Get Ready for Social Marketing in 2016…
In 2015, there were some predicable standbys in social marketing. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continue to dominate the social scene as “must-have” accounts. There were also some emerging trends. Messaging apps of all kinds have taken the social scene by storm, for both personal and professional use. As one year transitions into another, we’ve compiled the must-have information you need to start your 2016 social marketing strategy.
Here are some of the year’s most telling social stats to get started:
- 75% of Facebook’s video views happen on a mobile device, not a desktop.
- In the social media scene, there are more than 2.2 billion users who maintain active profiles.
- 70% of Facebook users, 59% of Instagram users, and 38% of Twitter users check their profiles
- Video makes up over 50% of total online mobile traffic. In 2018, experts predict the trend will increase to 79%.
While some experts toss around the demise of certain social media platforms every year, even Google+ has still maintained a useful presence, though it didn’t initially meet expectations. Instead of focusing on platforms (successful platforms vary with the company), we’ll focus on the overarching trends applicable to multiple platforms.
What’s on the Way Out?
These are the trends that marketers clung to in 2015, but will continue to slowly fizzle as new, better approaches start leading the way. If you want to make 2016 a year of growth, put these on your cleanup list:
Traditional Marketing Approaches
When marketers primarily dealt in print media, the general strategy was based on what internal decision makers wanted to see in the media. Most marketers have left behind the do-then measure approach in favor of a measure first approach. The future of marketing clearly uses social analytics to segment audiences and focus campaigns based on what your market wants to hear. Use consumer data to match marketing activities with real-world financial ROI.
Worrying About Total Numbers of Followers
Does your company look at “total” data sets to measure success? This kind of information doesn’t offer much value. It’s a vanity metric, and companies are starting to leave it behind. Instead of looking at total numbers, marketers have started shifting towards targeting niche followers and using analytics to qualify followers as potential leads.
Traditional Display Advertising
Traditional display ads are meeting a brick wall with the rise of ad-blocking apps, and the trend is affecting the worldwide market. If you want to make an impact with paid advertising on social platforms in the future, native pay-to-play advertisements make more sense.
Trends that are Holding Their Own
We saw a fair amount of these activities in 2015, and they’ll continue to plot a course through 2016 and beyond:
Brands have agendas, making their own content less credible than, say, a popular social media personality. If someone you regularly follow recommends a product or service, you might be more willing to give it a second glance. Brands enjoy a 3-10x higher conversion rate when using influencers over branded messaging. Consider Jeff Bullas’ influencer personality as an example. He is a trusted source for social media insight. Using someone who already has clout in an industry is a great way to earn credibility in the marketplace.
Video, Video, Video
Video is one of the best mediums a company can use to gain visibility online. Humans process visual imagery easier than textual, and video often combines written text with auditory and visual cues to connect with viewers. Many companies will optimize their video campaigns in 2016 instead of continuing to exploring the medium. Short-form video tends to perform well, and even Jon Stewart, former Daily Show host, is using the format and partnering with HBO.
The overwhelming trend in all digital marketing is the move to mobile. More people choose to access work and personal applications via mobile devices. While many companies used 2015 to get onboard with mobile optimization, 2016 will create the opportunity to truly leverage mobile applications for social marketing. Content that moves users seamlessly between apps or within the app will find more success. Companies should look at how social media platforms are diversifying their app offerings, and use that information to pioneer new marketing initiatives.
Read more about going mobile friendly: “Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly Before it’s Too Late”
New Trends that Could Give You A Competitive Edge
These trends saw a little action in 2015, but it looks like 2016 will be their time to shine.
Messaging and video in real time are two major trends that will set the stage for 2016 social marketing. Apps such as Periscope and Snapchat allow brands to see something in real time. Messaging success as a social marketing tool is evident in the international success of WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Any type of direct communication gives companies the power to directly reach a large audience in real time. It’s the most connecting and personal form of social marketing that exists to date and gives companies the potential for more interaction than ever before.
Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are all partnering with major online commerce sites to provide one-stop shopping and social interactions for consumers. Not only will this allow companies to better measure and outline customer pathways, it also decreases the total number of steps it takes for consumers to make a purchase. Convenience is the name of the shopping game in 2016.
Top Takeaways to Start Using Today
There are numerous social trends all vying for the same top place in the 2016 market, and all offer certain advantages. However, if you only pick three things to start with as the New Year begins, remember these tips:
- Video is the single most pervasive and connecting medium you can invest in.
- The social networks you know and love (we use Twitter and Facebook) are not going away anytime soon, but you may want to explore adding new platforms to your existing reach.
- Use analytics to drive your 2016 campaigns from finding out where your real audience is to developing synchronous and asynchronous content.
Contact BuzzRecruiter today to learn more about how to improve social marketing in 2016.