Social Media is like a dense fog. You can shoot bullets but you cannot fire a cannon ball! Within this realm of uncertainty, there are strong emerging trends that partially answer relevant questions; Where can we expect to see social media users in the coming months? Where will be their exit gates?
Trend 1: Content will elevate as the single most important differentiator –and we will see increased investments in developing the ‘knowledge warehouse’. Content inventory and calendar will become paramount.
Trend 2: Social media listening tools will see booming business – delving deep into analytics and dissecting consumer demographics and psychographics for strategy development and budgeting will be the order of the day.
Trend 3: ‘Targeted’ Social Media Marketing will gain prime focus with enhanced engagement as the key metric. Emphasis will be to reduce the wastage factor in this huge and vast mass of social platforms.
Trend 4: Third Party endorsements [direct or indirect/industry led] will be pursued harder as these are proven to evoke credible engagement and involvement with the Target Audience
Trend 5: Usage shift to mobile platforms will be more prominent. With the increasing penetration of smartphones, the trend will move beyond young audience to include a larger base.
Trend 6: Increased social media marketing budgets and top management involvement in social media initiatives will mark the climb of social media in corporate priorities.
Trend 7: Video advertising will reign large and will consolidate its position as the single most rewarding type of post. Videos will be the fulcrum of online engagement.
Trend 8: Speed will be the buzzword. To keep in tune with the trending topics and quick turnaround of concomitant content will make a huge difference.
Trend 9: Social Media will become the No. 1 tool to drive organic traffic to websites with specific landing pages and short URLs.
Trend 10: Digital marketing [including social media] spends will cross bridges with TV advertising and a platform will be created for digital media to become the No. 1 advertising platform [ahead of TV advertising] in 2017.
The world of social media is transforming rapidly, with a plethora of new platforms and technology, leaving marketers scrambling to keep pace and relevance. 2016 is throwing up some consistent trends but the glorious uncertainty of this animal called ‘social media’ will continue to throw frequent and piquant challenges.