, to a simple email request.

Martin Shervington

Founder, Plus Your Business

Twitter: MartinSherv

2017 Social Media Predictions:

Last year I said, “Virtual reality is the next platform, and next year we will see the start of it appearing in Social. This will radically change how we produce and consume content, as well as push the boundaries of creativity and connectivity.” This year I will double down on that, but say that 360 and 360 live will start to get more interest. The technology is just about ready, and with good post production skills, you can produce some neat effects.

Most Important Social Networks:

‘The Physical Web’ – right now many people don’t know what it is, but Google are bringing ‘beacons’ to the mass consciousness through their Eddystone platform. You can target specific messages based on proximity, time of day, gender, and more. This will also bridge on and offline worlds like never before/ Think about being able to reconnect with your real world visitors through Retargeting (via Facebook) and Remarketing (using Google Adwords).

Melanie Deziel

Branded Content Consultant, Mdeziel Media

Twitter: mdeziel

Snapchat: m_deziel

2017 Social Media Predictions:

I’m excited to see the creative ways that brands embrace Facebook Live, 360-degree video and VR as means of taking consumers behind the scenes and sharing experiences that they could never have before. I think these formats are ushering in a new era of increased transparency for brands, giving consumers unprecedented access to the companies and products they love.

Most Important Social Network:

It’s hard to argue that anything other than Facebook will be the dominant network, but it’ll be interesting to see how their increased emphasis on video and live video impact the advertising marketplace and brand content strategies in the coming year.

Melonie Dodaro

CEO, Top Dog Social Media

Twitter: MelonieDodaro

Snapchat: MelonieDodaro

2017 Social Media Predictions:

We’ve seen Facebook get on the live streaming bandwagon with Facebook Live, I believe that will continue to have momentum over 2017 as marketers and businesses incorporate more live video into their marketing mix with Facebook and other live streaming platforms.

My biggest prediction is that Search will be a focus for Facebook in 2017. Facebook will be expanding their search functionality and hopes to soon capture some of the search traffic that would have previous gone to Google.

Mark Zuckerberg said in July 2016 Facebook is now getting two billion searches on the platform every day – a 33% increase in within 12 months.
Facebook has announced that improving the search functionality is a priority for them over the next five years.

I’m sure Facebook as part of this initiative to expand their search will be looking at ways they can monetize search. In order to do this Facebook will need to optimize their current search functions significantly, they’ll need to develop their algorithms and location data to provide better and more relevant matches and they’ll likely expand their ad platform in the process.

I expect to see Facebook move on expanding search 2017 and I don’t expect this to an immediate threat to Google in search, but I do believe Facebook has an opportunity to capture some of Google’s market share with search.

Most Important Social Network:

Included all in the field above.

Mia Voss

Luxury Travel Blogger, Mia On The Go

Twitter: miavossonthego

Snapchat: miavossonthego

2017 Social Media Prediction:

As the platforms ebb and flow with their successes and updates, I think people will start to diversify their social efforts. With the demise of Vine, it’s apparent that you can’t put your eggs all in one social platform basket!

Most Important Social Network:

YouTube – don’t ask me why it’s just my random prediction!

Michael Barber

Founder, Barber & Hewitt

Twitter: michaeljbarber

Snapchat: michaeljbarber

2017 Social Media Prediction:

We’re increasingly moving into a marketing landscape dominated by automation, bots, and machine intelligence, but meeting a consumer that rejects fake, boring, inauthentic, run-of-the-mill ads and stories lazily targeted to them just because they fit a persona, buying profile, or spent five seconds on our website. The brands that create meaningful, authentic, and real content tailored for modern consumers viewing habits (i.e. video, real-time video), and then leverage platforms to natively place that content within appropriate channels, will dominate 2017.

Most Important Social Network:

If you care about the channel that will continue deliver more dollars for every dollar spent than any other channel—social or otherwise—it’s email.

Michael Stelzner

CEO and Founder, Social Media Examiner

Twitter: Mike_Stelzner

Snapchat: MikeStelzner

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Content Creators Become Endangered Species

Algorithms, bots, artificial intelligence and people working for very big companies will destroy the business models of people who produce content by disrupting the free flow of information.

In the very near future, this information flow will be filtered and measured and censored in the name of “reducing clutter” and revealing “only what’s important.” Facebook will decide what you see. Google will serve up only that content that complies with its rules and is housed on its servers. Email solutions like Gmail and Yahoo will tighten their own algorithms so even reaching the inbox is at risk.

The information distribution highway will have toll stations that must be paid for by the those who create content.

If you want your content seen, you’ll need to house it inside the companies that control the toll stations. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and more will incentivize content creators to not link to off-site content. These large businesses will become the equivalent of the 1990s America Online–a type of “Hotel California,” where you can enter but never leave.

Traffic to websites will decline and blogs will shut down. Gone will be the days of information flow and true information freedom. The future will only be more controlled, more filtered and less open.

But, born from this filtered, computer curated world, will come something new. Some young person in a spare bedroom will invent the next big idea that frees information once again. The pendulum will start swinging back and content creators will experience a new creative renaissance.

Are you ready for the change?

Mike Allton

Content Marketing Practitioner, The Social Media Hat

Twitter: Mike_Alton

2017 Social Media Prediction:

While 2016 was a year of attrition for social networks (bye bye Meerkat, Blab, Tsu and others), 2017 will see far more stabilization. Not only will existing networks strengthen their base of users, they’ll continue to diversify and standardize features (i.e. video) making them more ubiquitous.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook is poised to be the most important social channel for years to come. They’ve correctly predicted the importance of video and taken a safe, yet expanding, route of implementation to ensure user uptake.

Mitch Jackson, Esq.

Senior Partner, Streaming.Lawyer

Twitter: MitchJackson

Snapchat: CA_Lawyer

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I predict that more and more people will appreciate the fact that while digital platforms come and go, human relationships can last a lifetime. Sure, sometimes these relationships are complex, messy and uncertain. But here’s the deal- that’s what makes people who embrace and nurture win-win relationships, so damn special, especially on social media.

Most Important Social Network:

While I’m a big fan of VR and AR, the most important “real world” social media channel in 2017 will continue to be the evolution of live video, especially video being produced on or being pushed to Periscope and Facebook. Live video creates compelling content by taking the power of human and adding a dash of unexpected engagement and entertainment. Add the ability to produce and consume this live video on a mobile device and you have magic!

Niv Dror

Community, Product Hunt

Twitter: Nivo0o0

Snapchat: Nivo0o0

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Twitter is due for a rebound. It’s still the dominant way to communicate around live events and had didn’t just carry the conversation in the 2016 election but often was what the conversation was about.

YouTube will continue to dominate video and Facebook will continue to dominate traffic to publishers.

Media perception around Snapchat will turn sour after the IPO (because people like to hype things up then knock then down) but that won’t change user engagement.

Most Important Social Network:

Twitter will always be most important for me, but arguably Snapchat will be what the most focus will be on in 2017. If you’re in the business of getting traffic (publishers) Facebook is most important.

Owen Video

YouTube Consultant, Video Spot

Twitter: OwenHemsath

Snapchat: OwenVideo

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Organic reach goes 100% away. Facebook has been hinting at this for months and social media remains the only internet marketing segment that still promotes organic reach as viable. This will end. Only paid traffic will be viable.

Most Important Social Network:

Channels won’t matter. People and brands are tired of changing channels to meet the changing whims of the culture. Content will matter and really it’s only video content that will matter. Whether it’s Facebook, podcasts, Snapchat, YouTube, or the bird… content will drive users (powered by paid promotion and email subscribers) to the channel they prefer to consume it on. My clients are immune to the next “trend” because they focus on creating better content and content transcends trends.

Peg Fitzpatrick

Director of Marketing and Social Media, Kreussler Inc., and

Twitter: PegFitzpatrick

Snapchat: PegFitzpatrick

2017 Social Media Prediction:

The content glut has led to filtering content by large social media platforms and a push back to post more to be seen. After the push for more content and the “need” to be everywhere in the past, I feel that higher quality offerings will trump higher quantity of content. I think that higher quality content with authentic storytelling paired visual marketing will rise to the top of the social world.

Most Important Social Network:

Instagram. I see Instagram really coming into its own in 2017. They’ve bumped up their Instagram Story features and they have brand buy in. People love to be there and the engagement is high.

Pinterest is making a lot of interesting moves as well. While it isn’t a social channel, they’ve evolved their discovery engine and combined it with mega one-click shopping powers.

Phil Mershon

Director of Events, Social Media Examiner

Twitter: Phil_Mershon

Snapchat: PhilMershon

2017 Social Media Prediction:

As companies shift their media spend from traditional media to social media, businesses will be required to reinvent the way they connect with customers. I predict some new platforms will enter the market that restores the personalized connection with consumers. I also expect influencers and brand advocates to become a much bigger deal.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook. They still are the one place people spend the most time for personal and professional reasons. Until another platform can capture the broad appeal of users from 15-85, Facebook will remain the most important place for most businesses to stay relevant.

Rebekah Radice

CMO, Post Planner

Twitter: RebekahRadice

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Social media has changed the buyer’s journey. How customers arrive at your doorstep is more complicated than ever before. In 2017, marketers must understand that journey and then provide a customized, omnichannel experience.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook because of Facebook Live

Robert Rose

Chief Strategy Officer, Create Awesome Media

Twitter: Robert_Rose

2017 Social Media Prediction:

The biggest trend already under way is that social is becoming much more of a paid platform than an earned one. So, for 2017 I see two trends. The first is that anything that would be called “earned social” will move directly toward influencers and engagement of social evangelists who can reach audiences. The second is that live video becomes 2017’s combination of “Pokemon and fake news”. Live video will boom and simultaneously become hated. Lastly – Google is still gonna buy Twitter.

Most Important Social Network:

The most important one is the full pendulum swing to paid. Social will finally be officially recognized as a broadcast medium that requires a paid strategy to make work.

Robert Scoble

Futurist, Upload VR

Twitter: Scobleizer

Snapchat: Scobleizer

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Live video will become more important. Snapchat will show why it is doing the Spectacles and will add quite a few new features to them. Augmented Reality, er, Mixed Reality, will be the big tech story by the end of 2017 and that will cause many to reevaluate where they spend time (VR, especially the social kind as shown by Facebook, will take minutes away from more traditional social media platforms).

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook (and its components, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram) will continue being #1. The only thing that will disrupt it is augmented reality’s new user interface, but that won’t have a big enough impact in 2017. Maybe by 2020.

Roberto Blake

Chief Creative Officer, Create Awesome Media

Twitter: RobertoBlake

Snapchat: RobertoBlake

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Every year is the year of video, but in 2017 you will see nearly every social media platform go all in on video in some way. Video will become more valuable to companies than ever in communicating with audiences and you will see them invest heavily in Facebook video and YouTube, both in live and recorded video and in online advertising.

Most Important Social Network:

YouTube. Right now YouTube has our attention. There is not a week that goes by that a YouTuber is not a headline in traditional media outlets. As a platform, it is proven in terms of engagement, loyalty and has the advantage of television as the analog for older decision makers to quantify and qualify it’s value from a marketing standpoint.

Ryan Bell

Head of Studio, VRScout

Twitter: Ryan_A_Bell

Snapchat: RAndersonBell

2017 Social Media Prediction:

War and growth. We’ve come to the adolescence of social media. Platforms that were once considered “just for kids” are now worth billions, apps are getting easier to build and entrepreneurs are getting bolder. We’ll see many small deaths, large acquisitions and a constant target of the redefinition of the people and platforms that will win in the long term.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook. You can’t ignore Goliath. With Zuckerberg’s keen interest in VR, big moves with Oculus and public 10-year plan I’m excited to see what Facebook has up their sleeves that isn’t public.

Samantha Kelly

Social Media Strategist, Tweeting Goddess

Twitter: Tweetinggoddess

Snapchat: Tweetinggoddess

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I predict more CEO’s of the big corporates will embrace social media, especially video. More and more people want to know exactly who the people behind the brands are. We want more transparency and authenticity than ever before. So the CEO will step up and start engaging more with the customers to drive loyalty. People buy from people, and relationship building leads to sales at the end of the day. More companies will start seeing digital influencers as an important part of their marketing strategy. Here in Ireland, this is only starting to become apparent. It won’t be just the famous ones either, they will do their research and see who are the most engaging with their customers and reward customers loyalty more with proper rewards for social sharing. The social media platforms themselves will start to pay attention to their biggest advocates and invite more ideas from them (Well this would make sense really so hopefully it will happen).

Most Important Social Network:

I would LIKE to say Twitter as you can’t beat real-time news and tweets. I really do feel that Twitter has something up their sleeve. Whether it is by embracing and inviting their biggest advocates in to get ideas or whether it’s to help their biggest advocates by being more open about their data, demographics and results so businesses can leverage the power of twitter more. Real-time it will have something to do with that. We saw what happened with politics this year on Twitter. Maybe I’m wrong but would love to be right!

Sarah Evans

Digital Correspondent, Sevans Strategy

Twitter: prsarahevans

Snapchat: SarahsFaves

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Get ready for the (even bigger) rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Crazy filters and lenses are part of our social lives, but wait until brands start engaging them via television, live events and out in the marketplace.

Most Important Social Network:

Snapchat’s Spectacles may be one of the first glass wearables to go mainstream and change, entirely, the way we capture and share. Maybe even, dare I say it, fewer selfies and more of the world around us.

Sarah Moore

CEO, Eleven Lights Media

Twitter: TheSarahMoore

Snapchat: TheSarahMoore

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Video. Live video. Lots and lots of video. Every platform is incorporating video at some level and more specifically businesses are beginning to take notice of live video! 2017 will be the year of strategic live video implementation.

Most Important Social Network:

As much as we might want to believe other platforms are closing in on the empire that is Facebook, I believe that Facebook is still very strong and with its commitment to iterating on live video and its messenger platform, combined with the targeted ad platform, I can’t see it falling from its pedestal any time soon.

Shaun Ayala

Marketing Manager, Best Buy

Twitter: ShaunAyala

Snapchat: ShaunAyala

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Live video will continue to become a dominant medium. Snap Inc. will continue to surprise on how the camera and social will ingrate into what we do outside of the limitations a physical cell phone. Get ready!!

Most Important Social Network:

My pick is Snapchat, they are innovating outside of the cell phone, they will continue to innovate with their app, augmented reality and live i see could be there next big direction.

Shaun McBride

Social Media Strategy, Shonduras

Twitter: Shonduras

Snapchat: Shonduras

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Instagram stories will explode, VR will be on everyone’s radar, vlogging will become oversaturated and Snapchat will figure it out and CRUSH IT or everyone will give up on it entirely.

Most Important Social Network:


Steve Dotto

President, Dotto Tech

Twitter: DottoTech

Snapchat: DottoTech

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Huge pressure will come on Facebook to find a way to filter our Fake News, or at least flag it as questionable. We may see a new form of verification for content, not just accounts.

Most Important Social Network:

Video will unquestionably be the most valuable digital asset of 2017. And unless Facebook comes up with some reliable way to search, YouTube will remain the channel of choice!

Stewart Rogers

Director, Marketing Technology, Venture Beat

Twitter: TheRealSJR

Snapchat: TheRealSJR

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Engagement with organic messages is now at an all-time low. If you want to get your personal brand or business seen on traditional social media in 2017, you’ll have to pay to play. Facebook will still rule the roost next year, especially for app marketers, and retailers. Twitter will continue to make advancements in its advertising model but will have to focus on getting its ‘abuse’ issue fixed, which I believe it will (after a few bumps in the road).

Video, including live streaming, will dominate as the most engaging medium throughout 2017. Individuals and brands need to ensure they are leveraging video effectively. New hardware will bring 360-degree video to the masses, and with 67% of consumers saying they either have, or want to try, VR on their mobile devices (Source: VB Insight, November 2016), immersive content is going to be more important than ever.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook will continue to dominate social media (including Instagram). It is too big not to. But it needs to watch out. A post-IPO Snap Inc. could start to cause it problems.

Sue B. Zimmerman

Captain, Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise

Twitter: SueBZimmerman

Snapchat: SueBZimmerman

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I believe being very focused with your content in your Niche is more important than ever. The more clear and compelling your content is the faster you will attract those you are meant to be doing business with.

Most Important Social Network:

Instagram – Instagram Stories feature enables you to creatively connect & share exclusive content in snackable fun ways. It’s the real, raw authentic content that will continue to build trust with your followers who will ultimately take action when you have an offer.

Tyler Anderson

CEO and Founder, Casual Fridays

Twitter: TylerJAnderson

Snapchat: TJASnaps

2017 Social Media Prediction:

In 2017, you’ll see more and more brands feature user-generated content (UGC) and incorporate it into their overall marketing. Not just featuring UGC across social media, but also email, websites, and more. Say goodbye to professional photo shoots and stock photography. You’ll also see more brands and businesses leverage influencers and customers to become their storytellers (via photos, video, live video, etc.) as that content is more influential and believable than branded content.

Most Important Social network:

Facebook. 93% of marketers use it and 91% are using Facebook Ads. It’s the most robust and effective form of social advertising and they continue to evolve and adapt. In 2016, we saw them evolve with reactions, instant articles, and Facebook Live. In 2017, we can strongly say they’ll continue to add features and improvements. They’ve already demonstrated that they’re all in with augmented reality and virtual reality.

Ursula Ringham

Director, Digital Marketing, SAP

Twitter: Ursula_Ringham

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Live streaming video will disrupt traditional B2B marketing. As long as the content is authentic and engaging, audiences will repeatedly tune in and help build a community for that brand.

Most Important Social Network:

Once LinkedIn opens up live streaming video, it will be a game changer for B2B marketing. Companies will be able to reach a more targeted audience with live content focused on specific business needs.

Victoria Taylor

Founder and Chief Social Strategist, Victoria.Live and Blend Social

Twitter: VictoriaTaylUK

Snapchat: VictoriaTaylUK

2017 Social Media Prediction:

I believe that social media users will want more vicarious experiences. People are demanding social media more and more as a channel for more vicarious experiences. I believe it will be no longer enough to post only opinions about an event; showing your community what it’s like to be there and involving them in the experience will be key. Live video, 360 images, and video will enable this more and more….. even just doing more real-time posting will add to the experience. Helping your community to feel like they’re a genuine part of the experience, as it unfolds will be hugely important in 2017.

Most Important Social Network:

This will be different for every single business. We can not make mass assumptions as to what will be the ‘go to platform’. Trying to keep up with a particular platform because everyone else is will not be the key to being successful on social, knowing what works for you and embracing that will. Being led by FOMO and trying to be the same as everyone else will make us blend in, in order to stand out we must really understand our businesses, what works for us and not be afraid to step away from something that does not work for us, embracing who we truly are, no matter what the platform is the answer to being successful on social media.

Vincenzo Landino

Creative Director, Aftermaq

Twitter: VincenzoLandino

Snapchat: VincenzoLandino

2017 Social Media Prediction:

Brands will begin to experiment more with interactive live video content. The focus is on the interactivity. While brands haven’t fully embraced live streaming video, in 2017 we will see a shift toward creating more interactive experiences that engage the audience and encourage user generated content.

Most Important Social Network:

Facebook Messenger. One can already message and make audio and video calls, but now you can make purchases, send money, hail an Uber, have secret disappearing conversations, transfer files and more! With over 1 billion monthly active users, this is becoming the channel to watch for 2017.

Virginia Salas Kastilio

CEO, Ginicanbreathe

Twitter: Ginicanbreathe

Snapchat: Ginicanbreathe

2017 Social Media Prediction:

The new launch of the FB Messenger Daily Stories function will cause a real stir in the market. Loyalty to Snapchat will waiver for a second but then reinstate . With Snapchat Spec they are building a strong foundation for trending their app even more globally and Snapchat will become a necessity for brands to connect to their communities. (With which they are very our of touch right now.

Most Important Social Network:

Snapchat, because I work for the BBC. And I know these things.