We all know that social media is the single most important part of reaching your target audience. 2016 is set to change the playing field forever, and we are going to give you an insight into just what those changes are going to be.
Video Ads Will Dominate
Video ads are the next big thing. Google’s in-SERP advertising is a representative of this. It shows users are becoming used to video ads and videos in general as a means of communicating information. With YouTube also owned by Google and Facebook unveiling video advertising possibilities, this is the next big thing.
Social Media Will be Faster
Social media is a race. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or some other type of network, users are forever wanting more information faster. It’s prompted companies and independent accounts to post information quicker and quicker. What this means for social media is it’s more ‘in the moment’ than ever before.
What Does this Mean for You?
When Twitter acquired Periscope, it represented a shift. Users of Periscope watch 40 hours of live video every day. This is not an anomaly. It’s a showing of what users are quickly coming to expect, and that will continue to be the case in 2016.
You have to publish content closer and closer to the time it happens. It’s what your competitors will be doing.
In-App Functions Begin to Spread
The mobile revolution has been in full swing for a couple of years now. This won’t change in 2016. In fact, the reasons to switch to mobile will only increase as the likes of Facebook improve the diversity and spread of their apps.
- This year Facebook added Instant Articles, which is a search engine in-post.
- Videos that will play instantly while scrolling.
- A new digital assistant, which is a cross between a digital app and a human.
The same applies to the likes of Twitter and Instagram. What we are quickly seeing is a social media arms race. They are not just boosting the functionality of their in-app functions to grab new customers. They are doing it to keep up with their competitors.
Brand New Publication Options
Back to Instant Articles by Facebook again. It’s the best example of an array of new publication options. Publishers that join the program will be able to publish full-length articles without the need to publish it on an external site. Twitter’s Project Lightning is also said to be another way of putting a publication in the hands of users.
What does it mean?
Social media platforms are realizing that for too long they have had to work with other websites. This is not the case any longer because users can now publish their content without going off-site and the same goes for readers. They are attempting to make the way we spend our time online more social media centric. In addition, that means we as businesses will be spending more time on social media.
User Privacy Concerns
Security breaches have made the news frequently in 2015. The Ashley Madison scandal was enormously controversial as it indirectly led to the suicides of a number of the men involved. It’s only fueled the fire when it comes to the importance of privacy.
Snapchat is a direct product of this need for privacy. It’s one of the most secure means of communication on the web.
For businesses, they are going to have to reassure users that their data is safe. In many cases, this will mean a complete change in marketing strategy. While the playing field in reality will change little, companies are going to have to go the extra mile to prove themselves to users in the aftermath of these high profile cases.
- Privacy agreements must be made clearer and must target social media more than previously necessary.
- Some intrusive methods of advertising will have to be scrapped entirely in order to maintain customer loyalty.
- Any data gathered via social media will have to be tended to with far more care than before. Some organizations may even have to cease the gathering of certain data types.
Social media platforms are clearly becoming inward. Whether this is by improving the functions of their apps or becoming responsible for fulfilling more of a customer’s needs, the aim is to for us to spend more time on social media. Here are some final takeaways.
- Expect to focus more of your efforts on building a following exclusively on social media.
- Stay up to date on current events within your industry AND be able to publish related content as and when it comes in. Time is of the essence because if you aren’t there your competitors will be.
- Treat your customers and their needs in the right way. If you fail to do this, they won’t hesitate to drop you.