Whether you’re a business owner or a manager in the marketing department of your company, you have likely found all of the changes in promoting your business have led you on a pretty wild ride. While many of the fundamentals you’ve learned will remain the same in the new year, social media is going to continue to undergo rapid growth, and there will be a lot of new things to learn. Fasten your seat belt and study these top seven social media marketing trends in 2017 so you can stay the course!

1. Bots will rule the world!

Okay, maybe not the world, but chatbots are one of the most important social media marketing trends to watch for in 2017. Bots provide your users a real-time experience on several social media platforms currently and more will follow before the end of the year. Since more than half of your visitors prefer to communicate electronically instead of using a telephone and nearly 80-percent are currently unhappy with customer service options that are available, incorporating chat bots should be a priority for your social media marketing strategy.

2. Mad for mobile.

Facebook has over 1.5 billion… yes, billion active monthly mobile users. Platforms such as SnapChat and Instagram are only available to mobile users and Google recently announced that pages optimized for mobile users will rank higher than those that don’t. It should come as no surprise then that your efforts will have to continue to be focused on appealing to mobile users and delivering important information quickly enough to keep them engaged.

3. Growing difficulty with organic visibility.

You’ve already had to work harder to reach people in their social feeds since Facebook changed its algorithm and this trend will continue in social media marketing. It only stands to reason that the creators of successful social media platforms would want to cash in on their success and the trend is seeking advertising funds for business promotion rather than fees for users of their services. You’ll still be able to build audiences, but it will take a considerably greater effort to be successful.

4. Paying for ads that aren’t really ads.

Since organic visibility is going to be increasingly difficult, paying to promote your business on social media will be a growing trend. Facebook ads are already a great investment if you’re careful how you work them, but things will change a little. Intrusive advertising is going to continue to be phased out, and you will be paying for ads that are a form of personalized content. The more personalized you can make your ads, the more they will reach your target audience and the greater your chance for conversions.

5. Winning with automation.

With analytics being a mainstay of successful marketing and the number of repetitive tasks that consume your time, automation with tools such as HubSpot CRM will be a necessity, rather than simply helpful.

6. Social media influencers will matter.

As competition to be heard above all the noise on social media becomes more difficult, turning to influencers to tout your products or services will be one of the growing trends in social media marketing in 2017. These people have done the work to build up a loyal following, and their audiences believe in what they say.

7. Fleet of foot.

You have to be prepared for change and be ready to adapt very fast as big business continues to consume smaller startups in social media. Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn; Facebook bought WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus Rift, and Twitter consumed Periscope. Consolidation is another of the hot social media marketing trends in 2017.

Some of these trends will change the learning curve yet again and others will actually make your life easier. The most important thing to remember as you study these social media marketing trends in 2017 is to keep that seat belt firmly in place and enjoy the ride to the top!