Top Social Media Trends of 2016

Social media has risen from humble beginnings to one of the world’s most profitable industries. In 2015, Facebook reached 1 billion active mobile users. Instagram had 300 million. An average of 500 million tweets were sent every single day. That’s 182,500,000 in a single year (Brandwatch). It’s safe to say that social media is now one of the largest weapons a business can add to its marketing arsenal. These top social media trends of 2016 paved the way for what’s to come in 2016, so let’s review and see how you can start steering your own business into the future.

Customer Engagement

As the Internet evolves and the business industry becomes increasingly competitive, one way to stand out is by engaging with your audience on a personal level. Instead of being sold to, viewers prefer to be engaged and identified with. People are responding much more strongly to campaigns, videos, images and real messages than they are to generic, jargon-filled ads.

Niche Networks

There’s something online for everybody, and that knowledge, as well as the inspiration drawn from major platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, has led to the creation of smaller social media platforms oriented around a particular niche. Foodie is a site for culinary enthusiasts to swap recipes. Ravelry is for people who love to knit and crochet. Whatever industry a business is in, chances are there’s a social media platform designated for it. The paid advertising market in niche-based networks are a potential cash cow thanks to the fact they enable businesses to reach out to people who are looking for exactly what they’re offering.

Video Advertising

Mark Zuckerberg predicted that Facebook’s News Feed will be comprised of mostly video in five years, but according to an infographic by Social Media Today, his prediction may come true much sooner. They reported that 50 percent of Facebook’s daily active users watched at least one video per day, and that 53 percent of video views came from shares. This points to the growing inclusion of video in the digital marketing industry. If you’re able to come up with good content that has strong shareability, you can double or even triple your traffic.

One-Click Functionality

Facebook and Pintrest began implementing paid advertisements that offer one-click purchases. If a viewer sees something they’re interested in, they’re able to buy it without ever having to leave the app. The speed of this conversion funnel leads to greater revenue and brand recognition, and Forbes magazine believes it to be one of the trends that will dominate social media marketing strategies in 2016.

User Privacy at an All-Time High

As our connection to the digital world becomes increasingly more profound, people are looking for ways to protect their identities and information. Apps like Snapchat have found such great success due to the fact that they offer fast and engaging communication in a secure environment. Facebook and Twitter are improving their own privacy settings, but business owners can get in on the trend too by removing invasive forms from their sites and opting for friendlier, sincere interaction that will ultimately provide them with the information they’re looking for.

Recap

Social media trends in 201 5were more foundational stepping stones than fads like we’ve seen in the past. People are less worried about the here and now and more focused on the overall enjoyment of their long-term user experience. The challenge posed to businesses is to create a social media experience that provides the immediate level of gratification web users are accustomed to, but to do so in a manner that yields long-term results for both parties.  We’ve also continued to see an explosion of social media scraping tools that are helping marketing be more efficient.

As 2016 moves forward, social media marketing is all about the customer rather than profit. Focusing on user satisfaction undoubtedly leads to greater conversion rates, which in turn boost revenue and brand image. Instead of focusing so much on what you’re selling, the best way to succeed in social media in 2016 will be to focus on who you’re selling to.