The field of social media marketing is constantly evolving, with lots of changes that prompt shifts in customer and marketer behavior. Doesn’t really matter if you use social media for affiliate marketing or any other marketing purpose. In order to catch on, you should adapt to these changes and make use of the latest and most compelling strategies. The following 7 social media marketing trends for 2016 will clue you on how to keep up with all these changes.
LESS IS MORE
With a focus on quality, it is better to post less frequently, but aim for more engaging content.
Social Media is a brimming word already – there are plenty of users with social profiles following thousands of different accounts. What’s more, most platforms’ newsfeed algorithms have been recently changed to focus on a user’s top priorities rather than on the time of publication. This lifts the curtain on the understanding of what shows up in a user’s feed – our news feeds are filled with posts from those we care about most, our family and friends. Blend this with the fact that users are starting to favor hyper-relevant, up-to-date content to duplicated or backward-looking posts, and here’s the blueprint for success – post less, but better. We’ve always known that quality is way more important than quantity, haven’t we?
If we’re talking about productive business use of social media, it is important to know what the best times to post are. We’ve looked it up for you at AdWeek.
Update: While we were working on this post, Facebook have announced they were changing their algorithm to reduce exposure for clickbait headlines – another proof of quality over quantity.
SOCIAL INTERACTION IS CHANGING
New ways of social interaction have appeared, giving the ability for unilateral communication.
The main idea behind social media’s existence is the ‘social’ element – all these platforms were created for us to socialize with each other directly and, quite commonly, in the conversational form. Now, however, forms of interaction are starting to transform. Snapchat, as well as similar platforms, is allowing one-sided conversations in a more transient manner. Platforms like Facebook are launching new communication channels like Messenger for Business, which, by the way, can be used to create a new service or add a feature to an existing one. Thanks to that, companies and customers alike can talk to each other in new multiple ways as the new opportunities arise.
NEW PLAYERS ARE POPPING IN
New social networks are gaining popularity, but Facebook is still in the lead.
Actually, they have already popped in. It’s been a long time since three social media giants, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which have 1.59 billion, 320 million and 100 million active monthly users accordingly, almost unquestionably cemented themselves as the major players of the social media game. Now, however, it’s time for them to shift a bit as newer players in the game, Instagram and Snapchat (we’ve talked about it in this post), are making their way towards a massive user base objective. Pinterest and Google + are still the top seven platforms, with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot.
Networks are going to lengths to adapt the content users see in their feeds as much as possible depending on their needs and interests.
We bet you’re sick and tired of seeing lots of similar content in your newsfeed or scroll down posts you don’t care about. Since personalization and customization are in high demand, both platforms and publishers are doing everything possible to pamper users according to that demand.
In fact, no one outside Facebook knows for sure how their algorithms work, yet the results of their automated ranking process shape the social lives and habits of one-fifth of the world’s adult population.
LIVESTREAMING IS GROWING
Video content, especially live video streaming, is becoming ubiquitous and has the highest engagement levels.
Video content is climbing the charts these days partly because it’s become more accessible and in part because users are starting to feel tired of older media. Together with the trend of users appealing to more “live” and in-the-moment updates, the live streaming video has seen a huge spike in popularity, especially with the recent release of Facebook Live. In fact, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide claim video is the type of content with the best ROI.
CALL TO ACTION BUTTONS ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON
Social media are developing their advertising concepts to follow the concepts of native ads, i.e. seamlessly integrate sponsored posts into newsfeeds.
Advertising on social media has always been around, which is quite logical – that’s how they earn money. Yet only recently has it started to feel like a shopping experience. Ads and products are making their way into users’ news feeds almost seamlessly now, as if not to distract from the main organic content, making it easier than ever to convert followers into real customers.
GETTING BIGGER APP FUNCTIONALITY
Social media apps are produced and owned by companies, which not surprisingly need to make money to keep living. They can sell ad space or user data. However, they lose user’s attention every time a user clicks out of an app. As a panacea to this, social platforms are trying hard to keep users involved in-app for as long as possible, offering additional functionality such as in-app search functions, embedded content, or even a personal digital assistant to keep users wholly contented and loyal.
Some of these trends have been the shapers of the social media marketing world for a while, others popped up recently in return to never-ending innovation processes. they’re here anyway, and it’s up to you whether to adopt all of them or simply start using them differently. You need to be aware of their existence even if you’re not considering them to be your first-aid toolkit for lead generation. And if you are using social media for affiliate marketing, those are crucial points you should not only know but take action on.
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