The last year has been an exciting time for social media, with rapid changes in software, consumer preferences and the constant development of new apps, there have been a whole new range of opportunities for businesses to utilise their social media accounts.
As social media has and continues to evolved it’s safe to say that the social media landscape is likely to keep changing in coming years, here’s 4 key trends you should keep an eye out for in the upcoming years.
No longer do we only have Youtube to watch videos on, now most social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are offering video functions. Throughout the next few years it’s likely that video will continue to be an effective, creative and engaging way for brands to get their unique content out to large audiences.
Through the rise of ‘vloggers’ and social media influencers, there are becoming more and more opportunities for brands to incorporate video into their marketing strategies, allowing them to unlock new opportunities. It’s not just long videos that are important, with the popularity of Snapchat increasing and even Instagram creating it’s own wannabe Snapchat feature to showcase short videos, it’s obvious that the trend of social video is not going away any time soon.
Real time engagement
Part of what makes social media so unique is that it offers real time engagement, giving brands a chance to speak with customers quickly and respond to any customer queries quicker than they would through email or over the phone. These days people are heading to social media to ask questions and make complaints before they even consider another way, offering real time engagement can be a great way of offering great customer service.
You can also use real time trends and events to keep your brand relevant, taking part in fun social media events and trends allows your brand to appear up to date and knowledgeable about current trends as well as shows your brand as fun and looking to interact with others.
If people are wanting real time engagement and more video, it makes sense that the live streaming trend is set to become more popular in the coming years. Now that Facebook offers streaming services and due to increases in Periscope and Meerkat, it’s not surprising that more brands are looking to live stream events and activities to show off what they can do.
Live streaming gives brand the opportunity to seem more authentic, revealing the off the cuff, real life side of your business, allowing you to seem more relatable and engaging, increasing your follower relationships and establishing your business as an engaging brand.
Something that is likely to become a popular trend across the board, from UX design to marketing to social media, personalisation is set to be one of the most important elements to work towards over the next year. These days generic content won’t be enough for most users, users want to have control over their newfeeds, the content they see and the locations that are targeted. People are wanting social media content that is specific to them, their location and even what they’ve looked at previously.
Whilst you can’t control all of these aspects you can create personal responses on your social media, addressing users by their names and producing content which is engaging for you particular audience rather than content which is general and won’t attract any specific group.
While you might not need take immediate action with your social media just yet, it’s important to know what trends are likely appear over time, allowing you to plan your content and your overall strategy to keep up with the competition.
People are becoming smarter and more aware of social media, no longer will cat gifs and automated posts stand up against a well thought out, engaging strategy and whilst we’ve come a long way from Myspace, there’s still a long way to go.