It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already coming to a close, and we are about to welcome 2016. With each coming year, we are introduced to new business trends, emerging applications, and exciting ways to leverage our social media vehicles. The best way to succeed in the new year is to know what’s up ahead. Are you ready to glance into the future?
The ever-changing world of social media
What did we discover about social media in 2015? While every small business owner may have a different takeaway, we can all agree that social media further established itself as a “must have” ingredient to business success. It is no longer a “nice to have” bonus feature for organizations. In order to stay out front (or even in the game), you must have social media as a huge part of your long-term strategy.
Everyone now knows that social media can mean big business and enhanced profitability if it’s used correctly. This will continue to be true in 2016.
So many experts have their own opinions on what will emerge in the coming year, and one particular source pinpoints four trends to anticipate for 2016. In his Social Media Explorer article “Social Media News Recap: What You Need to Know for 2016,” Sherman Standberry predicts the trends that will gain traction. Here are his points summarized and generalized below:
Marketers can now create and post unique photo and video advertisements with call-to-action links in their images to drive traffic directly to their websites. Not only does Instagram advertising get you in front of a large audience, but it’s also an effective way to entice potential new customers to your business.
The new and always improved world of Facebook
Now that business is big business for Facebook, this social media giant continues to appeal to marketers through enhanced offerings. With targeted advertising campaigns (to specific demographic groups), Call Now buttons, improved mobile targeting, pixel upgrades, and News Feed tailoring, advertisers have a pretty powerful tool at their fingertips to reach customers.
Profitable Pinterest pins
Pinterest is known for being an addictively fun tool for people around the world able to “pin” various images across the Internet into one user-friendly and visually appealing location. Advertisers can now establish promoted pins that garner enhanced brand visibility at a low cost. According to this article, Cindy Boom By Joseph (an e-Commerce product for women) generated over $41,000 in sales with just $775.50 in Pinterest ads.
More social media predictions
Forbes also publishes a prediction article for 2016. Summarized in short snippets below, here are the highlights from Jayson DeMers’ “The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016” article:
1. In-the-moment updates will reign supreme. Periscope (which enables live video broadcasts), Instagram, and Snapchat will further embrace on-the-go and immediate commentary.
2. Buy buttons will be everywhere. Mobile Facebook and Pinterest users can already click product purchase links on a sponsored post. This will likely be a hot trend that will continue to grow across platforms.
3. In-app functionality will diversify and grow. Why leave an app if you have everything at your fingertips? This is the thought process behind Facebook’s continual evolution to meet customer needs (even before they know they need it) through functionalities such as Instant Articles, in-post search engine, and videos that play instantly when scrolling. Other social media platforms are working hard to extend their functionality within one single umbrella.
4. Emerging publication options. In addition to Facebook’s Instant Articles and Twitter’s upcoming Project Lightning, social media is putting publication into users’ hands.
5. Growing privacy concerns. People are tired of security breaches. They need secure methods of communication like never before. Not only will increased privacy demands lead to new security tools and measures, but advertisers will also need to tailor their outreach to a cautious audience.
6. Organic visibility competition may rise. Companies are salivating for organic visibility, but they’re going to have to work for it. They will also need to open up their purse strings since costs are expected to rise in the coming year.
7. Fewer small platforms will come onto the scene. The big social media players are established and here to stay, which means we may see less startup companies try to fight for any leftover crumbs.
What do you think?
Just like these experts, you also have insight into your industry and social media. What have you seen in 2015 and what do you anticipate for the coming year? What do you think has the power to redefine the social media world in the future? Share your thoughts here!
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