It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is already off to the races. Many experts believe this year is going to be the biggest, most impactful year yet for social media, particularly when it comes to leveraging these platforms to market your business. Knowing ahead of time what to expect and prepare for can better position your brand for optimum success. To get you started, we thought we’d dive into 5 of the biggest trends we should all see begin to take place over the next several months.
More Real-Time Engagement – Studies have shown that consumers have raised the bar in terms of what they expect from the brands with which they do business. More and more people are using social media platforms, such as Twitter, to share their experiences. More importantly, 53% expect a response in less than an hour. In 2016, expect to see more of these types of customer service interactions and plan on making ongoing monitoring and quick response time a priority.
Advanced In-App/On-Site Functionality – We’ve already seen this with existing networks, especially Facebook, but in 2016 we can expect to see more development, rollout and enhancement of functionality that is designed to keep visitors in one application or on one site, rather than linking out to separate resources. A great example of this currently is Facebook’s Instant Articles feature, which lets users publish entire articles right within the platform.
Live Streaming Video – We’ve talked plenty of times about how powerful and effective marketing with videos can be. Live streaming functionality will bring things a step further, allowing businesses to engage with their prospects and customers via video in real-time. Check out existing apps like Periscope and Meerkat, which are paving the way to making this type of video marketing a more widely used tool.
Social eCommerce – It used to be that a company’s website was the hub of its online presence, especially businesses that engage in eCommerce. Recent studies have found, however, that a shift has occurred. Social is now a bigger influencer of buying decisions. For this reason, brands should be focusing a good portion of their marketing and paid advertising on the social arena.
Mobile is a Must – 2015 was the year that mobile officially surpassed desktop traffic. Now, consider the fact that 80% of internet users own a smartphone, a total number that’s expected to reach approximately 2 million people worldwide by the end of this year. It’s becoming increasingly evident that mobile marketing is no longer just an option, but a requirement. If you’re not already doing so, the time is now.
With 2015 becoming a distant image in the rearview mirror, are you confident that you have the tools and the insight necessary to drive your business forward socially in the coming months? If you’re struggling in this area, you’re not alone. More importantly, we can help.