Top Social Media Trends of 2016

There is no doubt that social media will continue to expand and evolve as we move into 2016.  The role of social media has already changed drastically in the past five years.  People are not just turning to social media to simply interact with their friends or followers.  They are now utilizing social media for much broader reasons such as reading reviews, searching for news and making purchases.  Below are a few key trends we can expect to see more of as we approach the new year.

The first thing we can expect to see is the rise of “buy buttons.”  Basically, when mobile users see a product they are interested in, these “buy buttons” allow consumers to purchase the item with one click and without leaving the app.  Facebook and Pinterest have been some of the first platforms to utilize this feature and soon others will follow suit.  And Forbes predicts that by the end of 2016, most major social media brands will feature some kind of buy button naturally as an element of their advertising campaigns.

Speaking of advertising, the second trend that will continue to grow is increased ads on various social platforms coupled with more competition for organic visibility.  Facebook started this trend earlier this year where they are basically forcing people to buy ads in order to make their content visible to their target audience.  As more and more businesses begin to utilize Facebook as part of their overall marketing strategy, this trend will only continue to grow and in turn, advertising rates on sites like Facebook and Twitter will continue to rise over the course of the year as well.

ad spend

Even though social media currently fulfills consumers desire for real-time updates and communication, this trend will only continue to expand in the New Year.  New apps like Periscope and Snapchat are taking the market by storm and these types of concepts will become more mainstream.  Social platforms will begin to aim to put consumers in the middle of the action whenever possible.  However, platforms like Facebook will begin to suffer as a result because they cannot provide the kind of in-the-moment content that apps like Snapchat and Periscope can, and this is something consumers are looking for.

Finally, as social media continues to expand in the coming months, there will be an increased concern for user privacy rights as it relates to mobile marketing.  Users are often unaware that many retailers have access to their exact location at any given time and utilize that data for advertising purposes.  However, this issue has taken the forefront as these social platforms continue to expand their technologies.  You can read more about user privacy concerns as it relates to social media and mobile marketing here.  I anticipate that social sites and apps will attempt to win over consumers with new protections in the coming year.

I am looking forward to experiencing these new technologies unfold next year and it will be interesting to see what other social platforms and/or features will emerge as well.  What do you expect to see develop in the social media world as we move into 2016?

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