8 Social Media Trends for 2016

May 20, 2016, 7:41:29 AM

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Keeping up with the social media trends as they evolve throughout 2016 is a large part of a social media marketer’s responsibilities. Knowing which platforms and tools will dominate helps ensure you are focusing your marketing efforts and budget in the right place.

Here are 8 social media trends that are set to dominate the rest of 2016.

Live Streaming Video

With Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook live video streaming emerging in 2015, 2016 is their year to take over. Having a strong strategy for branded live video content will continue to grow in importance throughout the year.

Although live video is set to dominate the social media world this year, it is still a young medium with occasional hiccups. With the recent Obama interview stalling on Facebook Live - leaving Buzzfeed to direct 35,000 upset viewers to YouTube instead - marketers will want to choose their streaming platform carefully.

Snapchat

For brands targeting a younger audience, Snapchat has quickly become an important social media network to master. Those working with brands aiming at the 18 to 24 demographic need to learn the ins and outs of the network, and compile a strong strategy for engaging with fans moving forward.

Real-Time Engagement

Real-time has become increasingly more important in 2016, with 53 percent of users now expecting a response from brands within an hour of posting their inquiry. With 879 million complaints posted to brand social media pages within a year, real-time moderation is also becoming vital to protecting a brand’s reputation.

Mobile First

Since  more and more users are spending time on social media on mobile, optimizing your advertising strategy for a mobile audience is increasingly more important. Considering that 80 percent of Facebook’s 2016 ad revenue came from mobile, being mobile first has never been more important for ROI.

Social Commerce

Socially engaged customers lead to increased sales for brands. With Pinterest’s “buyable” pins, Twitter’s Buy button, and 360 immersive ads on both Facebook and YouTube – social commerce is set to become almost as common as website commerce by the end of 2016.

Instagram Ads

Instagram has increasingly added new features to help brands advertise in creative, interesting ways. Their recent release of swipeable carousel ads is an example of newfound importance of video advertising in the social world – with storytelling becoming a prime way to sell new products.

Instagram Moderation

Because Instagram comments are not filtered by relevance or importance, it is hard to know which comments your brand’s followers will see. This makes moderating comments vital. As Reel SEO pointed out – a family focused amusement park like Cedar Point is going to lose followers and offend parents with their lack of moderating foul language comments on their Instagram posts.

Virtual Reality

With Facebook’s Oculus, Google’s Cardboard, and Magic Leap becoming more widely available this year VR seems positioned to grow leaps and bounds by the end of 2016. Marketers will want to start building out plans for fully immersive VR brand experiences before this technology becomes as ubiquitous as the smartphone.

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While there are many social media trends a marketer needs to be aware of to stay on top of the game, focusing on these 8 trends will ensure you stay ahead of the curve for the sake of your brands.

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