2015 is almost over. As social continues to evolve, marketers must ask “what is next” and adapt to the ever changing social trends. The speed of social has always been dizzying — new platforms, behaviors, memes and audiences are created and forgotten every minute. The year ahead promises to keep on following this rhythm.
AdAge has a very interesting article about what marketers should be investing in and learning about next year. According to the article, “when it comes to social and digital marketing, 2016 is going to be an adapt-or-die year, one in which marketers will need to evolve as tectonic shifts in the way people use social networks and consume media on them will force massive change”.
Here are four social trends marketers can’t ignore next year:
1- Less broadcasting, more messaging, and the challenge of including a brand
Messaging platforms continue to grow in 2016, and are expected to expand from 2.5 billion to 3.6 billion global users by 2018 — already a full 25% larger than the audience for social media. While one-to-one messaging soars, Facebook has noted that its users are posting less and less — in fact, only 20% of millennials use broadcast social networks to post photos and videos at all.
Marketers face a critical challenge, trying to find authentic ways to fit their brands into one-to-one messaging platforms without annoying their audiences. Branded emoji keyboards are a strong first step into this space, but we’ll need more innovation. Currently, the two biggest players in the game — WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — offer no advertising options for brands.
2 – Snapchat isn’t the next Facebook or Instagram, but the new TV.
Marketers will realize that Snapchat isn’t social — it’s TV. Using Snapchat as an organic social channel isn’t cost-effective. Snapchat will serve for appointment-watching and awareness, and not for growing communities.
3 – Social networks are becoming closed systems you can never leave.
Snapchat doesn’t lead outside the network, Instagram and Facebook are making every effort to keep users from heading outside of its platforms. Brands will need to optimize for on-platform success and conversation, and minimize CTAs and clickthroughs.
4 – Social video will get more complex
Videos will need to be optimized for every platform it’s posted all the different cultural norms of each of those platforms in order to achieve success. It starts with YouTube, but then needs to be reshaped as a Facebook video, a Twitter video, an Instagram video and potentially a Vine or Tumblr video.
What other trends you think marketers won’t be able to ignore? Leave your opinion in the comments!