Social Media Trends for 2016 Part 2

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

January 12th 2016

In the last Blog Post we talked about the Big 3 Trends to take notice of in 2016: Mobile Optimisation, Social Video and Social Advertising.

In this post we’ll discuss 8 other pertinent trends that will feature in 2016 that businesses should be aware off as they undertake their Social Media Marketing strategies.

 

Understanding Targeting

As Social Media Marketing is becoming more a cornerstone to your marketing strategy, as opposed to an add-on, you’ll more than likely hear yourself or your bosses ask “how do we measure the return on investment we are making in social media?”

That’s where understanding your social metrics will be crucial for determining the success of your social media marketing. No longer is it about driving traffic to your website for driving traffic’s sake. We need to be establishing a relationship by offering something of value to a website or social media visitor and see them take clear, measurable actions on your sites.

Targeting will become crucial to this end, don’t send people to your home page and hope for the best, send them to specific pages, resources or specially designed content for their target group – and measure your returns.

 

Social Customer Service

65% of customers use Social Media platforms to engage with businesses, to ask them questions or to make complaints. They expect a quick response, within at least an hour, and they expect the person at the end of the Social Media channel to provide them with the same level of customer care as they might expect in your shop or office.

The Social Media Manager now, more than ever, needs to understand your businesses customer service policies and procedures so they can deal deftly and effectively with customers on Social Media.

 

Mobile Messaging

4 billion people around the globe use messaging apps from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger to WeChat, there are a lot of conversations happening via these messaging apps, which we can’t tap into, as marketers we have no idea what content people are sharing or what they are saying about our businesses.

It’s likely that mobile messaging apps will become important players in customer service delivery. It’s a place where you can have private one-to-one conversations with customers. We saw Twitter adapt to this when they removed the character limit to their Direct Message service and Facebook are currently investigating models they can use to utilise messaging and customer service for businesses.

 

Avatar people in the form of speech bubbleStrategies Around People

2016 will be more about people then you might expect. As a result, perhaps due to Social Media, customers are now looking for brands to be more human, they want an authentic, transparent and real business to engage with, not just on your Social Media channel of choice, but in the real world too.

Harnessing the three pillars of people centred marketing: Employee Advocacy, Advocate Marketing and Influencer Marketing will create a marketing strategy that involves real people, and its real people that Social Media users want to see.

Employees have been an underused resource by most businesses. Too concerned that their employees might say something bad about the business or not having enough faith in their employees. But research has suggested that by including and encouraging your employees to update their social networks and share your content to their group of social friends and followers expands the reach of your business profile dramatically and provides measurably better results.

A piece of content shared by an employee to their social network garners 8 times more engagement than the same post to your followers – have a think about why that might be?

 

Live Streaming

This was touched on in our Big 3 Social Media Trends, but as video content improves and is used more frequently, live streaming is likely to become the norm in 2016.

This also relates to the point about designing strategies around people, people want to see people, the real people, they want to connect to a face, to the person behind the brand.

With platforms such as Periscope, Meerkat and Blab businesses can easily share their experiences with their customers and followers. It lets you reveal behind the scenes work that goes on in your business and allows customers access to the personalities behind your brand.

 

Original Content

A combination of interesting, original and quality content alongside your advertising is what will drive organic reach and engagement in 2016. Make it educational, funny or helpful and your content will have a better chance of standing out in a crowded marketplace.

There are a number of self-publishing tools available from WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger, but the real growth is anticipated in self-publishing apps found within social networking sites themselves. Increasingly people are less likely to leave their social media platform of choice to interact with content. They want to be able to see it easily from the site they are already in.

This move is being seen at Twitter as they consider dropping the 140-character limit and expanding it to 10,000 characters. This will fundamentally change the way we can publish content on Twitter and could be a useful tool for publishing your blog posts.

People will also be drawn to more personalised content, so take a look at your online data; what interests do your followers have, what search terms are they using to find your online presence and what are they talking about on their social networks that you can use as inspiration for writing interesting and original content.

 

busy-sales-exec-social-media (1)Rise of the ‘Buy it’ Button

Facebook and Pinterest are well ahead of the game in terms of making it easy for people to buy products and services straight from their Social Media platform, but in 2016 we can expect to see the ‘Buy it’ button rolled out across all social media platforms.

There are 38 million active social media accounts in the UK so making the process of purchasing more user friendly should be at the top of all businesses strategies this year.

Reviews will support this move to social commerce. Social reviews as seen on Facebook, impact the choice to buy or not to buy. With 85% of customers saying they read up to 10 reviews before buying, we should be adding the process of encouraging social reviews from customers to our Social Media management task list.

 

Importance of the Share

As the organic reach of our content diminishes we will have to find new ways to encourage people to share our content to reach a wider audience. Sharing content is one of the most powerful tools for a social media marketer, we all know that peer-to-peer recommendation makes more of an impact on a potential customer. This is what the Share does for us, allows businesses to control the information being communicated, but garnering social followers to be our advocates through the simple process of sharing our content.

Shareable content will be unique to each business, looking over your content analysis will help you to figure out which items are more shareable than others.

 

All in all, Social Media in 2016 will continue to evolve and adapt to changes in our online and purchasing behaviour. For businesses in Scotland to remain competitive, to reach global audiences and to grow our economy we have to be aware off the big consumer trends in Social Media.

If you’d like to know more about how to apply these trends to your social media marketing strategy this year then get in touch with Tuminds. We offer a range of services from group workshops to tailored one-to-one sessions. Our bespoke Strategy Development service takes the pressure off you to produce an effective strategy, and lets you focus on getting down to the job of implementing it.

Look out for Tuminds workshops coming in 2016 – we’re offering everything from developing your strategy to measuring your return on investment.

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