Social Media in 2016 - And How to Stay Ahead of the Game
Everywhere you’ll look on digital marketing resource websites you’ll find articles all about social media platforms. From the latest Facebook changes through to what Instagram have done to our feeds (or haven’t done!), you can’t integrate yourself in the world of digital marketing in 2016 without studying the latest updates and news in the industry.
Digital marketing is an art that’s changed a lot since its inception. From the way our social media timelines are ordered to the way we interact with brands, the social platforms of today are nothing like they were back in the days of MySpace.
But what does social media look like in 2016 for brands, and how can you stay ahead of the game?
That’s what we’re here to help you with.
Facebook in 2016
Perhaps one of the most widely talked about social media platforms, Facebook is one that attracts users back time and time again.
These days you might notice that your walls tend to be full of videos instead of the pictures and text-based updates of the past. Sure, there’s still room for them, but viral videos spread around Facebook like wildfire. How many times have you found yourself watching a video of a dog running around or someone cuddling a panda? Or perhaps you're a sucker for one of the many recipe videos that make baking a cake or cooking a tasty meal look as simple as counting to ten?
You know the ones.
And occasionally you see branded ones too. Travel company Kayak especially like to appear on our Facebook walls - mine specifically, and video marketing is becoming an incredibly popular way to appeal to Facebook fans.
Another change in Facebook is your newsfeed. Instead of showing you latest posts, Facebook are constantly developing their algorithm to try and help you find the best content. Whether that’s making notes of the things you physically like, or taking note of which videos you turn the volume up on or expand the screen - Facebook are listening and becoming aware that this is the type of content you want to see, and therefore it’ll be at the top of your feed.
This is somewhat damaging for brands, and the only way to effectively get in front of your audience with guaranteed results is through paid social advertising which we will touch on later.
But finally, let us not forget another vital update to the Facebook feed that has been released to the public recently, and that's the reaction options. Now you can go beyond liking a post by saying how it makes you feel including emotions such as love and sadness.
Interesting times indeed.
Twitter in 2016
There’s been a lot of debate over Twitter recently. In January, The Guardian reported that US users of the website has fallen a third in two years. This isn’t exactly good news for the platform - and yet they’re doing their best to combat it.
In terms of changes on Twitter, one of the most recent you’ll have noticed is the like button turning into a love button. To be honest, I've personally already forgotten what the like key used to look like before, and Twitter are continuing to push out changes beyond this too.
If you haven’t logged on for a while, you might have noticed that Twitter now have a recap feature outling what you have missed while you were gone. There you’ll find some posts that Twitter believes you’ll be interested in. This will likely be from people you interact with more often than others, and although Twitter have stated that you won’t see this update every time you log on, you will occasionally if it’s been awhile since you last visited.
News also broke yesterday that Twitter are working on their Android design to encourage a better user experience for all. Navigation will be easier than ever with the app's new look, ensuring that it’s user friendly. We’re intrigued to see the effect this might have in the future of social.
Twitter do offer a feed that’s organised so that you see the Tweets they think you’ll be more interested above the rest - but unlike Facebook, they provide a valuable option to turn this off under your settings.
Facebook could have something to learn from this platform in terms of letting the users decide how they want to see things instead of trying to predict everything!
Instagram in 2016
As one of the younger social media platforms, when compared to the others out there, Instagram has also ironically attracted a much younger audience to its platform too.
Even though it was primarily designed as a place to edit and upload photos, you may have noticed Instagram shift towards more video content in recent months. This is largely due to the popularity of videos online at the moment.
Their discover tab is also changing, and here you’ll find more videos you might like, which isn't really surprising Facebook owns Instagram. If videos are proving popular on Facebook they're likely to be popular on their other platforms too.
You may have also noticed that there was a recent panic amongst Instagram users thinking that a new algorithm was going to stop people from seeing posts in reverse chronological order. If you did follower the users like they requested, you might find yourself getting updates every time they post - which is probably somewhat annoying if you’ve done it across a few accounts. It’s best not to change your Instagram just yet though, as they have not officially rolled out any updates.
They also recently stated the following about the future updates: ‘All the posts will still be there, just in a different order.’ So it’s going to be just fine!
How to get ahead on social media
With so many updates going on, it can be difficult to keep abreast with what's going on. So here's a few tips to help you stay ahead on the everchanging world of social media!
Create a story and stick to it
Social media goes hand in hand with content marketing, so the best thing you can do is create content that tells your brand’s story - and then push this out to potential customers.
Social media is your chance to raise brand awareness and help to develop a personality for your brand, as well as business-consumer relationships.
Figure out what makes your brand story special and put this out there for the world to see - customers will lap it up if you get it right.
Gone are the days when you could get maximum exposure on the likes of Facebook without paying for it, so make sure to set a budget aside to invest in this.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth, you can put on adverts costing £20 or £40 if you know how to target it right - just make sure you’ve thought through the content and made it clickable before investing, or else you could be wasting your time.
It’s still incredibly important to interact with consumers on social media.
Whether they have negative or positive feedback, get a dialogue going. Customers will see you interacting with others and know you appreciate your fans and have a great customer service department.
It's an easy way to show your brand cares without investing a lot resource.
A lot of digital marketing firms will talk to you about video marketing, and yet not many businesses out there are actually doing it.
We mentioned Kayak earlier, who have an effective video marketing strategy in place and have even incorporated 360 videos too that allow you to move the image whilst it’s in motion.
It really is quite delightful, and it's effective too. So don't miss out on this exciting video marketing opportunity.
Look to new platforms
Of course there are more platforms than just the three we’ve mentioned and of the ones to watch out for, we recommend you keep an eye on Snapchat.
It was reported recently that new updates mean that brands are able to get in front of audiences easier than ever before - but you need to be aware that you don’t post too frequently as well.
Pixel8 and your social media
If you think your business could benefit from some social support from the friendly crowd here at pixel8, why not give us a call?
If you want to see the kind of results you can achieve with us, be sure to take a look right here...