I thought this a fitting post for Groundhog Day (ala Bill Murray), and we can look back and reflect on what happened in social media in 2016.
Social media is always in a continuous state of flux. Staying up-to-date on social networking platforms can be difficult. A lot happened in the world of social media during the course of the year.
2016 witnessed the death of Vine, while Instagram rapidly evolved, transforming into tremendously powerful and large digital marketing tools. Let us have a quick look at some small business social media trends which happened over the past 12 months.
Live Video Streaming. Although live video streaming has existed for quite some time now, with services such as Meerkat, uStream, Facebook, YouTube, etc. 2016 happened to be a year of a really big video streaming revolution. Live video streaming really took off in 2016. Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope came up with new and more refined methods for companies and small businesses to livestream their content and create more buzz about their businesses. With the help of mobile, everybody is able to create live video easily, and on the fly showcasing products, services, and/or brand.
Video Ads dominated. Video advertisements took center stage for the most part of 2016, even though it is not new to social media titans like YouTube and Facebook. Advertising has gone beyond banners and flyers, and continues to grow and most likely transform itself into virtual reality advertising. Video ads are gradually trending all over. Very soon, video ads will begin to pop up all over if you are not already experiencing them. Don’t be left behind. It’s high time you left the traditional banners and flyer. Come up with video ads to showcase the product and services of your small business.
Social conversion. The power and influence of social media should not be underestimated. In 2016, the small business made use of social media as a great way of improving conversion rates.
Mobile Search. Riding a bus or train, sitting at an airport or in a restaurant, with your mobile device you are essentially always connected. Mobile devices now happen to be everywhere. In fact, the rate at which mobile is saturating is amazing. It still continues growing.
The mobile, smartphones and tablets, witnessed an actual breakthrough in 2016. Mobile is now more dominant than the desktop. Websites not optimized for mobile are being penalized by Google. Small businesses are strongly urged to see this as an opportunity to take note of their aging website and update it, as well as begin taking advantage of the above mentioned solutions where they make sense for their businesses… Mobile search and mobile optimization became a top priority for small business in 2016.
Automation. Email automation and marketing have made it quite easy for small business to automate social media posting, segment mailing lists, create or schedule emails, calculate conversions, and lots more. With automation, small business has been able to achieve more even without having to increase their budget.
Pop-ups. Pop-ups are a couple of windows which appear on websites after staying on it for a specific period of time. Small business made use of this to make guest subscribe to their products and services. This is always a way of populating email list. Take note however, if you use these pop up tools to build your mailing list, you should disable them for mobile devices, as Google penalizes you for using them when found on a mobile browser.
Taking a closer look, you will notice that most of these trends were driven by online behaviors. Your small business can make use of these trends, if they haven’t, to lay the foundation for continuous growth and development as 2017 unfolds. These social media trends can be used in creating loyalty to your brand as well as consumer interest. Effectively utilizing innovations like this will absolutely continue being a priority for your marketing strategy.