Social media has gone from an internet quirk to bustling virtual empires in roughly a decade, with networks of friends and family crisscrossing the globe as they share their daily updates and photos.
Like the currents that connect the ocean, these currents of information connect us to one another like never before. As social media evolves further every day, new features and trends are coming in faster than floodwater, and marketers need to be researched and precise with their strategies. So, what is trending in social media marketing in 2016, and how can you use them?
Designed to offer a human-like interaction in the digital landscape, chatbots are created to assist users as they look for content or answers from the platform, and these guys are taking over in marketing platforms such as Facebook. They work to improve engagement times and to interact with users as naturally and helpfully as possible.
More often than not, a customer’s query will be very similar to another query you may have received, so the chatbot can easily search its database of information and provide the user with an easy and helpful experience.
A new-age phenomenon is the social influencer; as a topic builds up momentum on social media, there are a few who champion its cause to their thousands of adoring fans. These few have created a name for themselves by being as relevant and relatable as possible, while still having endless accessibility to the gifts and gadgets which their following yearn for. If businesses know they’ve got a large fan base who are following a certain social influencer, it can be in their best interest to work alongside the influencers to reach their fans.
While everyone was still fixated on the continuous newsfeed, and scrolling back through six years of data to find that one photo, Snapchat came out and turned everything up on its head. Content with an expiry date. Now, the insight to your brand or personality is exclusive and virtually walking out the door, so users respond to the urgency with curiosity and intrigue. Never one to miss an opportunity, Instagram has quickly jumped on board, with Instagram Stories, similar to Snapchat stories, and marketers with an active following will understand the power of these tools when they’re developing their social media marketing strategies.
2004 was the year of the YouTube, where we created, shared, and viewed videos with unparalleled freedoms. After a while, as the compilation videos started to fizzle out, YouTube became the online hub for live amateur footage – a step back from typical mainstream media, with the sensation of viewing something exclusive and raw.
From Periscope to Meerkat, and now Facebook Live, live streaming is the newest trend for you to be creative with, and viewers love the experience of being live behind-the-scenes or in the moment. It’s a brilliant tool to connect with your audience, and to share your story with them as you gain credibility.
Reaching your audience used to be a walk in the park, with the most obscure businesses and topics gaining enough likes and followers to stay in the limelight. However, lately we have seen our chronological newsfeeds threatened, and timeline updates are only going to show businesses that can withstand the fees. Yes, social media is becoming just like every other media; prepare a new budget for your Facebook marketing. With the massive influx of content on the internet, and daily life being so limited in hours, Facebook marketing will need to be careful and purposeful. Your email list is something which cannot be filtered or mediated by a Facebook algorithm, so refine your email marketing techniques and explore other medias and platforms for what they can offer.
If a brand sold you a dud in 1999, the most you could do was file complaints, write letters, and blow up at someone on the other end of the telephone. Now, you can call them out on their own Facebook, tag them in a picture of their dodgy product and put it on Instagram, Tweet them, or anything else. As we become more accessible to one another, so do brands – and the consumer wants answers. Moving forward requires ultimate transparency and honesty, and it’s the direction many businesses have inadvertently driven themselves to.
Social media marketing trends in 2016 are important for two reasons; not only can savvy marketers understand where we are, but we can predict where we’re going and make plans for success.
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- What’s Trending in Social Media Marketing in 2016? - December 20, 2016