A new year is upon us and with the new year come new trends. 2016 will come with many changes and improvements to social media marketing. Technology is constantly evolving and brands are always looking to stay ahead of the trends. Industry experts have already started forecasting for 2016 -- so which trends can you leverage to build your brand's social presence?
Keep reading to explore the top 5 social media marketing trends that we expect to see in 2016.
Continued Emphasis on Security
This year, breaches of security were a major news headline. In the technology industry, LastPass fell victim to a cyberattack that compromised sensitive information such as email addresses and password reminders. This attack occurred on the heels of another major brand attack for the technology industry: Moscow-based security company Kaspersky Lab had information about the brand's newest technology compromised These data breaches brought to light a trend of hackers targeting security accounts which resulted in brands within the industry reevaluating their security processes.
These are just a few examples of security breaches, and such attacks have instilled fear and caution in consumers. Many consumers are wary of giving out any information to brands for fear of having that information obtained by hackers. More secure methods of communication and engagement on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will be implemented. Facebook, for example, is introducing new privacy features and offering tools that encourage users to be proactive in protecting their private information.
New Platforms Get Gobbled Up
As is the norm in social media, new platforms are always popping up. Whether these upstarts become successful or not is difficult to predict. However, in the past year, the Big Three platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) have been acquiring promising and successful networks. The most notable agreement came when Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. In 2016, we predict fewer new platforms will emerge as the Big Three continue to be diligent in acquiring any prospects. For marketers, this means it will still be cost effective to spend time focused on the biggest networks and much less trying to decide which newer networks will stick around.
Social E-Commerce Integration
Platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest currently feature click-through options for users to link to the store and purchase an item they see on the network. On mobile devices, consumers do not even need to leave the app to make purchases on these networks. This is known as one-click purchasing, a system that Amazon spearheaded back in the late nineties. Amazon has seen great success in this concept, which has resulted in driving more sales online. Social networks have begun adapting this concept to the social platform to make the buying processes that much simpler for consumers. The concept of a “buy” button will soon be cropping up on more social media networks so that consumers can shop easily without ever leaving their beloved social experience. This advertising campaign will aid brands in capturing and converting customers before they even land on the website. Social purchases can also be shared easily, generating even more traction with consumers and their networks. Look for more emphasis on these types of integrations in 2016, which conversions being in the crosshairs of new developments.
Increased Advertising Spends
To make smart investment decisions, brands must be aware of how and where to reach its customers, both current and prospective. With millions of users across multiple social platforms, competition for advertising space online is ruthless. Businesses will begin to spend much more money on advertising. In 2015, money spent on social media advertising increased nearly 34%. It is predicted that news feeds will be dominated by advertisements and brands will spend more money to get the best visibility on networks, in the same way that brands use SEO to maintain higher visibility on Google.
Even More Immediacy
Social media is fast-paced and offers the most current information to users, which makes up a large part of its appeal. Moving forward, we can expect to see information move even more quickly, thanks in part to new networks that encourage and even require instantaneous updates and commentary such as Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Snapchat.
Instead of posting content to your website from days or hours before the image/video was taken, in-the-moment posts feature live action content. What does this mean for social media marketers? While scheduling posts will still be useful for some campaigns, as in-the-moment interaction becomes more prevalent, brands will need to figure out how to work on the fly in order to contribute to these networks and earn a following.
Now is the time to prepare ahead for 2016. Prepare action plans and budgets that will reflect new and upcoming trends in social media. By staying ahead of the trends, your brand will find much greater success on social media in the next year.