Which social media marketing trends simply can’t be ignored in 2016?

With the advent of 2016 just days away, marketers are starting to look at the possible social media trends that might impact their businesses over the coming year. Why are these trends so important for the marketing fraternity? Well, new trends are synonymous with new opportunities: if you can spot the opportunities early on, you’ll be in a much better position to capitalise on them.

What are the top social media trends that marketers can’t ignore in 2016?

Social video

The social video landscape has evolved over the last couple of years, and this evolution is set to continue in 2016. In fact it’s going to grow even faster. That pace of change means that it’s going to become increasingly difficult for businesses to succeed where video marketing efforts are concerned: especially with organic video marketing.

More and more businesses are about to invade the space, and that’s going to make the sector busier and more confusing, because one video alone will no longer be suitable for every platform.

Marketers will need to produce special videos for specific platforms. So the days of uploading a video to YouTube and then pasting onto every other social media platform are gone. In 2016 businesses will need to make special dedicated videos for each social media platform.

Messaging platforms will continue to grow exponentially

Posting to social messaging platforms is generally becoming less common, particularly amongst the younger generation. If switched-on people have anything to say online, they’ll say it in a direct message. They like their privacy and they want to retain it. So, given this change in behaviour, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for businesses to make one-to-one contact with customers. The challenge businesses will face in 2016 is figuring out how to make any sort of organic one-to-one contact with customers feel more casual and unforced.

The continued growth of ad blocking software

Over the course of the last 12 months or so, there has been a significant increase in the growth of ad blocking software. In fact in 2015 PageFair estimated that ad blocking software had increased by over 48 per cent. If those numbers continue to grow it means that pop-up ads and banner advertisements are going to get hit even harder in 2016.

Although this presents a challenge to businesses and makes marketing more difficult, it’s not a challenge that’s insurmountable. Businesses will have to come up with better, more-creative content for brands over the course of 2016 if they want to see continued success.

Snapchat will become less social and more TV-like

If you thought Snapchat was simply a social network, then you may have to think again. Snapchat is now more an entertainment platform. Creating social experiences on the platform will no longer cut the mustard: success on Snapchat will increasingly depend on creating entertaining experiences that keep viewers hooked for longer periods of time.

Social networks will need to redouble their efforts to retain customer loyalty

With a greater range of social media platforms to choose from, social networks will have to work harder and harder to retain loyal customers. They’ll have to offer added incentives to stop us going off elsewhere. The trend has already started. Facebook has announced that Notes is to be resurrected, and content creators, Buzzfeed, have committed to posting original content directly onto Facebook. Twitter has cottoned on to the trend too, and has rolled out Buy Now. This will make it easier for its customers to find products and services and purchase them directly through their Twitter timeline.

Businesses will therefore have to carefully consider their online presence and really think about how to create successful conversations, armed with an understanding that people may not have the easy opportunity to click-through to their websites any longer.

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