Social Media Marketing is Changing in 2016: This is What You Need to Know
Are you on social media? Do you have a Facebook account and an Instagram profile? Do you watch Snapchat videos daily? I’m willing to bet that every single person that reads this will answer “YES!”
Social media is impossible to ignore these days. It’s everywhere and you can’t go 30 minutes without interacting through social media. How many times do you check your Facebook newsfeed? How many Snapchat messages do you send?
If I told you that you had to lock your phone in a safe for 1 hour would you lose your mind? Most people couldn’t handle not checking social media for an entire hour. It’s such a huge part of the daily lives of almost every single person in the world. And it’s not that old when you think about it! It’s fairly new and it’s already taken over the world.
As a marketer or business owner you need to understand that social media marketing is always changing and will always continue to change. Imagine the people that thought Myspace would be around forever. History will repeat itself and there will always be new forms social media and once popular ones will fade away.
I put together this post of things that you need to know about social media in 2016. Use this information to help better position your business for successful social media exposure and promotion. It’s a form of Internet marketing that is not going to go away.
Social Media Marketing Tips in 2016..
1. Facebook reactions change the way we interact.
The “Like” button on Facebook now has multiple emotional options to select from and this is pretty big news. Rather than just have a like/dislike option, they created six options to pick from. This might sound like insignificant news, but it’s really breathed new life into Facebook interactions. From a business standpoint, you can now post content to get reactions out of people. Triggering emotions is a huge part of sales.
The new feature has also caused a lot of people to become more active on Facebook. A lot of people got heavily into Instagram and eased up on Facebook posting and now with Snapchat becoming huge, this comes at the perfect time.
2. Facebook search is gaining in popularity.
Since people seem to live on Facebook, it’s only natural that they start using the search function more. Now that almost every single business is on Facebook, it’s possible to search for local businesses right on the Facebook app. It’s going to continue to grow into a reliable and widely used local search engine.
I really wouldn’t be surprised if mobile referral traffic for most local businesses is soon #2 behind Google. It’s common sense, since there are billions of users on Facebook, so as long as they keep improving their search function it will soon be #2 behind Google. It’s clear as day, so be prepared!
3. Facebook is now a content marketing platform.
I hate gurus, but one thing is for sure: they are always up on what is working. If you follow some of the bigger (cringe!) marketing gurus on Facebook you will notice something. They are all publishing long form content on their Facebook pages. They used to just post a link to a blog post on their own website, but now Facebook users are staying on the site and don’t want to click off.
So, in order to connect with them they are appealing to them and putting the content directly on Facebook. You can still add calls to action and push traffic; you just build up the interest in a log form Facebook post. If the offer is good enough they will click through to your site.
4. Google+ is dead.
Are you still using Google+? I would bet not. Honestly, I wouldn’t even waste 10 seconds a day posting to this worthless social media site. It is still popular with some SEO people, but it’s a circle jerk. A regular business is just wasting their time with it. I’d even go so far as to tell you to delete your Google+ and focus on social media that actually works.
5. Medium needs to be part of your strategy.
Medium is a great self publishing platform and it’s really starting to gain in popularity. This is the perfect place to publish solid content and nothing that is trying to sell anything. A great post on medium is going to attract natural website visitors and social media followers.
It won’t happen overnight, but make it a habit to make a couple posts a month and watch your following here grow. It’s a very unique community, almost like Reddit, as nobody wants to be sold and they don’t want to read bullshit. Post solid content and you will survive and grow a following.
6. Snapchat will soon be #1 so get familiar fast.
Snapchat is growing at an incredibly fast rate. What was once for kids has now grown into a huge social media community and large companies are now spending millions of dollars to advertise. It’s the most engaging social media you can get involved in, so I would suggest you start to figure out how to use it in your business ASAP. It’s only going to get bigger and more competitive. Snapchat users watch a total of more than 8 BILLION videos a day. You should see the opportunity and start to figure it out. If companies like Coke and Pepsi and pumping millions into advertising here, you know the potential is large.
7. You need to learn how to promote correctly on Instagram.
IMers bitched and complained about how it was impossible to make money on Instagram because you can’t put links in posts. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are marketers and businesses making millions of dollars from Instagram branding. You can have a link in your profile, so with creative posting you can get Instagram traffic to convert.
Post interesting pictures that your target audience is going to want to like and comment on. It’s all about engagement. Trigger them to tag their friends in your posts. The more people that see them, the more that will potentially be interested in whatever it is that you are selling.
8. Social media profiles are just as important as your website.
There are many businesses that are attracting all of their customers via social media. They aren’t even worried about SEO on their website, because they are pushing so much converting traffic from social media. Think about it for a minute. Everyone is on social media. They re searching on it now (see Facebook search in #2 above) and they are interacting with social media ads. A lot of times they don’t have any reason to pull up Google in their browser.
9. You need to be willing to spend for paid reach on social media.
Kiss goodbye to organic Facebook reach. Twitter is currently messing with how they show recent tweets. The social networks don’t want you to be successful with organic advertising. Why? They don’t make a dime. You make all the money.
It’s never going to get easier, so it’s best to accept the fact that you need to be willing to spend money on ads to really experience the true power of social media targeting. Facebook ads give you so many targeting options, but so many people are scared to spend the money. You need to be willing to piss away some money to learn how it works and test. Social media marketing is going to soon be 100% pay to play no matter what.
10. Influencer marketing on social media offers the biggest return.
Look at any “hot girl” or “model” Instagram profile with more than 500,000 followers. What do you see?
Posts of them with weight loss pills, detox tea, teeth whitener products, etc. They are all being paid by companies to post with their product and tag their Instagram handle. They will also often put the advertisers link in their profile. The advertiser sees traffic and gains Instagram followers to market to later on.
This gives them a much better return than spending big money on PPC and it’s a great option if your product wouldn’t pass AdWords review, like diet pills and other questionable products.
11. Live streaming is what social media was when it first came out: a look inside.
Periscope and Meerkat are picking up steam and soon you will see every major company live streaming. It allows you to demonstrate products in real time or give your followers live information. Anytime you decide to broadcast your followers are alerted and have the ability to tune in. It gives you a huge potential audience that will watch whatever you have to say in real time. That is very powerful and there are so many ways to take advantage of that captivated viewership.
Just like with Snapchat, there is no doubt this will be huge and now is the time to get active and build up an audience. Imagine if you were able to build a huge following on Instagram before any of your competitors did? Think of this the same way. Get a leg up on them and establish your business as the live stream innovator in your niche.
12. Vlogs are HOT now.
Vlogs are becoming very popular and people are subscribing to them at a fast rate. They are addicted to them just like the previous generation was addicted to TV sitcoms. It’s a new era, but if you can come up with a unique vlog concept that will pull in viewers and also help you get exposure for your business you have a winning opportunity.
13. You need to sell and explain your product or service in less than 15 seconds.
Instagram video is very engaging and now that they are showing view counts, it’s going to be even easier to manipulate it to draw more interest to whatever it is that you are selling. Just like with YouTube views, people automatically think if a video has millions of views it must be good…and they watch it! That’s why so many people buy fake views. The same will happen with Instagram views. People will buy fake ones to look popular. The video length is only 15 seconds so you need to figure out how to explain your product or service in a short period of time.
14. Companies are now using employees as expended voices on social media.
This isn’t going to work for every business, but let’s take a large SEO agency as an example. Their employees all promote the company on their personal social media profiles. It helps with exposure but it also connects real faces to the company. People like to see this and will often do business with companies that have this type of additional branding.
15. Customer service will eventually be handled 100% on social media.
When someone is pissed off what do they do? They don’t call an 800 number to complain like in the past. They get on Facebook and shit on the company’s page or they jump on Twitter and tweet them about how shitty they are. But guess what? Companies respond RIGHT AWAY because they don’t want that negative social media press. The average consumer knows this so they naturally go to social media for all customer service questions even if it’s not a complaint.
We will see a day where all customer service is done through social media and that day is fast approaching. Make sure you are paying attention to your social media accounts, and address customers questions and concerns, both positive and negative, ASAP.
16. Facebook messenger will soon be the number one communication tool for every business.
Facebook is dumping a lot of money and resources into turning their messenger app into the biggest communication tool in existence. They have said on numerous occasions that they want every business to eventually switch all of their communication to their app.
Anyone with a working brain knows that Facebook has billions to play with.. both users and dollars. I wouldn’t be surprised if they worked in some extra features to really push businesses to jump ship faster. It’s already a very popular personal communication app, so it’s just a matter of time until the largest companies are using it for their communication as well.
Social media is such a large part of marketing your website online. It’s really a major piece of SEO these days, and there will be those that say social isn’t SEO, they are completely wrong. This isn’t five years ago, when you could just order some links and rank your website. SEO and online marketing has evolved to include so many working parts and social media is only going to become more important in the future.
Heck, in five years from now we might be doing everything on social media, making websites almost irrelevant. Be prepared.
I hope this information proves to be valuable to you and helps you in your marketing endeavors. Drop any comments and feedback down below in the comments and I will respond to you as quickly as possible.