Marketers always look for new and trendy channels to connect with their target audience. Till last year, social media advertising mainly on Facebook, Twitter were very popular and thought to be the most important ways to reach to the segmented mass. But social media is always evolving and this year it has come up with many more new trends.
It’s quite hard to predict how the overall social media landscape will change over the course of time. In 2016, here are the top 7 social media trends that companies should keep an eye on.
1. CTA buttons will offer new ways of customer engagement
One of the newest trends in social media is the addition of CTA (Call to Action) buttons. Two of the social media channels, Facebook and Pinterest have gained lots of attention this year by coming up with their new ‘Call to Action’ feature for marketers. One of the top social media trends, Facebook’s CTA button is already a winner!
According to Facebook, as a page admin you can select the required one from a group of CTA buttons to add to the top of your company page. From the side bar you will also get stats for how many people have really clicked on that. By clicking on this button, consumers will land up on a specific page.
The available CTA button variations are mentioned below:
a) Book Now
b) Contact Us
c) Use App
d) Play Game
e) Shop Now
f) Sign Up
g) Watch Video
2. Social media listening
Also known as social media monitoring, it is the process of getting an idea on what people are saying about a product, brand, individual or company on the internet.
Social media can be used in several ways to get insights which include keeping an eye on the online customer support communities and forums, using several tools to collect comments from different social media channels such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and encouraging consumers to support their favorite companies by giving votes and suggesting new features.
3. Social media channels have become platforms for business
For digital marketing, social media is always considered to be very powerful as it provides the chance to directly communicate and connect with the target audience, requires less time and much more affordable than other marketing techniques. For most of the companies, marketing through social media has become a necessity.
How it’s helpful?
a) Social media allows to understand your customers’ needs and personal choices
b) Get an idea about what your target audience think about the company
c) Connect with the consumers in a better way
d) Increased website traffic
e) Lead generation and more sales conversions
4. GIF and attractive videos to drive more engagement
Young generation is much more comfortable with GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) and videos while expressing any idea or thought. The popularity of GIFS and cinemagraphs has also played an important role in the increasing customer engagement.
‘Stats show that Cinemagraphs can get 60% more engagement than static images.’
As a result, several social media platforms like Google, Facebook or Twitter are all have started giving importance to integrating more and more videos and GIF content. Facebook and Google have added 360 Degree video capabilities and VR content to increase the social engagement rate. This is undoubtedly one of the new trends in social media.
5. Mobile first
In this forecast, we can see the total number of smart phone users in the US from year 2010-2018. By 2016, the total number is estimated to reach 198.5 million.
What was once considered as a bonus, has now become a necessity. If you don’t agree with this, then for sure, your business is in big trouble. Most of the people now days surf social media channels through their mobile devices. It has become their primary screen (not secondary any more).
On the other hand, with the increasing usage of different messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line or Facebook), it’s becoming even more important for companies to integrate those into their marketing strategy.
As per a study by eMarketer,‘in 2015, approximately 1.4 billion people were expected to use mobile messaging apps, a 31.6 increase from 2014.’
Even though companies, who don’t want to sell any product through Facebook Messenger, still should use mobile apps to interact with their consumers. Several companies have been doing so for a long time through Twitter and Facebook’s messaging feature.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The general user behavior while searching information about a product or service has started changing. Though using search engines to find out any information is still a common practice, but there are many people who directly perform their searches on social media channels.
There are 2 reasons behind this:
a) Customers know that they will find visual content on the social media channels which is much more credible for them than the text heavy ones.
b) They will get to see comments, reviews from others about that specific product or service. Feedback from other users will help them in the decision making process.
So, your posts on Facebook, Twitter or any other channel need to be optimized. Make sure you use relevant keywords and take advantage of the hashtag best practices. With Twitter and Facebook, Google has already deals in place because of which you already may have seen several tweets to appear in your search results.
7. Social advertising
According to Interpublic Group’s Magna Global, ‘in 2015 digital ad spend will have grown 17.2% (to $160 billion), and 13.5% in 2016, surpassing TV as the biggest advertising platform in 2017.’
Most of the social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest all have invested huge amount in 2015 for the advancement of their advertising platforms. They have come up with several new features and offering more ways for companies to connect with the target audience.
A big chunk of overall digital spend will be allocated to social media advertising and this is one of the top social media trends in 2016 which marketers cannot ignore. So, how social media advertising should be used at its best?
a) First, decide the most relevant platform worth investing for your target audience
b) Opt for action oriented ad formats. Consider lead generation ads with click-to-action buttons for Facebook and Twitter.