What is social media like in 2016?
Social media is like a river – you never step into the same stream twice. So marketing pundits have made their predictions for what the new social media landscape will look like in 2016, and we’ve distilled their answers here.
Video, video, video
Facebook: many see the quest to steal YouTube’s thunder as driving the largest platform in social to be even bigger in 2016. Facebook’s native video ads appeared in October 2015, and in November about 8 billion daily views were reported. Spherical video, also called 360 Video, was introduced last year, and while both platforms support the new technology, the bet is that Facebook will outdo YouTube’s efforts.
Aaannd we’re live!
Twitter’s Periscope along with Meerkat are two of the most popular live video apps that emerged in 2016, and while some are not sure where live streaming is going, streaming apps like Snapchat’s third place finish among social media apps among 18-34 year-olds points nowhere but up.
It’s almost spooky, but companies are seeking to grab their customers just as they’re making the decision to purchase, and it’s driven by the shift to mobile. Google has coined it “Micro-Moments.” However, being at the right place at the right time will be built on careful analysis of user behavior in the various moments leading up to the decision.
Johnson & Johnson used the concept of moment marketing by monitoring social media usage in the wee hours of the morning, when they found mothers of newborns online. Contributing to the conversation, it makes a far more personal connection with the brand and their target market. It also is a way to build trust without using an ad that might get blocked.
Social Commerce : Like…Share…Buy
Just as consumers were ready to shop in the last quarter of 2015, Facebook announced a partnership with Shopify to offer e-commerce for business pages. This added to the proliferation of “buy” options from Pinterest (a natural for this sort of thing), and Microsoft’s Online store offered Twitter cards in December, with spectacular results. It’s a winner, and likely to get bigger as more social platforms include a shopping cart button next to their “like” button.
Content gets personal
In general, the refocus seems to be on a warmer, fuzzier approach to engaging with customers, bringing once again more emphasis on the word “social” in social media
- Purpose-driven brands: people like buying from companies with a heart, and more brands are starting to show their philanthropic side, which is always good for business; look for further engagement by companies who want you to join along in their cause
- It’s the old 80/20 rule, and it’s getting a new focus: less talk about product, more education and entertainment
- More engagement as well through polls and interactive content makes the statement, “Enough about me…how about YOU?”
All of this is more helpful, more personal to the consumer… and as they have become savvy to ad blockers, it’s a great way to keep talking to customers without the firewall.
The changing face of the influencer
While we love Peyton Manning selling Nationwide Insurance (that seven-note jingle has become an earworm), social media is looking for those less famous and more relatable. User-generated content by those with about 10,000 or so followers are just as likely to sway buying decisions as celebrities. These are also likely not to be paid for their endorsements, making their word weightier.
Brands therefore may use more curation in their posts, linking to these third parties. According to Layla Revis, Senior Vice President – Global Digital & Social Strategy Director at Leo Burnett, “Posts with curated content links generate 33 percent more clicks than original content links.”
The best example of these influencers may be people who weren’t necessarily thinking of promotions when they were caught on cell phone cameras: Southwest Airline flight attendants, who are all over YouTube. If you want to feel good about a brand and the character of their flight crew, it doesn’t get any better – or cheaper – than this.
Social Media Manager: No longer the short straw in the office
“We have someone ‘doing’ our Facebook page… she’s also our receptionist, but she’s out this month for surgery.”
This statement is becoming a relic of the past as the need to be savvier with what you post, when and where you post it, and how to measure it becomes ever more technical. Social media marketing is becoming a larger part of every company’s budget, and just like people who hate numbers hire CPAs, smart managers are hiring someone with the industry background to execute a more sophisticated strategy on social.
Another note: Analysis, a/b testing, and other measurement takes time – and time is money. If social is to be done right, measuring ROI is key, so marketing will have to prove strategies they implement are creating revenue rather than costing the company. For smaller companies the challenge will be in hiring – or outsourcing – solid professionals who can provide higher revenues through strategies that make it worth the investment. Thanks for the read and if your looking to improve your Texas Social Media, don’t hesitate to call