5 Key Social Media Trends of 2016

5 Key Social Media Trends of 2016

2015 brought to the fore a slew of interesting changes in the world of social media. It's no more about ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ only, especially after the launch of live streaming apps such as Periscope, Meerkat and Snapchat. Not even a year old, Periscope counts 10 million active users already. Meanwhile, we also saw the rise of video marketing on social media platforms. Be it Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, marketers try to present content in video formats to gain maximum engagement.

According to Techcrunch.com, Facebook gets 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users. People are not merely spectators anymore. They want to get involved in all the activities done for promotion of a product or service.

Now, it remains to be seen what changes we will witness in the social media industry as the year 2016 advances. Since more and more people are 'mobile' these days, you could see a major change in regard to real-time updates and social media turning into a commercial market, literally.

According to Jeff Bullas, there are 1.65 billion active mobile social accounts globally. It becomes easy for marketers to get confused about which platform to spend their time and energy on. Since, changes are inevitable and fast when it comes to social media, take a sneak peek into 5 trends that will make a wave in the social media arena in 2016.

1. Live Streaming Will Take Centre-Stage

After the launch of apps such Periscope and Meerkat in 2015 that allow people to update live videos, we expect to see live streaming attaining new heights this year too. It will be the year of real-time updates. The benefits are twofold. On one side, consumers feel like they are a part of the business through these live videos; on the other side, marketers can share the work they are doing and take suggestions from their audience. Also, recently Facebook launched its own mobile streaming functionality known as Facebook Live.

Facebook Live too will allow users to instantly share videos using the Facebook platform. According to Dortune.com, if Facebook Live rolls out as expected, it’s likely to not only dominate other live streaming options but also to fundamentally change the way Facebook’s 1.5 billion users engage with the platform.

Popular online magazine, The Verge is doing a great job of using Periscope. The company specializes in running a daily event on the platform called “Let’s Discuss,” where they conduct a discussion on something they’ve covered on their website.

2. Social Sites Will Turn Into Virtual Shops

With social media networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest all unveiling their buy buttons during the last year, consumers are now able to buy products or services without even logging out. Remember, four out of five people say that posts from friends (83%) directly influence their buying decisions, according to TruConversion.com.

And this realization is pushing a lot of marketers to use social media to spread message about their products and services. We are likely to see this trend grow in 2016. Imagine: the buy button means that  you'll be able to choose the color of your dress, the style and buy it directly without leaving the social media platform.

5 Key Social Media Trends of 2016

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3. Boosting SEO with Social Media

An article published in Huffington Post reveals that 87% of respondents in a recent survey claimed that Pinterest helped them decide what product to purchase. Moreover, according to Searchengineland.com, around 88% consumers are influenced by online reviews and comments created by other consumers on social media. Try and post as much content as you can on social media sites as people throng on these sites in heavy numbers to know about the offers, sales, etc. Also, search engines now calculate social relevance and index pages with links on social sites. Therefore, don't forget to add enough backlinks to your social site in order to improve your SEO.

According to an article published in acronym.com, Google has rolled out social features such as  SearchWiki, SideWiki, and Social Search that gather data on how real people interact with their favorite websites. Therefore, always stay logged in for better rankings!

For instance, Pinterest is a great example of a social media platform that makes your content both searchable and sharable.

5 Key Social Media Trends of 2016


4. Work with Social Influencers

Nora Flint from TruConversion.com reveals that 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, making it difficult for you to push and promote your content on social media, no matter how great it is. Therefore, it is important to connect with social media influencers to spread your message as they are more experienced and have a greater impact on the masses. Influencers also have a bigger audience than you do.

According to consumerist.com, 70% of people rely on online reviews before making a purchase. It's human tendency to get attracted to something that others are talking about.  Therefore, don't miss an opportunity to leverage influencers of the social media world to share your content with their audience. According to wersm.com, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people over branded content. Let's check out some more stats in this regard.

5. Security Concerns Will Rise

Though social media is an opportunity to expand your reach, one needs to be careful of the security traps. You must have heard about the security breach of AshleyMadison.com, a site that leaked  addresses and emails of “spouses who wanted to find a fling online.”

After what happened with this site, a sense of insecurity has grown amongst netizens regarding their personal details. According to a report in thinkprogress.org, social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn (among others) get hacked repeatedly. Last November, hackers stole user names and passwords of nearly 2 million accounts at Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and 93,000 other websites. Therefore, don't force your customers or ask them repeatedly to share their personal data if they are reluctant to do so.

Wrapping It Up

Changes are constant and fast in the social media world. While Twitter has become much more than just typing 140 characters, Facebook is slowly transforming into a video sharing and live streaming platform. These sites are not merely for connecting with friends; they also offer potential rewards for businesses - but the best way to use these sites for marketing purposes will keep changing in the years to come.

Before you take the plunge, be advised that the first thing that attracts your users’ attention is the visual appeal of your social media page. Ensure that your social media page is laid out in a way that important elements in your page pop out. For example, your logo design must be clearly visible and your contact details must not be buried under the fold. A well-optimized page and profile will help you win the battle of attention on social media, and allow you to better capitalize on the latest social media trends.

About the Contributor

umeshUmesh Kumar is a digital marketing evangelist who works with Designhill, a fast-growing custom design marketplace, to develop and execute their marketing strategies. He started his online marketing career in 2008 and is actively engaged with in internet business modeling, website development, social networks, lead generation, search engine optimization and search engine marketing. In addition, he loves blogging and shares his expertise about tips, tricks and upcoming trends in the world of digital marketing. You can connect with him on Facebook.

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