Social Trends Marketers Won’t Be Able To Ignore in 2016

The advent of the New Year means one thing for those in the digital realm – newer trends to keep track of! The year 2016 is poised to be one of the best years on social media and we’ve rounded up some of the trends to keep a watch on:

1) Time for brands to go social

There has been a shift in the behaviour of consumers looking to buy new products or signing up for new services. Instead of researching about a product or service on a search engine, consumers are now turning to social media. Think about the last time you checked out a review of that gadget you were thinking of buying, or that restaurant you were thinking of going to. Was it a post by a friend or perhaps you read reviews from a blogger you’re following?

The advantages social media offer cannot be ignored – it allows consumers to get a visual representation of the product, user reviews by existing customers and visual media instead of text heavy information.

2) Go mobile with apps

Until recently, a mobile app came as an afterthought of a desktop site. With the increase in mobile users over the last year however, several companies are shifting to the mobile-first approach. In fact, several e-commerce portals have decided to bypass the desktop site altogether and focus on building a user friendly app. Studies have shown that 85% of today’s consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites as apps are conceived as faster, easier to browse and more convenient.

3) Video ads are the new fad

Given the expectation of online ad revenue to touch $5 billion in 2016, nearly double that of 2013, it comes next that marketers would want to know the digital ad formats that produce the best results. According to a report by BI Intelligence, video ads receive three times more clicks than other digital formats, and with a click-through rate of 1.84%, makes it the highest and most successful digital ad format among others like mobile, display and flash.

Source: BI Intelligence – Video ads have the highest click-through rate when compared to other digital ad formats

Source: BI Intelligence – Video ads have the highest click-through rate when compared to other digital ad formats

4) Living in the moment updates

While social media in general is pretty dynamic in nature, the popularity of apps like Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram now allows a user to post live video or photo updates. Compared to other platforms that require you to post already recorded videos or photos, this new trend gives a whole new facet to the term ‘immediacy in social media’. What this means for brands is the shift away from marketing predictability to marketing in a personalized manner as if living in the present, just like how the individual consumer like you and I use social media.

5) Buy on demand

Over the last year, Facebook and Pinterest have introduced the buy features for their advertisers and users alike. This means a user can buy any product they like from a sponsored link without leaving the mobile app. It is expected that this year, all other social media platforms will follow suit and naturally integrate the buy option as a part of their advertising campaign. This buying process becomes a breeze for consumers, leading to more expenditure, which translates into substantial benefits for companies.

6) Scaling down aggressive advertising

After high profile security breaches like that of Ashley Madison, there is a rising concern over secure lines of communication and stronger privacy measures. Apps like Snapchat allow for total privacy for its users and platforms like Facebook and Twitter constantly update their privacy settings to ensure all data is well protected. For companies, this means scaling back aggressive or intrusive forms of advertising.

Social media marketing has come a long way since the early days when seasoned marketers were on the fence about its ability to be able to sell ideas to customers. Today, it is constantly evolving alongside new technologies that never cease to amaze. 2016 could very well be the year that shapes the importance of social media in a marketer’s blueprint.