Buckle your social seat-belt and enjoy the wild ride into Social Media 2016. The trends we’ve been watching closely are gaining traction and we expect that they’ll play a starring role in our collective 2016 strategy.
1. Live Streaming
The emergence of Periscope, Meerkat, Blab and now Facebook Live Streaming have taken people from watching “reality TV” to watching “reality.” These platforms let users live broadcast video to their followers right from their mobile device. Now brands can connect with their audiences more directly and interactively than ever before.
2. Social Publishing
Several social media channels have jumped on this bandwagon (Snapchat Discover, Facebook Instant Articles, Twitter Moments). They are all competing to keep you in their app (and never, ever leave!) by publishing content (articles, videos and interactive photos) from major publishers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and more directly onto their platform. The idea is that you will stay there, and not stray elsewhere. Social platforms will shape the editorial web this year and the big publishers are all on board with it.
3. Video, video, video!
It’s supremely important for marketers to incorporate video into their content strategies on social media. A recent stat claims that by 2017, up to 74% of all internet traffic will be video and Facebook’s most recent algorithm update hopes to make video 30% of the content shown in your timeline. YouTube is everyone’s default video channel, but don’t ignore Facebook – it gets far more engagement. The platform also recently launched 360 Facebook Video: virtual reality-style video ads that allow you to change your field of view by tapping the screen or moving your phone.
4. The Buy Button
Taking online shopping to the next level, you can purchase right from your social media feeds using Pinterest Buyable Pins and Facebook, Twitter or YouTube’s Buy Buttons. They say the goal is to make it easier for retailers to connect with customers directly, but I say this is more evidence that these channels want you to never visit another app for as long as you live.
5. Social Search
Facebook’s recent launch of public search and Pinterest’s new visual search feature are proof that social media channels are hoping to give traditional search engines a run for their money. It’s been a growing trend in retail for users to research products through scoping out social media reviews and comments, so content on social media now available for public search (Facebook’s index is currently at 3 trillion posts and growing) may be where the majority turns this year for even more information.