As we wrap up 2015 and look to 2016, it’s clear that social media continues to have a greater impact on small businesses than ever before. In 2016, the ways that businesses use social media will evolve along with the different social platforms themselves. Businesses need to be ready. Below are some of the social media trends I see taking a foothold for 2016.
Influencer marketing will continue to become more important to businesses
2015 was definitely the year that public – and business owners – got familiarized with the term influencer marketing. After all, social media influencers have helped countless businesses promote products and services to large audiences that they previously could not access.
Marketing maven Gerard Boucher, CEO of New York digital agency Boucher + Co., believes that personal branding will become more important, as businesses realize every employee has the ability to become an influencer promoting a company’s products or services. “Influencer marketing within small and medium-sized businesses will be one of the most pronounced trends in the social media business landscape in 2016,” Mr. Boucher was quoted as saying for this blog post.
Video will be even more ubiquitous across social media channels
Video continued to take off in 2015, with more brands taking advantage of the fact that costs of producing high-quality videos have decreased greatly, making great video easily accessible to many businesses. In 2016, that trend will continue, especially with the introduction of new video formats such as 360-degree video.
The ability of businesses to broadcast live video streams on the fly, using a social platform such as Periscope, is a game-changer and will continue to be utilized by more companies in 2016. Recently, Facebook started rolling out live video to a number of businesses, and will continue to do so in 2016, inevitably increasing the utilization of these videos by brands.
Businesses will start to utilize paid social media a lot more
In an ideal world, businesses could post on social media for free, and see their organic content driving tons of engagement and lots of sales. One problem – this is not an ideal world. Almost two years ago, Facebook announced it was shifting its algorithm to focus more on non-sales related content for businesses. This decision greatly reduced the effectiveness of organic social media content promoting a brand’s sales, offers, and revenue-generating products on Facebook.
Since then, paid social media has taken off – forcing businesses to advertise on Facebook in order to reach more customers, drive engagement, and ultimately, drive revenue. This trend will continue to take hold in 2016, as businesses realize the need to make this investment in order to generate revenue and brand equity from social media.
Look for “boosting posts” to become a more widely-understood verb, and Facebook’s revenue to increase as more businesses advertise on that platform.
Please join me next week for Part 2 of this series on Social Media Trends for 2016.