The world of social media changes every day. Half of a social media marketer’s job is keeping up with platform changes, trends, and the latest viral meme.
As a new year begins, it’s important to think about what the social media landscape will look like by the end of 2016 and how this evolution will impact a brand’s social strategy. Here are four social media trends that will shape digital marketing in 2016:
1. Video for social will get more complicated
In the good ole days (and by “good ole days,” I mean 2014), you could upload a video to YouTube, then share the video link to all of your social platforms, and that was that. Now, marketers have to edit different versions of the same video to optimize for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and other platforms where your brand is present, and then tailor the video for the audience it’ll reach on each platform. It’s a pain, but the hassle’s worth it. Videos average 62% more engagement than photos, and Facebook sees an average of eight billion video views a day from 500 million people.
2. Social media users won’t need to leave the app
Facebook’s Instant Articles is changing the news-sharing game on social. Articles published this way load much faster than standard mobile web, and users never have to leave the Facebook app to read an article shared by any of the major publications that currently have access to Instant Articles. What does this mean for social media marketers? Content creators will need to bring more visual and interactive content to the table to make sure engagement stays high. This also means that marketers will have to measure the success of their content differently – instead of worshiping click-through rates, you’ll need to focus on comments, shares, and other forms of engagement as a measurement of success.
3. Organic reach will be all but gone
As more brands realize the importance of maintaining an active social media presence, the competition for organic visibility will skyrocket. Facebook is already smothering organic reach to force brands to pay to play, and as more businesses realize the ROI of social media marketing, the organic visibility gag will only tighten. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest now offer the ability to advertise in the feed, and as more brands begin pursuing these platforms as viable social media advertising channels, the organic reach for each platform will gradually decrease over time.
4. Snapchat is the new cable TV
Including Snapchat in your organic content calendar isn’t an effective marketing strategy. In fact, it’s stupid. Snapchat isn’t the next social platform where brands can expect to see a return from investing in organic content, like Instagram or Facebook. While Snapchat is becoming increasingly popular among younger demographics, a brand shouldn’t waste its time growing an organic following on the social channel. Instead, treat Snapchat like television. Build brand awareness with ad space to reach several eyeballs, but skip the editorial calendar with daily posts to your brand’s story.