Here are six social media trends I’m watching in 2016:
Video is king – at least on Facebook. Recent reports revealed that more video is viewed on Facebook than on YouTube in 2015. Video posts receive higher reach than text or image posts; such algorithmic preference has marketers scrambling to add video content. Facebook’s instant play feature (video starts playing as you scroll) increases audience exposure, further incentivizing video posts.
Live broadcasting platforms – like Periscope and Meerkat – are creating quite the buzz. The unedited, ultra-authentic vibe speaks to the millennial consumers’ desire for non-commercial content, and turns every user into a reality TV “star”. Live broadcasting apps are certainly a trend to keep an eye on.
Facebook paved the way with “Buy Now” integrations in its sponsored posts.
Instagram and Pinterest aren’t far behind.
Retailers hope to optimize their ecommerce presence by approaching consumers during leisurely hours of their day – mindlessly scrolling through social feeds.
Will the Buy Buttons be successful? Probably.
Will they get old fast? I’m betting on it.
Self-Publishing is Big
LinkedIn led the way in self-publishing arena with LinkedIn Pulse, initially allowing those with 500+ connections the opportunity to publish blog posts. Facebook has announced they are riding that wave with Instant Articles. Think substitute news with onslaught of sponsored content - ugh.
Want to cut through the noise? Create your own content – blogs, graphics, videos, etc. Providing value to your target market in an un-commercialized way is always a winning strategy.
People want real-time, LIVE posting. Forget scheduling inspirational quotes and #TBT posts for months on out. With the every growing popularity of Periscope, Instagram, and SnapChat, social media users are moving away from anything that sniffs of commercial.
Unedited? That’s okay.
Unpolished? They love it.
The demographics of today’s consumers are shifting – millennials are now the largest generation on the planet. With the emergence of a new generation of card-swipers, comes the need for modified strategy. Millennial consumers abhor all things “corporately commercialized” and demand transparency from patronized brands.
Good news – social media is a great resource for cultivating relationships with millennial consumers through authentic, transparent social media engagement.
Organic Visibility Decreases
Remember the good ol’ days, when posting on Facebook meant your entire following saw it?
Yeah, not anymore. Instead of viewing Aunt Barbara’s latest vacation pics or your college roomie’s baby’s first steps, your Facebook feed is clogged with sponsored posts – resembling the over commercialized ad insert of newspapers of yesteryear.
Bad news for everybody – consumers and marketers – organic visibility is projected to continue to decrease on all platforms. And to top it all off, social media advertising will continue to get more and more expensive.
The only thing constant about social media is that it’s constantly changing.
As the Connected Age continues to emerge as digital native territory, a dynamic marketing strategy is no longer a recommendation – it’s a necessity.
Don’t let the shifts and trends through your social savvy off its game – stay abreast of demo shifts and user preferences and implement recommended tactics into your current communications routine.
About the Author:
Hannah Becker is a millennial author, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant. She currently helps brands increase millennial market share through digital strategy and public relations. Follow Hannah on Twitter@MotivatedGenY