It takes dedicated investment to an organization’s social media platforms or tools to determine what’s next and what’s not worth your time. The worst social media and marketing mistake a company can make is investing too much time, money and effort into a failing medium, while a strong presence on a thriving platform can increase revenue exponentially.

Here are our top six predictions for social media in 2017:

  1. Facebook Live will pick-up steam with big opportunities for companies to increase transparency, connect in the moment and broadcast their message to a wide audience. One of the great benefits is that “going live” breaks through Facebook’s filters and notifies all of your followers of your activity. This type of communication will continue to increase an organization’s ability to connect on a more personal level than ever before.
  2. Bots, which are applications that perform automated tasks, will begin to slowly automate interactions at the top of the sales funnel and in customer service functions. The growth of bots will depend on their ability to mimic real human interaction and to learn from a database of conversations.
  3. Geo-Marketing allows businesses to market themselves at their location and others and provides a new mobile way to interact with consumers. The popularity of Pokémon Go and custom Snapchat filters are proof that businesses can leverage these new location specific marketing opportunities.
  4. Offline tracking on social media sites like Facebook will help to further make a case for digital marketers looking for more C-level investment. Facebook has revolutionized the digital marketing industry, and despite a slight decline in engagement, it still reigns supreme as the top option for social advertising dollars.
  5. Twitter will continue to be pursued and possibly purchased by the end of the year because of its insanely loyal users as it begins to regain speed and growth. The company is also hopping onboard the live broadcast hype, as Periscope is further integrated into Twitter.
  6. Instagram will continue its rapid transformation that already includes disappearing messages, a re-brand, and the addition of live-broadcasting. After spending the past year looking at ways to engage businesses to spend money on its platform, Instagram is making major investments in conversions for sellers.

The market dictates that in order to thrive in the digital realm, organizations must make an investment in monitoring trends and tracking what’s next. It may be difficult to predict what outlandish or innovative platform, tool or gadget will revolutionize the technology and social media world.

However, it is possible to make fact-based predictions based on analytics, customer surveys and by researching industry influencers. Careful examination of the digital marketing landscape can be the difference between making the mistake of going all-in on failed platforms such as Vine or winning the interactive innovation awards at SXSW 2017.

Silicon Desert Insider is a weekly blog published every Wednesday morning on, about the local technology industry. If you have an idea for a piece for “Silicon Desert Insider,” please email AZ BIG Media Digital Editor Jesse A. Millard at