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The Top 2016 Social Media Trends: Focus on These for Marketing Success

Posted: 25th January 2016
Top 2016 Social Media Trends

Social media platforms evolve all the time. If you think that you’ve seen all of the major changes in 2015, wait for the most prominent 2016 trends that will have an even more profound impact on social media marketing.

Dozens of new platforms, functionalities and trends force social media marketers to get creative in their attempts to attract a new audience. If you’re looking for opportunities to kickstart your promotion in 2016, you may want to acquaint yourself with the following social media trend predictions.

Real-Time Updates

Most marketing experts have agreed that real-time updates will probably be one of the most prominent 2016 trends. Periscope is just one example of the trend, enabling individuals to do real-time video streams for their audience.

Let’s face it – social media updates have become so common that people don’t think twice about sharing information or posting something while an event is unfolding. Real-time updates will simply take the trend to the next level.

Recording a moment immediately, rather than creating a video and uploading it later on, results in some spontaneity and authenticity that can be a winning strategy for social media marketing. Though real-time updates will still require some preliminary planning, the format has specifics of its own that make it quite different from all other information sharing possibilities.

There’s one more factor that marketers should keep in mind when it comes to real-time engagement.

Search Engine Watch reports that 53 percent of the people that reach out to brands on twitter want a response within an hour. About 14 percent expect to hear back with information about their inquiry immediately. What do these expectations mean for 2016 social media marketing? You have to be online during the time periods when your audience is likely to contact you. Rapid responses boost engagement, they create a dialogue and tell prospects/clients that you care enough to communicate with them effectively.

Ecommerce and Social Communication in One

This trend has been spoken about for some time now but chances are that the link between social media and ecommerce is going to become stronger in 2016.

The Facebook buy button integration is already a fact. It enables users of the social network who like a product in a sponsored post to make a direct purchase without leaving Facebook. Thus, ecommerce shops within Facebook aren’t that far off and would probably bridge the gap between ecommerce and social in 2016.

Various other social portals have made announcements about similar upgrades.

Both Instagram and Pinterest have been working on in-site shopping features in 2015. The “buy it” button will be one of the biggest 2016 social media stars. Giving marketers more flexibility and consumers convenience, the button is certain to shape up the world of inbound marketing and become a top trend.

Private Social Networks?

With data privacy concerns running rampant, it’s about time that social networks take the issue seriously and give their members a better chance to protect sensitive personal data.

The rise of the private social network in 2016 could be one of the most adequate responses towards the increased demand for limited information sharing. Private groups on Facebook are gaining more and more prominence. These are locked community that are characterized by a certain level of selectivity when it comes to accepting new members.

The same applies to messaging. Instead of posting to somebody’s wall, people are now much more likely to simply leave them a private message.

People have also started searching for alternatives to traditional social media that keep them in control and prevent third-party information dissemination. As such, smaller and private social channels could start to gain popularity and take away some market share from the bigger players.

What does it take to enter those restricted circles? Valuable and niche content will dominate inbound marketing in 2016. If you haven’t come up with a detailed content plan, the time is right to jump on the bandwagon.

Organic Visibility

Social media users have learned to distinguish between sponsored listings and organic content. Needless to say, the second variety is considered much more trustworthy.

Many companies have already began working on increasing their organic reach. From coming up with evergreen content that can easily go viral to having an incredibly good idea about the audience’s desires, companies are already directing large portions of their marketing budgets to increasing organic visibility.

The trend is already visible on Facebook and in 2016, it will affect many other channels. As more and more businesses (including smaller companies) begin utilizing social networking, the organic reach competition is going to intensify significantly.

A Few Other Honourable Mentions

Several other 2016 social media predictions are worth mentioning, as well:

  • Mobile will continue to grow: this is no surprise, as the trend has been one of the defining social media moments of 2015. According to 2015 information, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone. As social media are becoming more and more mobile-friendly, marketers will have to come up with messages and campaigns that will appeal to the particular segment.
  • Visual customization for each platform: you’ve been told time and time again that using the same posts across multiple social media channels is a no-no. The rule is in full force for 2016. Long videos, short clips that can easily go viral, infographics, product pictures and live streaming are all possible formats. Choose the social media that each one goes on carefully.
  • Video meetings and hangouts: live streaming has multiple applications. Live hangouts and video conferences will be the perfect tools for B2B marketing. Podcasting and video conferencing will continue growing in 2016. Until recently, video conferences had a more in-company character. In the years to come, they’ll probably become a practical tool for communication between companies and prospects.
  • Content personalization: analytics tools are becoming more and more powerful. This means that marketers have all of the information that they need to do even better content personalization in the year to come.

So, what’s the social media landscape going to look like in 2016? It will be personalized, niche and with an added emphasis on quality. If you’re already doing those things and thinking about your audience, you’re on the right track. If not – you can tweak your content plan in a few simple ways to boost its effectiveness and leverage the most of the trends that will shape up the world of social networking in the year to come.

If you need help with your Social Media direction for 2016 or want to find out more please get in touch.