Social Media Trends for 2016

What’s hot in social media now? Where should you be focusing your social media efforts? How can you use social media to market your business  in 2016? Here are the top social media trends you should pay attention to.

The new year is full of resolutions, new beginnings, and renewed energy. In fact, it’s the perfect time to give your business strategies a facelift. Anybody who works in the social media space knows that a year feels like an eternity. Strategies and best practices sometimes change weekly—much like the frequency of platform updates, so how is a business owner supposed to keep up? You don’t have to respond to every change but you should realign your approach a couple of times per year. The new year seems like the perfect time to look at what you’re doing and evaluate.

It’s All About Mobile

Social media experts have warned for a long time (long time = months in the social media field) about the impending takeover of mobile. It’s no longer impending; it’s here. Instagram is basically 100% mobile and Facebook says that 47% of its 1.39 billion monthly active mobile users have never logged in on a computer. Facebook also says that 78% of it’s advertising revenue comes from mobile ads.

Strategy: Make your 2016 social media efforts look and feel good on mobile. Make sure your website looks great on mobile devices, and consider learning more about push notifications and other mobile advertising tools.

No Free Advertising

Remember the days when you could head over to social media, advertise your latest sale, event, or interesting business announcement and you actually got a response from people? Those days are gone. Organic reach (social media term meaning you didn’t pay for advertising) on Facebook is down below 3% according to a March study and people expect that number to go even lower. To put it in context, if you have 1,000 followers on your page, expect for about 30 people to see your posts unless you pay for it. Twitter and Instagram are a little better but the takeaway is the same.

Strategy: If you want to reach people on social media with an advertising post for your business, set aside some money for social media advertising.

You Have to Use Video

Text is so early 2015. Look around social media and what do you see? Videos everywhere! As content creators battle for readers’ eyes, they are constantly looking for ways to stand out. Social media platforms are tired of YouTube taking all of the video market share so they began catering to video producers in 2015. The result was a social media landscape that can’t get enough videos.

The good news is that you don’t have to hire an expensive video producer to join the craze. Get out your phone and think about things your customers would be interested in seeing. Facebook, periscope, and Instagram are great platforms for video.

Strategy: Find ways to incorporate video into your social media outreach in 2016.

Social Media is All About The Cause

Millennials are all about getting behind a cause—something in the world that is broken that needs fixed. Whether it’s world hunger, ridding the world of terrorism, or healing childhood cancer, millennials are passionate about a cause and social media has evolved to give them a platform to take action. What cause do you believe in? Use social media to talk about what your business is doing to make the world a better place. You’ll find some captive eyes that pushes your organic reach higher. (As long as you don’t turn it into an advertisement.)

Strategy: If your business isn’t aligning with a cause, find one this year. Your younger customers demand that from businesses they work with.

The Old Favorites Are Still King

Expect to see plenty of social media platforms come and go in 2016 but the old favorites still hold the top spot. Facebook is, by far, still the largest and unless your business operates in the teen market, you’re most likely to find the best ROI by sticking with Facebook. You probably don’t have time to invest into multiple platforms so pick one—Facebook, unless your business fits the demographic of another platform. Example—if your business caters to leaders and influencers, put some time into Twitter.

Strategy: Plenty of fads will come and go. Leave those to other people. You have a business to run. Stick with Facebook and if you want a second platform, go to Instagram.

Social Media Jobs Dying

As Facebook and other platforms continue to cut organic reach, businesses have to set aside more money for advertising. Others are finding that social isn’t worth the time or effort now that competition is so fierce in these crowded spaces. The trend of less business friendly social platforms has caused a sharp decrease in hiring for social media-type jobs.

Strategy: If you need help with social media, don’t hire a high-priced manager unless you have a large advertising budget. Find somebody who spends a lot of time on social and give them some basic rules. Tell them that you don’t want a ton of ads; you just want to communicate with your customers.

Bottom Line

The one thing we know about social media next year is that we’ll see a continued fast-paced evolution of the platforms. Some will rise, others will quietly fall away, and the way we interact with social will continue to change. You don’t have to be up on all of the trends but if you’re spending money on social, keep an eye on websites like that report on current social media trends.

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