In the year when we officially overtook Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future, a lot changed in social media: On twitter, ‘favourites’ became ‘likes’; Instagram hit 400 million monthly active users overtaking the previous front runner, Twitter; Oxford Dictionaries announce that an EMOJI won word of the year; and #TheDress divided a nation (FYI – It’s definitely blue and black).
Although no one in our band of superheroes is blessed with the gift of second sight, while reflecting on last year and planning for the next we can’t help but make a few predictions for how the world of social media will look in 2016. So listen up and listen well, here are our SUPER-predictions for social media in 2016:
Yup, video killed the radio star and it’s coming for you too text based updates!
We’re not just talking YouTube anymore. Oh no. We’re talking Vine, Instagram, Blab, Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook Live all looking for a slice of the pie. (For anyone who doesn’t believe us, Google #DrummondPuddleWatch. Proof that people will watch ANYTHING!)
But why is video going to be SUPER-important to you in 2016?! Simple!
- It’s a SUPER-efficient way to atomize your message: To break it down into bite-sized chunks that can be consumed wherever, whenever.
- It’s SUPER-popular: Last Year, Facebook more than doubled its daily video views to 8 billion, reportedly overtaking YouTube. Snapchat now reports 6 billion daily video views and adult users now consume over ONE HOUR of online video each and every day. And video ads are now generating three times more clicks compared to other ad formats. (Business Insider)
- It’s SUPER-content: Video includes audio, text and pictures exciting more senses than any other kind of content. This means viewers SEE your message, they HEAR your message and they can READ your message all at once.
It’s no surprise that this year saw the big three increase their user experience by making it easier than ever to watch video in your newsfeed.
Over the next year, we’ll get to see how the new tech – Facebook Live and Periscope, which broadcast live videos – will be used to help businesses reach more people than ever. Exciting times!
How can you get in on the action?
- Make a promo video
- Start a vlog (Video blog)
- Share company news in videos
- Video events (live or otherwise)
- Video testimonials
- How tos
The possibilities are endless so grab your camera and start filming!
2015 saw big changes to the way we consume our news.
Apple took a bite out of social media by introducing their news app which collects all the news articles you want to read, from the top news sources, based on the topics you’re most interested in.
On social media, Facebook launched Instant Articles. Publishers make dedicated, feature-rich content that launches within the Facebook app and boast lightning fast loading times. It’s not been a super-popular change, but Facebook are now favouring this kind of content. It’s also reported that 1 million unique professionals publish more than 130,000 posts a week on LinkedIn. And Twitter is currently experimenting with reordering tweets by relevance.
So what does this mean for your social media strategy in 2016? Glad you asked!
In a world where Facebook changes its algorithms more than superheroes change their clothes, it’s difficult to know what the rules are when it comes to posting content. What is the best way to reach the most people and for the lowest cost? Without knowing the rules of the game, how can you hope to win?
Here is the question we’re faced with: Do you republish the same post on each dedicated platform or do you go down the ‘owned’ content route? Sure, it would be nice to write content dedicated to each platform’s unique audience but you’re busy people, WHO HAS THE TIME?! Isn’t it better to spend time creating valuable content and posting it on the web properties you own and control (like your website) rather than trying to keep up with the evil cyber geniuses behind the screen?
All is not lost!
We’re not saying abandon ship – we’ll never say that (… probably) – writing content is still a SUPER way to add value to your products or services. We’re simply saying be smart about it. Choose the right platform. Find something that works for you.
Need a little reassurance?
LinkedIn is one of the biggest publishing platforms in the world. It’s built on a foundation of relevant content for (and often from) influencers and leaders in the field. To give you an idea of how well it can work: The average post reaches professionals in 21 industries and 9 countries, and about 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries. So if you’re looking for professionals, this is a great way to go.
Ideas to help you:
- Post snippets of content and direct people back to your website for more.
- Focus on finding the right audience.
- Interest, entertain and delight your readers – keep them coming back for more.
Strategy and ROI
Knowledge is power, my friends! So put strategy and ROI at the top of the agenda in big writing. Underline it. Here’s why:
Most businesses have been ‘doing’ social media for some time. Which is SUPER. But also, not so super. The more business ‘doing’ social media, the more competition is out there on the World Wide Web. How do you distinguish yourself from the rest of the rabble?
Now is the time to stop flailing about and sucker punch your competition in the face!
Since 2014 the big three social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – have provided pretty detailed analytics for businesses. We’re almost a year and a half on from the last platform to add this feature so there’s a wealth of data out there about who’s following, liking and sharing your message. Use this.
Find the trend – gender, location, age, language, interests and behaviours. Guaranteed one of these will surprise you.
Once you know who your audience are, PANDER TO THEM!
Make delightful, insightful, interesting content that enchants them.
Monitor what you’ve done. Find their favourite content and use that to influence the next.
And once you’ve done all of this, measure how much impact it’s had on your business. Track whether it leads to any sales. If not, tweak your strategy and try again. And again. And again. Until it DOES work.