There are now more than 2 billion active social media users worldwide, and that number is growing at a rapid rate each year. Every year brings a host of changes to the social media landscape; some of them are not worth talking about, while a few are outright ground-breaking.
Take a look at the four trends that have influenced social media in 2016-
What was the number one trend in 2015 seems to continue this year as well. Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope have taken the internet by storm and are being promoted actively by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. Around 73% marketers have increased their use of video in 2016 and most of them claim that it is undoubtedly the best form of content marketing. Also, the hunger for constant communication and visually engaging content has facilitated the rise of real-time videos, making it increasingly popular these days.
Different social media sites have enabled advertisers to sell directly on their platforms. Facebook and Pinterest, in particular, have introduced “Buy Now” features, and more social platforms are expected to follow suit by the end of 2016. Unlike the old-fashioned banner ads, the new generation of "native" social media ads like sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram and promoted tweets on Twitter look and act a lot like normal updates from friends and followers but they are also targeted with increasing precision. It’s a win-win situation since social media users can now buy products without even leaving the app, allowing for a great user experience.
The emergence of apps and an on-the-go lifestyle has made it unsurprising that internet users spend more time browsing with smart phones than on desktops. With virtually everyone using their smartphone or tablet to find information online, it goes without saying that business owners have started catering to the needs of their mobile audience to generate leads and increase conversions. Recent statistics show that 70% of all smart phone searches result in an action. Whether that's a purchase of a product or a visit to a website, more and more people are using their mobile device to surf, shop, interact and engage.
Features like Facebook’s Instant Articles have given way to a new trend in social content. Users have started to warm up to the idea that videos automatically play in their newsfeeds, and full-fledged articles are available without users ever having to leave a social app. Brands have begun to provide content through social channels first, which has implications for traditional on-site SEO as well. Also, blogging on social media is becoming a huge trend in 2016. This is a significant change in content marketing which makes it easier for readers to find the information they need.
The biggest social media trend of 2016, however, is quite obvious and doesn’t require a crystal ball to see. Social media is fast becoming the standard and preferred operating procedure at companies. Social networking sites have changed how companies communicate with employees , reach and interact with customers, offer products and services, , and in a nutshell, do business.