Watch for These 5 Social Media Trends in 2016

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When trying to reach new customers, social media is the place to be. Facebook has an astounding 1.49 billion active monthly users. There are over 300 million active users on Twitter and more than 400 million people on Instagram.

The social media realm as a whole seems to be ever changing with new apps like Snapchat and Periscope coming to forefront, and ever evolving features on the already established platforms. Running a business keeps you busy, yet it’s necessary to continue engaging with a larger audience online. Based on our knowledge of the field and through user growth reports, we’ve assembled a list of top trends you should be aware of in 2016 and beyond.

  • Real Time Engagement with Fanswhat is the white house snapchat

Snapchat and Periscope are driving a big new need to the social media landscape – real time updates. The White House has officially announced it has a Snapchat account, (@WhiteHouse), and you’ll watch asthe presidential election in the fall bolsters this trend with candidates vying for more places to engage with voters. Millennials want to see what goes into the story behind all their favorite brands, companies, and now even the White House.

  • Look for More Use of Video

It’s not much of a secret. People love streaming video. Cue the rise of Netflix and the popularity in shorter, more snackable content on social media. This past year, we saw an increase in use of gifs and short videos by brands and everyday users alike. The popularity of these forms of video has translated into increased engagement between brands and users. Because of this, Facebook, Google and Twitter have been pushing for integrating video and gif content, furiously coding to make viewing video as seamless as possible. These changes will lead the best brands to adapt, while those who don’t will surely be left wondering why their follower count has stagnated.

  • Snapchat Will Continue to Get Bigger

Snapchat is currently the third most popular app among 18-34 year-olds. Users are seeking its live, always-new content, and brands using the app have been seeing results, (think 60-70% engagement rates). While drumming up a following can be difficult, and even frustrating without a strategy, the enticing user demographic and rate of engagement will lead more brands to push their Snapchat channels as the year goes on.

snapchat-and-pericope-users

  • Sales Driven Advertisements

Advertisements on social media pages will soon be getting a “buy now” button so users don’t have to leave the app to make a purchase. This is already true for both Facebook and Pinterest, with Instagram soon following suit. Streamlining the purchasing process for potential consumers should have retail brands cozying up to the idea of paid social ads more than ever. Expect to see more platforms with this feature by the end of 2016.

  • Influencer Marketing

Expect to see more (and more expensive) partnerships with influential bloggers and social media users who have a large following. Influencer marketing in social media became extremely popular within the fashion industry, but it has since spread across most consumer goods industries. Moving into 2016, it’s not just the “Insta-famous” users brands will be courting. Companies are seeing the value in their most loyal consumers, offering incentives, building relationships, and creating a new breed of grassroots influencers.

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Blue Bear Creative is a Denver social media agency focused on helping food and beverage brands market to millennials.

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2 Comments

  • Leonard D'Souza

    Influencer Marketing is showing an upward trend no doubt. But for a B2B modelled business, finding influencers is difficult, however these companies can leverage on one of the most valuable assets they own-their employees. Employee advocacy is another trend to keep an eye on, as the concept of social selling is getting more growth.

    • Alex Oesterle

      That’s a great point, Leonard. I’d be interested to hear your opinion on where you draw the line for companies asking, or even requiring, their employees to post about initiatives on their private social media accounts.