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Top Social Media Trends for 2016 & 2017

What's on your social media menu for 2017? As you plan your insurance marketing strategies for the new year, it's time to look back at the social media trends of the past year and consider how social media will change in the year to come. Online marketing is constantly shifting, and your social media presence must change with it.

1. Get Ready to Create Time-Limited Social Media Updates

When you're writing for the web, creating insurance blogs and websites is partly about creating evergreen content that will draw in your readers day after day and year after year. However, social media is moving in the other direction. It's becoming more ephemeral. You could post on Facebook and have readers engage with your content for a few hours or a few days. You can also post on other sites such as Snapchat and have your followers see your content for a few seconds.

Content that disappears after viewing is a new trend in the social media world, and it changes the way that you plan your insurance marketing. Instead of thinking of social media posts as miniature blog posts, you need to consider them more as a live conversation with your readers. Like a conversation, the images you create or the words you write are gone within a few moments.

How will this impact your insurance marketing? Consider using time-limited updates to connect with your visitors during a community event, sending out updates to those near your booth to come and visit and win a prize. Feature your customers' stories in short social media updates. Give a behind the scenes look at an event or workshop. For example, you could run a fall campaign about winter auto safety and highlight amusing clips of ways that your customers should not drive in the snow.

2. Create Immersive, In the Moment Experiences

In 2016, live feeds have become popular on social media platforms. People not only want to feel like they're communicating with your company, they want to be immersed in what's going on. Whether you're creating a live feed of a disaster preparation seminar or sending out footage of the disaster as it unfolds, your live feed keeps your visitors glued to their screens and extremely engaged with the content that you're creating.

3. Your Advertising May Go Retro

In the past few years, the idea was that you'd use your social media posts to engage with clients or create and share such compelling content that you'd go viral – or at least you'd be passed around the community of those who were curious about your products. Social media platforms are starting to realize that there's money to be made in more traditional forms of advertising as well. Now and in the future, expect to see your outreach into your community become more limited unless you choose to pay to promote your brand.

4. You'll Focus on the Human Element

Social media is about connecting with people. In 2017, you'll need to connect more than ever. You don't need to use your social media accounts simply to send out updates about your newest insurance products. Consider how your brand can expand its promotional strategies and connect with customers on a human level, whether this is through contacting influencers in your community who can promote your products or by sending out updates that are less about insurance marketing content and more about creating the kind of relationship you want to have with your readers. For instance, an insurance company that wants to appeal to young families could post photos and quotes that celebrate the diversity of families in the community. This marketing focuses on building a brand and a relationship instead of focusing on the sale.

5. Old Standbys Will Decline or Diversify

The one constant with social media is change. When you're working with platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you're working with huge platforms that contain masses of information in multiple formats. Every time a new platform emerges or a new tweak happens on an existing platform, you'll need to become familiar with it and see if it will work for your business. As platforms and strategies diversity, you'll need to find your niche and focus on the platforms and insurance marketing strategies that are the best choice for your business.

At American Agents Alliance, we're here to help you create a successful insurance business with skilled employees who know their insurance marketing strategies. Turn to us for networking and educational events and access to many membership benefits that will help you improve your insurance marketing and boost your business.

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