15 January 2016

Top 3 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2016

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And before you can say “Goodbye 2015”, 2016 is already upon us. As organisations plan their strategies for the coming year and take stock of efforts in years past, one common theme runs through the psyche of all businesses: the evolving world of marketing, and how social media has become a key focus in this mix.

Social media continues to evolve and innovate at a reckless rate – every second day there is a new add-on or function that takes online interaction to a whole new level. Given this changing landscape and the prevalence of social media in this decade’s marketing activities, we took a look at some top social media trends for 2016, curated from The Guardian, Huffington Post and the Social Media Examiner.

Live video content becoming mainstream

Facebook recently released Facebook Live, a function that - as its name suggests - allows users to post live video content on Facebook. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, and gives already popular video apps like Snapchat, Instagram and the budding Periscope a run for their money. What this means for businesses is that they can and should harness the power of live video to reach out to audiences. This site offers tips to make the most out of the instant availability of video content; including going behind the scenes to offer your customers a sneak peek into your world, posting Q and As for audience interaction, and offering product demos.

The importance of behavioural data

When life shifts, so do consumer needs and wants and hence, purchasing habits. As such, The Huffington Post predicts that organisations that have the ability to drill down into smaller sized data - such as when consumers are expecting a baby or getting married - will be most effective in their social media efforts. This is because organisations will be able to create customised content that targets consumers when they are more likely to make a purchase and advocate for the brand.

Messaging, Messaging, Messaging

The growth of private group messaging and messaging apps cannot be underestimated. The Social Media Examiner suggests that we are already seeing more users creating private group chats and migrating to these interactive functions on social media channels. This will lead to a push in social media marketing where the most valuable content will only be seen by those who are granted permission to see it on these private messaging outlets. This will also turn customer service on its head, leading to more communication between businesses and consumers on private messaging. The Guardian echoes the importance of messaging apps in 2016, and predicts that platforms that target the Asian market particularly will find a whole new world of marketing and commercial transaction opportunities open up.

Creativity, instant availability and personalisation of content will be taken to a whole new level in social media this year. So will the algorithms that allow social media platforms to charge for advertising.  There are exciting times ahead, and the ones who can look forward to these trends and adapt their social media strategies accordingly will be the ones that thrive.

Su grew up dreaming of being a journalist, dodging bullets and gunfire with a camera thrust in front of her reporting from a war zone. Having realised that she is not really as agile as she thought, she has settled for dodging cockroaches in metropolitan Sydney as her adrenaline fix. Su is inquisitive and loves a good challenge, which is why she has chosen to produce conferences at Akolade. In her spare time, Su likes to read, drink green tea, and fantasise about making the world a better place; getting rid of the need for war journalists entirely.

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