Social media is constantly changing and growing. Although I can’t tell for sure what the future holds, I can tell you what my predictions for 2016 are based on where social is now.
Live Stream Becomes Mainstream
Photo Courtesy of Facebook
We’re already beginning to see more content produced in video form on social media and as many of us know, Snapchat was one of 2015′s most popular app. One of the reasons being that it’s based on livestreaming. As Snapchat continues to gain popularity and users, Facebook also decided to jump on the train with their own livestream feature. As we can see, the value of in-the-moment content has boomed! Now, pretty much anyone who has a smart phone, can become a reporter, content curator, and a distribution platform of everyday or culturally relevant events.
Right now, brands like Cosmopolitan Magazine and iHeartRadio use Snapchat’s Live “Discover” feature, which constantly features new content AND they are seeing positive results. For example, iHeartRadio generated 340MM views, while Cosmopolitan Magazine received 3MM a day. I can’t deny it, I’m a fan of checking Cosmopolitan and Refinery29′s Discover almost everyday. It’s just addicting. Plus, you can send the content to friends via Snapchat or save the content to your phone. It’s like text messaging taken to a higher level.
With more platforms jumping on the livestream train, it’s only natural to see this trend up and coming in 2016.
GIFs For Days
GIFs are fun, relatable, and most importantly: NOW TRENDING! As you may have already seen, you can send GIFs to your friends via Facebook Messenger or text message with the GIF keyboard app.
Young consumers, like me, are obsessed with micro-videos and GIFs as a form of expression. The popularity of GIFs (and cinemagraphs) has translated to increased engagement for brands. Take a look at the post below from Bustle.
Photo Courtesy of Bustle
People are loving GIFs! Just look at the number of views, likes, and shares! I can only image how high the reach was.
Studies found that cinemagraphs get 60% more engagement than static images. As a result, social platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all fighting to integrate more video and GIF content. In 2016, we should expect to see more creative, immersive moving content on social platforms, as well as the opportunities for social engagement within them to follow.
Pay For More Traffic!?
Awkward. I mean, I guess we knew this was coming at some point. It was just a matter of when. Since paid ads and post boosts are the best way to reach your audience on social, it’s only natural that social networks will start charging for more traffic.
Social media networks are always adjusting their algorithms, and the only way brands can ensure they generate a decent amount of traffic is through advertising. For example, on Facebook you can boost your post to get the maximum amount of traffic. Even if you have 100,000 fans on Facebook, the only way to get the majority of them to see your content is to pay for visibility.
Customized Visuals for Platforms
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock via SocialMediaExaminer.com
Visual Marketing will be vital in 2016. As it continues to grow, brands will need to have a solid plan for visuals including multimedia such as long and short-form video or YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram as well as graphics for blog or social content. Creating content for each platform will be essential. For example, if you’re looking to drive traffic to a video on a website, it will be best to tweet about it with graphics, then take a tip from the video to be shared as a graphic on Instagram and Facebook, and use a related quote for Pinterest. This will all lead to the website content.
Prepare yourselves, brands! You have a lot ahead of you. Which strategy will your brand be implementing the most?
Ananya is a Social Media Community Manager at MSM DesignZ, Inc. MSM DesignZ is a full service advertising and design firm based in Westchester County, New York.