Now we are well and truly into the New Year, have a look at what I think some of the next biggest trends in social media marketing will be for 2016!
Video, video, video!
Live-streaming is becoming MASSIVE. It’s a way to engage with your audience and understand their reactions in real time. It also gives you the opportunity to humanise your social media platforms – putting a face to your brand. Even if you’re not ready to explore live broadcasts, videos are still critical to your social strategy.
- Videos average 62% more engagement than photos
- Video shares increased 43% at the start of this year
- Facebook just announced it sees an average of eight billion views a day from 500 million people.
Shop where you are.
With all of the big social media sites (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook) putting Buy buttons onto their channels, it is safe to say that others such as Instagram etc will soon follow suit. This will make it much easier to buy products directly through social media channels. By the end of 2016, most major social media brands will feature some kind of buy button naturally as an element of their advertising campaigns.
New publication options will be available; Facebook’s Instant Articles are only the beginning. Publishers on board with the program can publish full-length articles to Facebook users, without having to link to an external source. As social platforms become more competitive and more aggressive about keeping users in-app for as long as possible, more options will become available for them to view content without them having to leave to an external site.
If you’re not already thinking mobile first, then you’re already behind. Mobile devices have become the primary screen for most social media users. In 2015, mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in 10 countries, including the US and Japan. Mobile devices, especially smart phones and tablets, should therefore be a big part of your focus. This is crucial if you’re targeting millennials, of which 87% admitted to never being without their smart phone. More importantly, 14% wouldn’t do business with a company that doesn’t have a mobile site or app.
SEO and social content.
Content is still king. The mediums might be changing—in 2015 we saw a massive shift from text to media—but the competition for visibility has never been higher. Social content is becoming increasingly more visible in search results. Google already has deals in place with Facebook and Twitter— you’ve likely already seen a Tweet or two appear in your search results. In 2016 we’ll see more platforms added to the index, further blurring the line between Web and social media.
Your posts on Facebook and YouTube should also be optimized for search. Today 88% of consumers are influenced by reviews and online comments, and they’re turning to these platforms for just that.
While there are many, many more audience-specific trends which will impact your business, these key trends will play a big part in the wider social landscape in 2016. Staying on top, or ideally ahead, of these will have your brand well-placed to maximise social marketing performance.