Top Social Media Trends of 2016

May 18, 2016 - Fifteen

The social world gathered yet more traction in 2015 and there is overwhelming evidence to suggest this will continue as we venture further into 2016. Here are four social media trends social marketers might want to keep an eye on:

Live Streaming Video

Apps like Periscope and Meerkat really took the internet by storm in 2015 and are only going get to get bigger as we move further into 2016. Social media enthusiasts want faster access to events as they are happening in real-time, whether that be by streaming music concerts, sporting events etc., and live streaming video has now allowed this to be a possibility.

The owners of Periscope declared they created their app as a way of bringing people from different places into the same world, and wanted “to build the closest thing to teleportation.”

Meerkat is very similar to Periscope in terms of its functionality and initially integrated very well with Twitter, before they decided to remove Meerkat’s access to their platform and shift all their weight behind Periscope. A battle for popularity between the two is likely to unfold in the coming months, but one thing is for certain – live video streaming is destined for big things.

In addition to allowing users to stream social events, it’s also proving to be a big tool in the business world. Marketers are using live streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat for multiple purposes such as:

Marketing at Events: Effective for increasing visibility on Twitter by live streaming videos of sneak peeks, announcements etc. using the event hashtag.

Product Demos: Ideal for showcasing your brand new product when a press release just won’t do.

Announcing Company Updates: Customers love to hear exciting news about milestones, promotions and developments.


Increased Focus on SEO

A third of Google’s organic search results go to the first item listed. Although up to now content posted on social media platforms hasn’t influenced search rankings, things could be about to change. Social content is becoming more and more visible in search results and the effects of this are starting to be absorbed by eager companies. 2016 has and will continue to see tweets appear in Google searches, a knock-on effect of more platforms being added to the index. As a result, businesses are now optimising posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Keywords have just got a whole lot more important.


Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

This one has been apparent for a while but its importance will further increase in 2016. It is estimated that 2 billion consumers worldwide are expected to own a smartphone by 2016. Something that was once considered a luxury and an afterthought is now an absolute necessity for any ambitious company looking to stay ahead of the game. Social media users now access the varying platforms firstly via mobile phones, followed by desktops, meaning the emphasis on having a dynamic mobile plan has never been greater. Having an optimised website is fast becoming a necessity as many consumers admit to avoiding businesses without a mobile site or app.


Decisions Based On Data

Whereas many initial posts on social media were deployed with a ‘let’s test the water’ mentality, this has largely been dispelled by the emergence of the extensive analytics now available to users. Businesses can now measure the success of each and every post distributed and this kind of insight will play an even bigger role in many 2016 online strategies. Studying this kind of data helps users determine what content they want to push out, which is likely to help drive traffic to their site and ultimately encourage conversions. For example, the findings from the data can allow users to personalise their messages, something that is likely to build and sustain long-term relationships with their customers.

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