As the new year approaches, it’s time for a fresh look at our marketing and social media strategy. Look at where you’ve been and anticipate what is to come. What’s in store for 2016? I wish I had a crystal ball to see exactly what will trend in new year. Technology changes, innovators pop on the scene with something entirely groundbreaking and it causes people to chase the “next big thing”. How do business owners know where to focus their marketing time and energy? Based on the buzz and discussion in the industry, here’s my take on what’s going to trend in 2016.
Authenticity and relevancy still ignites devotion and passion
People care and crave the culture and emotion you create, rather than the product.
Using your unique values to create a brand story is no longer an option, but a necessity. Building relationships and creating unique experiences is more important than ever. You need a shared cause with your community, but it must be authentic and real. Focus even more on what your community values, and what resonates with your brand—that’s where you will find your sweet spot!
Social video is sizzling
Social video is hot, and continuing to build to a wildfire pitch in 2016. There is no stopping the video trend. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and of course, YouTube continue to offer innovative ways to use video. In total, adult users now consume a total of 66 minutes of online videos each day!
70% OF COMPANIES NOW SAY VIDEO IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL IN THEIR ONLINE MARKETING BELTS.”-Ryan Holmes via FastCompany
How can you use video to share your story? Social videos don’t need to be professionally shot. With today’s smartphones and low-cost video digital cameras, you can make video work for you. Being authentic and real is more important than being perfect and flashy. Your message is what they will remember, if you deliver it with truth, passion and integrity
Social media “in the moment” is burning up the charts
New live streaming broadcast platforms like Periscope, Blab.im and Meerkat took the social media world by storm this year. While these platforms are still in their infancy, the adoption rates have risen tremendously. Periscope alone reached 10 Million users in just four months, with 40 years of video watched per day. Again, don’t be afraid to be yourself! These live streaming broadcasts are not heavily produced. They are live and in the moment! Your followers are very forgiving. Who cares if you stumble over your words? What does it matter if you have a bad hair day? Again, it’s your message they will remember, if you share with your whole heart and passion. I will admit, that I have been a bit afraid of trying Periscope. I am determined to make myself do it in 2016. If I can do it, you can too!
The rise of e-commerce on social platforms is flaring to life
Both Facebook and Pinterest introduced their new “Buy” features for their advertisers and users in 2015. Even on mobile, users can use one click to purchase a product, without ever leaving the app. Instagram also rolled out the “Shop Now” button. Naturally, more and more of the visually driven social media platforms will jump on the bandwagon in 2016.
The “Mobile Revolution” is here, and there is no stopping the inferno
For 2016, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 198.5 million. The massive increase in the use of mobile smartphone users in the U.S. has shifted social media and online marketing to a “mobile first” mentality. More people are visiting websites from mobile phones than ever. This is something you cannot ignore. Focusing more on mobile is an absolute must. If your website is not already mobile optimized (YIKES!) you cannot avoid it anymore. Advertising and publishing on social must be more focused on mobile than ever.
Social media outreach to influencers blazes to new heights
Advice from someone you trust is always in vogue. While some say this trend is on the rise just this year, I think it’s been on the rise for years. Reaching out and partnering with social media influencers should always be part of your strategy. Bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers, creatives, and influencers in your particular industry or community can help you leverage your platform and increase your online visibility. Our communities crave advice and referrals from friends, peers and people they look to as leaders. Develop your own tribe of influencers, as well as be one to others.
User privacy concerns will have people all fired-up
“After another year full of high-profile security breaches (like the one with Ashley Madison), user concerns over privacy are going to hit an all-time high. Snapchat’s explosive popularity is, in part, due to user demand for a more private, secure method of communication and engagement.” Jason DeMers via Forbes says, “Facebook is introducing more privacy awareness tools for its users, and it’s smart to do so, because as tension continues to rise, only platforms which offer a degree of privacy and security will continue to thrive. For advertisers, that might mean backing off of sometimes-intrusive forms of advertising.”
There you have it, my top seven hot social media trends for 2016. Time will tell if the “gurus” and I called it right. It always helps to be prepared for a course correction if something entirely new breaks onto the scene!