This blog post was written by Erica Winters, Sr. Research Analyst & Social Media Strategist at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).

Social media continues to grow in popularity as we trek through 2017. It is clear social media is here to stay, and has outlived the traditional thought of social media marketing being a “fad.” We’re seeing more businesses learn the value of social media marketing, and the potential for a large return on investment when harnessed appropriately for the business’ strategy. Below are our views on what the business world can expect from social media in the year ahead.

  • Refinement by Businesses

It seems there is a new social media platform emerging all the time these days. With so many outlets, it’s understanding that some businesses face uncertainty with how to enter the social media world and align it with their organization’s goals. Many years ago it was common for companies to feel pressured to be on all new and popular social media sites. We’re learning that this is not the best business strategy, and we believe more and more companies will refine their social media strategy to focus on the outlets that provide them with the most value. For most brands, it is more valuable to focus energy and social media budget on a select suite of outlets that resonate most with your audience AND match the goals of your company. Many small businesses don’t have the luxury of hiring a team of social media strategists to coordinate a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram account. A general rule of thumb is to decide what is best for your organization, and do it well. It’s better to focus on a couple social media outlets and provide really compelling original content than to spread yourselves thin across too many networks. The former is a more successful strategy for building a loyal brand following and seeing a larger return on your social media investment.

  • Continued Growth in Pay to Play Strategies

Advertising on social media networks will continue to grow in popularity over the next year. We’ve seen a boom in advertising options across the major networks, with an increased interest among organizations looking to reduce marketing costs and more effectively reach their target audience. Savvy businesses are learning that their audience across networks may vary, and are investing advertising dollars in different ways on each network to maximize exposure and return on investment. Social media networks are also driving this trend by instituting a decline in organic reach on the network(s) for brands not paying to promote their content. What this means is social media networks are serving an organization’s content less often to the network that they have built unless they are paying to serve that content. The good news for brands is that it doesn’t take much money to increase this reach. We’ve seen great results by attaching a $25 budget to a two day recruiting campaign on Facebook when recruiting for market research projects. If your organization is not sure what the best strategy would be for them, seek out an experienced consultant who will work with you to determine the best advertising strategy for your organization’s goals and budget.

  • Evolution of Existing Social Media Outlets

As popularity grows, we’ve seen a continual evolution in social media outlets to keep up with the changing demands of its users. (1) Facebook is creating options that cater to workplace communication.  (2) Live video is prevalent across many social media channels, with others such as Instagram closely following suit. (3) Users have voiced a loathing for “fake news” and networks are responding. Social media users are often turning to social media outlets for news, but as they became bogged down with false stories, users were forced to do their own research before being able to determine whether the news is legitimate. Since this takes users away from the application, social media outlets are taking matters into their own hands in an effort to regain the trust of users and keep them engaged. Read in detail about marketing your business through social media here.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at