This week on #bufferchat, we shared some of our findings from our first-ever State of Social Media report. We explored what the industry looks like in 2016, and postulated what could come in 2017. Our community shared more about how they use social media now and how they plan to shift things in the future, as well!

Read on to discover all of the awesome ideas and insights that were shared during the chat!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, at TWO times every Wednesday for valuable industry insights and networking with hundreds of other smart marketers and community managers. Same topic, same place, just at different times – feel free to join in to whichever chat time works best for you!

For our community in Asia and Australia (or anyone in other timezones that like this time the best!): 4 pm AEDT (Sydney time)

For our community in North/South America, Europe and Africa (or others!): 9 am PT (San Francisco time)

Bufferchat on December 7, 2016: The State of Social Media

This week’s stats:
1st Bufferchat: 62 participants; 273 tweets; reach of 823,291
2nd Bufferchat: 249 participants; 1,776 tweets; reach of 1,680,966

Q1: Brand awareness is the #1 reason businesses are using social media. What’s most important for you, and why?

From the community:

  • “I would say for me, cultivating relationships perhaps. Also, establishing an audience for the content I curate.” @bellametaphor
  • “To add value to our communities. Convert people to not just customers but advocates.” @mdemenna1
  • “Being as human as possible and showing people that we care. The numbers, metrics, and conversion come last.” @ChrisThames29
  • “The power of #socialmedia isn’t awareness, it’s engagement. Providing value, being responsive, celebrating w/ customers.” @TimothyMohler
  • “Discovering insights by listening to the audience. There’s so much we miss when we only focus on numbers and not on engaging.” @Typ0Queen

See all the great answers to question 1 here!

Q2: Our survey showed that 45% of people are a social media team of 1. How can someone thrive as a lone social media manager?

From the community:

  • “If you’re doing it right, size doesn’t matter. Experiment, test, analyze, look at the data. Find out what works & DO THAT.” @dziubs
  • “Being an extremely organised person helps! Having tools like Buffer are the only way to stay sane as a solo social media manager.” @KittyAndBuck
  • “Just because you’re a team of one doesn’t mean you’re alone – work w/other teams! #Sales, marketing, advertising, #custserv.” @D2MediaSLN
  • “Also being a part of online community such as Community. Surround yourself with like-minded SM marketers.” @wilson_moy
  • “Batch your social media scheduling. If you can block off time to schedule a week or more at a time, it’s easier to manage.” @ExpWriters

See all the great answers to question 2 here!

Q3: We found that 80% of people do social media only as PART of their job. Do you feel this will change in the next 5 years?

From the community:

  • “I think we’ll all need to become SM – savvy in one way or the other. As the way of doing business.” @ZalkaB
  • “Yes. As expectations of immediate responses from brands via social media increase, monitoring the chatter is a must.” @KimYuhl
  • “Hope not – I like doing multiple things (events, content, social, search). But I def see the lines between becoming more blurry.” @JillLiles1
  • “Social is infiltrating every part of an organization. Over time, most positions will have a role to play.” @joshanisfeld
  • “I *hope* in 5 years, there are sm TEAMS. A collaborative team who creates platform-specific content.” @EricSachs_SEO

See all the great answers to question 3 here!

Q4: Is there a social media channel, not currently part of your marketing efforts, that you plan to start using in 2017, & why?

From the community:

  • “With video projections being so high for 2017, I think we’re going to see more Snapchat, Instagram & FB Live.” @Dave_Perry7
  • “I think I really need to spend more time to see where Snapchat is going or if Instagram will make it obsolete? It’s a battle.” @rouxroamer
  • “Instagram Stories. I see more and more people on there and the audience is huge.” @STEVMLR
  • “We’re already on most #SoMe channels, but 2017 will bring amped up use of Snapchat & Tumblr. More to come ;)” @MattMNazario
  • “I have yet to use #VideoMarketing as part of my marketing strategy. I want to create my own YouTube channel in 2017.” @MktgInnovator

See all the great answers to question 4 here!

Q5: What is your biggest social media challenge at the moment? Feel free to share advice for others’ challenges!

From the community:

  • “Differentiation. There’s a sea of similar products/services out there doing the same if not better.” @YaoElizabeth
  • “Trying to start a documentary-style digital marketing vlog. I’m planning too much and not just ‘doing it.'” @martinjason
  • “Tracking analytics… I get so busy I forget to analyze/track our posts/engagement/ROI.” @JenAlvarezAZ
  • “ROI & getting older colleagues to see the value in social media.” @Madavis1210
  • “Learning FB Ads. SO CONFUSING.” @DevaniAnjali

See all the great answers to question 5 here!

Q6: If there were no obstacles, which types of content would you like to create more of to improve your marketing efforts?

From the community:

  • “VIDEO. Doing it well is time and resource-consuming, but man, does it work!” @emmaemail
  • “With no obstacles, I’d spend more time on long-form and serialized visual #content and #storytelling.” @mr0ach
  • “More interactive content. It leaves such an impression, especially when we’re all inundated with content to begin with.” @MetisComm
  • “I wish I had more time to make genuine connections with more people I interact with, have real discussions and engagements.” @Jobs2Careers
  • “Oh man, I would love to do more video. Pre-recorded & live. I’d love to have 50% of my content in 2017 be video.” @Chris_Keller

See all the great answers to question 6 here!

Q7: What changes would you love to see happen within social media in 2017? What are your hopes for social media in 2017?

From the community:

  • “I’m hoping to see real-time interaction between brands and audience; integrated role of messenger apps but hope less bots.” @JanilJean
  • “I’d love to stop seeing what SM platforms THINK I want to see. I have to scroll thru so much crap to find content ‘I’ want.” @FatherFoodFun
  • “I’d love to see a rise in more genuine human engagement, end to the fake.” @Chris_Santiago_
  • “I’d like to see some kind of validation for “news” pages to determine authenticity.” @milestech
  • “In 2017, I’m really hoping people/brands see the value in 1-to-1 social engagement, and reduce the mass broadcasting.” @martinlieberman

See all the great answers to question 7 here!


Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this chat!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Community Strategist at Buffer. In addition to her love of community building, Arielle also loves vegetables, cooking, practicing yoga, meditating, living mindfully, and exploring the connections between health and happiness!