Leadership: 2017 The Rise of the Micro-Community

2017-Digital-Predictions
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Crystal balls at the ready. It's time for predictions and new buzz words that will be shared and formulated over the coming months. We will all read the many predictions set for 2017, so we thought it would only be fair to make a few of our own.

Five years ago, it was acceptable to network across social media. It was still relatively new (ish) to many and trends were still emerging and becoming established. Fast forward to 2017 and events, face to face and live content is a trend that will continue to grow.  Blogging and vlogging became the phenomenon that it is today because it provided a platform for public voice and empathy through storytelling.

Since 2013, the UK Blog Awards have been working with up and coming and established social media stars and in 2016, we seen influencer marketing go mainstream. This year, we predict the rise of the micro community through influencer marketing and the buzz words you need to look out for are: community, authenticity and organic reach. We are excited about what is in store for our community in 2017 and for us it has never been about following. So without further ado, lets get sharing on our key predictions.

Micro Community
Micro-communities have many definitions and meanings. For instance, we run #BlogHour every Tuesday at 9pm and have our own community that stops by to discuss social media and digital content related topics each week. Bloggers have their own Facebook and Whatsapp groups and meet up, another examples of the micro community.
We all know that influencer marketing is only going to increase in 2017. The term for this prediction is, small but mighty which enables us to breathe a sigh of relief. For years, we have been talking to brands about the importance of working with the right type influencers. If your content has a small audience that provides high engagement for a specific niche, brands will be looking to work with you. Of course, the big players who have celebratory status in their niche will continue to be the driving force in brand endorsement, which provides a nice separation for these two communities that develop unique content that tells a story everytime. 

Video
This form of content sharing is not going anywhere people and if implementing either Facebook Live, Twitter (Periscope), Snapchat, Instagram Stories or a YouTube channel isn't on your content goals for 2017, it should be. Remember, variety is key. Your text and photo posts will not be replaced but you will be noticed as an authentic thought leader if you provide more variety in how your content is shared.
As well as your audience being able to dive deep into your content through video, brands will be looking to work with the influencer community and attend events themselves to see realtime and organic content developed. The question is, which form of video will you be sharing. 360? Pre-recorded? LIVE? We would love to hear your thoughts below. 

Data
Something that has been knocking on our virtual doors for years. The little word with big impact, data. Social media was initially deemed 'free advertising' compared to the traditional advertising channels. However, what social media impacts is time and we all know the saying, time is money people.
If you want to take the growth of your content seriously, this should be on your 2017 hit list. Data measurement is not only important when working with brands, but also for your audience. If you want to know what content your audience loves the most, what works and what doesn't, the maths does not lie.
Each week during our online networking hour (), we hear many of our community disucssing that they would like to work more with brands. If this is the case for you and more importantly, if you would like to begin to receive payment for your coverage, brands want to see your worth. And this isn't because they are nosey, brands need to be able to measure your traction, engagement and reach to showcase their return. Whether you have 1,000 followers or 1million followers, the importance in monitoring your reach and coverage is key. 

There you have it, our top three predictions for 2017. If they are obvious to you, you are already one step ahead. Love or loathe them, share your comments and thoughts with us, including your own predictions. Happy New Year!