F8... Where Social Media Trends Are Born

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  • 4/25/2017
    Get ready for some abbreviations.
    This year’s F8 conference was overcome by them… VR, AR, GIFs and then there was 360, apps and bots. Yes, this is 2017.
    While F8 may be coined as a conference for developers, the social media team here watches the yearly event closely as a prediction of the marketing tools and trends that will be shaping strategies and budgets in the next year. 
    What do marketers need to know? Hold on and let your minds be blown. 

    1. VR and AR is everywhere. Brace for it. 

    It wasn’t that long ago a coworker said that this is just a shiny object and we need to be able to prove value with it. Nobody told the social media giants that and a handful of years later here we are…not bitter or anything. 
    This one is a slow rollout, but think about connecting with customers across the country using a VR solution. Facebook Spaces may be that solution in the near future. Think about building a SIMS-like land for your business, destination or nonprofit to highlight the real life aspects of your brand that can only be described or shown in photo or video currently.
    The Facebook camera (the new one, think Snapchat) will be the center of all things new at Facebook, so get familiar with these tools and how to use them to connect to audiences now. 

    2. Analytics Get an Upgrade

    Think Google Analytics when you read this. Facebook wants to put all your data in one place to help admins track how Facebook traffic is impacting website traffic and your goal funnel. Then it will go ahead and help you create custom audiences in order to retarget and re-engage those users you tracked through your website. If you aren't familiar with your analytics yet, get a head start now.

    3. GIFs Go Live

    Again, Facebook wants people to engage and share content and GIFs are the thing that may make that happen. Now brands and users can add GIFs to live videos. Annoying? Possibly. Engaging? Most likely. 

    Up your video game now while it is still deemed a growing trend and make space in your next budget for video production, both live and pre-produced. 

    4. Bots are coming

    AI (if you’re keeping score that’s abbreviation number four) is making an appearance in messenger bots. Masses of bots are being released right now some highly advanced, too. Think Alexa as some bots will listen to your conversations to offer relevant suggestions at the precisely right moment to streamline your search needs. Other bots will impact online community managers who are bogged down with customer service inquiries. Train the bots to answer basic FAQs, the bots deliver excellent customer service, voila. This is only the tip of the bot iceburg. Keep an eye out for helpful bots and bots that your competitors are creating to woo your shared audience. 

    5. Throwback to QR Codes 

    If you’re reading carefully, you see the pattern here… “If Snapchat can do it, we will too.” Again, using the upgraded camera, people will be able to scan codes to access additional information ranging from shopping details to event schedules or receive menu assistance. You build it, the bots will run it and Facebook is finally making it easier for businesses to use these tools to reach the masses. Keep an eye on this one if you have an extended set of information you can breakdown and share with audiences to enhance their online experience with your brand. 
    While of course the two-day conference covered a lot more (check out the full recap for info on where Workplace is going, how the mobile adventure continues, app upgrades, open source and more developer-friendly jargon here), this was a big year for marketers at F8. So while your 2018 planning season may be off into the distance still, now is the time to start thinking big. The future we once only saw in movies is coming our way ASAP. …had to throw one more in here for good measure. 
    Ready to start talking about bots and planning? We know the folks you need. Contact us today
    About the author::Madison Letizia is the Communication Department Manager. She leads a team of writers, analysts, creators and serial button pushers to develop digital marketing strategies and campaigns of all shapes and sizes. She’s known for persuading teammates with cookies and never following through with the cookies…watch out. 
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