As we all know, social media is more than just a way to kill time while waiting for the bus… It is a powerful tool for business owners to reach their customers. And with social media trends changing and adapting all the time it’s sometimes difficult to keep your finger on the pulse. To help keep your business up to speed we have compiled a list of the top 5 social media trends set to dominate 2016.
1: Engaging Your Audience
In the fast moving world of social media consumers are more than ever looking for real-time engagement with companies online, and according to Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to, and 53% want a response in less than an hour. That number leaps to 72% when they’re issuing a complaint!
In 2014, consumers complained about brands 879 million times on social media. What’s worse is that in 2015, companies still weren’t responding as 7 in 8 messages to them went unanswered within 72 hours.
With this knowledge it is key to keep on top of your social media outlets and remember that these mediums are more than just a shop window to advertise your latest products or service. Engage with your audience and try to keep response times as quick as possible… remember, 3 days without a response won’t cut it!
2: Social Commerce
The more engaged your customers are, the better your sales. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen social media play a crucial role in this area with research finding that social media influences more shoppers’ buying decisions than retail websites.
This has led to the creation of more commerce-focused features for marketers and advertisers. For example, in 2015:
- Facebook introduced 360 Ads for immersive experiences
- YouTube added 360 Ads for more impactful visuals
- Instagram rolled out its action-oriented ad format
- Pinterest announced the limited roll-out of its Buyable Pins
- Twitter continued testing its Buy button
In 2016, you’ll want to explore more ways how you can integrate these features into your social media and content strategies.
3: Social SEO
2015 saw a massive shift from text to media, but the competition for visibility has never been stronger. With more businesses bidding for the same keywords and the rising advertising costs, optimising your organic content has never been more important.
Although social media doesn’t directly influence your search ranking, greater social signals (such as people sharing your content and sending more traffic to your website) can help you rank higher. Why is this important? Because, 33% of traffic from Google’s organic search results go to the first item listed.
Not just that, but social content is becoming increasingly more visible in search results. Google already has deals in place with Facebook and Twitter, you’ve likely already seen a Tweet or two appear in your search results.
88% of consumers are influenced by reviews and online comments, so do your homework and research what your customers are searching for. And make sure you take note of our first tip and engage your audience!
4: Mobile Friendly Is A Must
We’ve talked about this subject a lot before, but in 2015 mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic with 80% of internet users owning a smartphone! Simply put, your business MUST have a mobile friendly website to compete, especially when research has shown that 14% of users won’t do business with a company that doesn’t have a mobile friendly site. Can you afford to miss out?
5: Great Images make all the difference
With social media shifting towards more image & media driven content it is important that your pictures & adverts look good. A picture taken on your smartphone in the dark, or an ad made using clip-art won’t suffice. If your images are not good quality and clearly portray your message then how are your customers going to view you as a professional business?
There are ‘best practices’ to follow when creating images for social media posts, profile pictures & cover art which can ensure your images look the best they can.