Try to ask someone from yesterday’s generation what social media is. A common answer might be Facebook or Google. Now ask that same question to a child of the 90s and they’ll open you up to a whole new world. With the continuing avenue of social vehicles expanding, there is a new form of communication being developed every day. If you want to keep up with today’s marketplace you need an arsenal of social media devices at your disposal. More deals are being made online or through digital media than ever before. Virtual handshakes are now the seal of approval in the business world. The point is we know why social media is here. Its applications continue to grow and make our lives more intricate and connected. The question is; where is social media headed in 2016?
Social media’s Probowl Lineup
Let’s start with the facts. Facebook is the acting central hub for all that is holy. However, applications like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are picking up speed and look to trump the all knowing Facebook domain. We as people have it easy. We have an infinite amount of information only a click away on our smart phones. In a way, we have our own personal crystal ball. If we want to see the latest trends and buzz all we need to do is check anyone of the tweets, pictures, or videos from brands that made headlines last year.
According to digital research firm eMarketer, 88.2 of all U.S. companies use one form of social media for marketing and brand purposes.
Chances are if you have a favorite company, brand, blog, or host, they are all part of the social media conversation. When a company wants to announce the release of a product or line, all they need to do is make a catchy tweet and people will come running. Any sort of preview or product can also be viewed on Instagram. With just the right filter and the perfect amount of light, the public perception of your brand can make you a star. If you’re still not sold, commercials and video targeted advertisements can be seen on Snapchat at any hour of the day. In a way, these three social juggernauts are splitting up what Facebook can do all on its own. So what do we do, we broadcast our name on all four devices, just for good measure.
The 3 biggest social media trends for 2016!
1. Video will become the top platform for advertisement
According to Ian Schafer, CEO of advertising agency Deep Focus, Snapchat had one of the best years of any social media platform in 2015 and is showing no signs of slowing down!
Companies who wish to use Snapchat for their advertising needs have the chance to target younger audiences and Millennials of a newer generation. Schafer goes on to explain that many consumers view video as the least invasive form of advertising. Companies are still in the process of determining which types of advertisements grabs a person’s attention, but they’re on the right track. Applications like Snapchat and other video targeted advertisement vehicles are banking on the fact that video has been the muscle of the advertisement world for years and advertisers are still willing to pay a premium price for it.
2. Virtual Reality remains a cool topic, but for now that’s all it is
This topic is a bit tricky to predict. Social media consultant Amy Vernon has put virtual reality on her 2016 watch list for the upcoming calendar year. Anyone can afford to invest in Google Cardboard and VR goggles due to its low market price, and the margins have potential to be very high.
Noah Mallin, head of social at the North American branch of media agency MEC Global, believes there will continue to be attempts at getting VR into the hands of consumers. This was following the New York Times’ augmented reality app brought the company its most successful app launch to date.
Schafer isn’t sold yet. He believes VR and AR apps and ads won’t provide any substantial value until they become the norm. He goes on to share this isn’t likely to happen in 2016.
3. Mobile messaging apps will become the popular mode of customer interactions
In an age where there are approximately 2.6 billion smartphone users, mobile messaging apps have never been more in.
According to a forecast from eMarketer, approximately 1.4 billion people were expected to use mobile messaging apps in 2015.
That’s a 31.6% increase from the previous year. With mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger being so prominent, businesses must integrate them into their social media strategy if they intend to prosper.
A perfect example is Uber. The mobile taxi app recently announced a partnership with Facebook Messenger. Now customers can request a taxi through the messaging app. The whole concept is simply being able to put your product and services within close reach of consumers.
Customer interactions can be traced through Facebook Messenger and you can even direct message customers through Twitter’s direct message option. This makes it easier to get consumer feedback and grow your brand through yet another social avenue.