3 Social Media Takeaways from 2016

Another year of selling, marketing and seeing success is behind us… but there is still a lot that we can learn from 2016. As we look forward to the year ahead of us, I wanted to talk about a few of the biggest trends in 2016, and why we need to pay attention to them in the new year. Here are my top social media takeaways from 2016:

Video is Huge

You know the song “Video Killed the Radio Star”? Well, video on social media is definitely beating text and image posts. Some experts say that video is the future of Facebook - meaning that users would do away with text and image posts and only use video clips to tell their story and sell their products.

While we aren’t there yet, 2016 saw some major growth when it comes to video, mainly in the live streaming sector. While apps like Meerkat and Periscope made headlines in 2015, they were overshadowed by Facebook Live in 2016. Facebook Live allows users to live stream everything from events to unboxings, all within the borders of one of their most powerful marketing tools - Facebook.

Users can comment on the video and have their comments addressed live, and anyone who wasn’t online for the live stream can watch the video on the streamer’s timeline later on. It’s a powerful tool for small businesses, and we’re looking forward to the new video apps and features to come in 2017!

A few interesting 2016 video statistics from Hyperfine Media:

  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.
  • 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
  • ⅓ of all online activity is spent watching video.
  • 5% of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute, and 60% by 2 minutes.
  • Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.

Mobile is Trending

We connect with others on our phones. We search for information on our phones. It makes sense that we would want to be marketed to on our phones, right? Mobile marketing has been steadily growing for years, and while I’m sure it hasn’t reached its peak yet, there have been a lot of advancements in mobile in 2016, specifically with location-based marketing and text campaigns.

Say you’re eating lunch in a busy shopping plaza. You open up an app to leave a nice review, and you get a notification that a local jewelry store just a few doors down is having a 50% off sale. You’re already in the area… why not stop in?! Location-based marketing is so powerful because it focuses on convenience. What is ALREADY around a consumer that they may be interested in? What offer can you provide to them to make the deal sweeter? Location-based marketing is a win-win, as it provides traffic for local retailers AND growth opportunities for large apps.

Text marketing also feeds on the desire for convenience, though not location-based convenience. Once a consumer opts in to a text marketing campaign, they get promos and important information sent to their phones regularly. This is convenient because it gets rid of that pesky “where did I put my coupon?” problem, while also keeping customers aware of your latest promotions.

Ads are a Must-Do

Ads used to be a nice way for businesses to stand out from the crowd. But in 2016, ads were a must if you even wanted to be INCLUDED in the crowd. Facebook is  constantly making algorithm changes, and several of the most recent updates have been bad news for businesses. Facebook has been pushing for users to see more from friends and family and less from businesses, leaving advertisers with only one choice:  To use Facebook’s advertising platform.

And it’s not just Facebook! Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all have advertising options that promise to get posts more exposure.

If you’re feeling frustrated by ads, we’re here to change your mind. While it’s a bummer to have to “pay to play,” social media advertising (when done correctly) typically has a good return on investment. By learning the advertising platforms and optimizing your results, you can spend less time and less money, while still seeing results. I’ve worked with so many retailers who were hesitant to put any of their budget into social ads, only to have them see immense success and do away with ALL other advertising channels, like newspaper or radio. Talk about a success story!

The future is now… and video, mobile and advertising are a huge part of it! While I’m sure we will see some new trends in 2017, these strategies will be sticking around for the long-haul! If you want to stay updated about the biggest topics to pop up in 2017, be sure to like us on Facebook!