Predicted Trends in Social Media
By Melissa Carney and Megan Emerick
Social media seems to change everyday, so much so it is hard to even imagine what we could see coming into play this year. While we know there will be new opportunities, there will also be further development and strides within existing elements in the social space. Here are some trends we expect to see in 2016:
1. Search within social is growing and becoming a powerful user tool. How often have you gone directly to Yelp to search for a new restaurant? Or LinkedIn to search for a business? Social networks are becoming the new search. Many people have started to skip over Google when conducting a search and instead search within social networks. And many social media sites are doing something about it. For example, Pinterest has recently announced a visual search feature that allows users to click within an image to open a new search bringing up similar results. For instance, if you are viewing a pin that includes a living room image like the one below and want to see additional lighting options you would then click on the lamp and see similar product results.
2. Live social broadcasts will go mainstream. Vendors like Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat made their debut but haven’t really had time to gain traction. Last month, GE used Periscope to launch #DRONEWEEK, a week-long live streaming event to showcase the company’s manufacturing and testing facilities. GoPro recently announced a partnership with Periscope to let users directly live stream from their camera to their followers. Knowing the power of video on social platforms and the accessibility of live broadcasts, we expect to see more of a surge in 2016 as more brands, both B2B and B2C, figure out the best way to incorporate live streaming into their social strategy.
3. Social data will drive strategy. This data will continue to become more valuable, shaping strategy on and beyond the social platforms. Access to consumer preferences will help personalize messages and focus on building brand loyalty and long-term relationships vs. a single conversion. A deeper understanding of the loyal brand advocates will assist in having the right conversations with the right people.
4. Privacy and security will become even more of a priority for consumers; and the social media platforms will have to do something about it. With data comes great responsibility. Users want content that applies to them but get nervous about “big brother” watching. There is a fine line between receiving messages that are applicable and feeling as though you no longer have control over your personal information that platforms and marketers need to be aware of.
5. Advertising and the ability to buy right from social media will become more prevalent. As more and more platforms are looking to survive and make money, advertising opportunities will become more readily available for brands, and more visible to the consumer. At the same time more opportunities for consumers to buy, right from social media platforms, will arise.