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Must Know Social Media Marketing Trends In 2016

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The past year was an exciting one for social media with all kinds of intriguing developments and accomplishments. It saw the rise of live streaming on social with platforms like Periscope coming to the fore, Google modifying its search to emphasize on the importance of social posts and Facebook adding 1 billion users in one day.

In this day and age of technology, change is the only constant. So, what does 2016 hold in store for us?

People Centric Social Strategies

This year, more companies will implement adaptive social. The more we engage and collaborate with external and internal social media users for business, the more we need to adapt to their communities and requirements for success. This should become more of a norm than an exception for companies in 2016 with examples like these:

  • Influencer Marketing: Instead of creating campaigns that focus on marketing initiatives, brands will seek long-term gains and mold the campaign according to the needs of the influencers.
  • Employee Advocacy: Brands will realize that employees are their biggest advocates and take into account employee behaviors. This will result in more engagement and participation and eventually, a greater reach and trust for the brands.
  • Social Selling: Brands will customize the content they share based on the likes and dislikes of their customers, instead of just pushing content on their networks. Ethnic marketing may flourish too.
  • Content Marketing: Brands will build a conversation with social media users in their language. They will look into the interests of social users and develop content specific to each social media platform.

Live Video Becomes Mainstream    

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2015 saw the dawn of live-casting with new technology such as Periscope and Blab. In 2016 some of these live broadcasts will go a notch higher with live 360 degree broadcasts that will enable people to move their mobile phones and experience the actions as if they were really present and moving their heads. Furthermore, cost-effective virtual reality devices which facilitate fully immersive 3D experiences that are live, will take the users by storm. Most of this will be enabled by low-cost 360 cameras such as Ricoh Theta, combined with economical devices like Google Cardboard that transform the smartphone into a virtual reality device. This represents an entirely new opportunity for marketers to give factory tours and any other kind of in-person experience imaginable. Live-streaming video gained momentum in 2015 with platforms like Periscope and Meerkat leading the way and new platforms like Blab.im and Appear.in exploring the same. Early adopters joined the video scene in 2015 but this year, live-streaming video will become completely mainstream. Live video already has the power to connect you to your audience in a much more personal way than blog posts, webinars, e-books and podcasts. Also, there is no pressure to edit and polish the content. For instance, Facebook Live was available only to certain users but now, the access is widening up, making it a bigger player.

Personalized Content at Every Step

Powerful analytics and marketing tools are giving digital marketers more information than ever about their customer and clients. By leveraging social and online data, businesses can make content that enriches the customer journey. Companies will have to make messages more personalized because customers expect a personal touch when they interact on social media platforms. Unlike the past when there were relatively less content producers, today, everyone is a content generator or curator. Consumers are drowning in content without paying heed to it. To overcome the apathy towards content, marketers will have to ensure that the content produced in 2016 is accurately targeted and personalized to cater to not only the overall customer experience, but also to each of the stages along the buyer’s journey up to the purchase and beyond to tap into customer value.

For these reasons, companies will rely more on social media tools like Talkwalker in order to get social media management tasks done effectively and efficiently while at the same time becoming more authentic, transparent and customer- oriented in their engagement with users in the online environment.

Improved Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook recently introduced new communication tools that allow Facebook pages to know more about the people they are communicating with. People who create pages can add keywords along with notes to tag the users they engage with. With this, businesses can improve their targeting via content a user might be interested in. Instead of blanket targeting a user based on his broad interests, pages will be able to offer a more personal experience depending on the interactions he’s had with a Facebook user. In 2016, advertising on social networks will become a must. Moreover, organic social reach — feeds you receive from friends and family — are not as impactful in marketing as they used to be. Paying for advertising enables you to reach a specific demographic. Facebook’s advertising platform, for example, can help you market to a particular age group, gender, location etc., something that a Facebook post shared organically will not be capable of.

Marketing Automation

2016 is the year to come up with a marketing automation strategy for your business to sell your brand at a widespread scale. Marketing automation is a software platform developed so that businesses can market their brands across multiple social channels simultaneously. It alleviates the need to perform tasks such as sending emails or marketing repeatedly on various social media sites. Local and small businesses should earnestly consider leveraging some kind of marketing automation software in order to keep track of the increasing amount of content they will need to feed their customers and prospects. Ample options are at your disposal but choose the one best suited to your requirements and the one that doesn’t burn a whole in your pocket.

The world is moving at a fast pace and users have become very selective about the content they consume. Hence, stepping up social media tactics is the need of the hour. This year, businesses are all set to accept the challenge.

Image Credits: sproutsocial.com

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