Ah 2017! While 2016 brought most of us some big blows (icons gone much too soon, tragedy in Orlando, Dakota Access pipeline, the list could go on…), it did set us up with some great ways to engage your social audience in 2017. For instance, we saw the rise of live video, Snapchat’s constant evolution, Snapchat copycats (lookin’ at you Instagram Stories) and so much more.

So, how can you capitalize on these opportunities in 2017? Read on as we break down three key ways to use engagement to your ultimate advantage.

1. Live Streaming

Live video and live streaming aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so if you don’t have this in your 2017 social strategy, it’s time to add it. Not only do users watch live videos 3 times longer than regular video, Facebook has even been shown to favor live video streams on their platform and will normally push it higher in your fans and followers News Feed. Is Facebook the only live streaming platform? Of course not. There’s Twitter, YouTube and now Instagram Stories (more on that later). If you’re looking to incorporate live streaming into your social strategy, see where your audience is most active, evaluate what makes sense for you and your brand and get to streaming!

2. Instagram Stories

Whether you’re #TeamStories or #TeamSnapchat, Instagram Stories is here to stay and shouldn’t be ignored. If you want to capture your audience in a unique way, this is the way to go.

What are some ways to utilize Instagram Stories to elevate your visibility?

Treat it like Snapchat. Thread multiple 10 second posts to tell a larger story (I mean, it even has “stories” in the name).
Make your content super compelling. This means no one-off photos or videos (that’s what the feed is for). Your content should always leave your audience craving more.
Keep it quick. You know how attention spans are these days. Instagram Stories help you combat viewer drop-off with the ability to add links to your story. For example, if you are trying to sell tickets, retail items, or any other B2C type of goods, your audience can access it directly in the story. The best part? People are actually converting.

In a recent article from Marketing Land, the author stated that brands are seeing 15-25% swipe-thru rates when they add a link to their Instagram story. And to top off 2016, Instagram Stories even launched a live feature, so now you can stream live from Instagram at times when your audience is most engaged on the platform. This is helpful for those brands who may have a bigger presence on the platform compared to Facebook or Twitter. At the end of the day, you should absolutely consider Instagram Stories for your 2017 social strategy.

3. Content – Quality vs. Quantity

It’s 2017 and content is still KING. But not just any content–quality content. How can you make sure yours fits the bill?

Make it relevant. In the days of News Feed algorithms where Facebook and Instagram favor posts that garner the most engagement, it’s vital to post content that is relevant and, well, good. Gone are the days of grainy images and poor lighting. Your audience expects the utmost attention to detail from you, so make sure you are creating things they actually want to see.

Don’t feel like you have to post every day. This is where content starts to fail in terms of quality. When you’re so focused on just getting something up just for the sake of posting, you may not have a chance to consider whether the message is on strategy or if the content tells your brand story.

Test. Test. Test. Not sure what your audience wants? Test! Maybe something works for Instagram, but really doesn’t take off on Twitter, or vice versa. Once you’ve found your sweet spot, continue to create content that is in line with those results.

Well, there you have it. Just a few friendly tips to help bump up your social engagement. Do you have any success stories with these features? Let us know in the comments below. Or if you’d like to chat more about how we can help make you socially savvy in 2017, click here.