Here are some trends that will help you stay ahead of the curve in 2016:
1. Being hack-free
2015 will go down as the year of the hack. We saw that almost no one was exempt being attacked by online predators. From various financial and healthcare institutions, to Hillary Clinton, and the salacious website Ashley Madison, they all fell victim to having their personal information (and that of their customers) spread across the Internet. To keep your company off the hacked list, strengthening your businesses firewalls are not only suggested but mandatory in order to combat invasion. We also suggest updating all of your passwords at the start of the new year and making them strong, and by strong we mean encryption – not using your birthday!
2. Stepping up your content game
Feeling like you’re running out of things to say on your blog? Sounds like you’re in need of a blog strategy. Content isn’t going anywhere, and having an editorial calendar will keep you organized in regards to your thoughts and ideas, as well as having a schedule for publishing posts. You can also refresh and update your older content by going back to those very fist blog posts, tweaking and resharing them. This is a great way to breathe life into posts that haven’t had any eyes on them in a while. Content curation is a great way to boost your social media interaction with customers in 2016, contact us to see how to add this into your current social media plan.
3. Buy buttons
If you haven’t noticed, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media platforms have started incorporating buy buttons on their pages. Why is this so important? It eliminates customers from having to leaving Facebook or Pinterest to make a purchase (think easier sales!). Just as mobile is taking over, anything that can help make the user experience easier, and directly leads to sales is high on the list for 2016.
4. Live video streaming
Live streaming exploded in 2015. With the launch of Periscope and Blab, and the gaining popularity of Snapchat and Meerkat, more that ever people are using their phones to let people near and far into their lives with live, up-to-the-minute video statuses. With fun new features being added to these platforms in the coming year it’s safe to say video streaming is here to stay.
5. Direct messaging
When you hear direct messaging, you probably think of a creeper sending unwanted weird photos, but in this case it’s how brands and consumers are chatting. When reposting a photo or video from a follower, you can easily send it to them in a private message letting them know you chose their photo, and they in turn can do the same and reach out to you. Even Twitter recognized how big Direct Messaging is by lifting the 140 character limit on their messaging allowing users the ability to completely speak their minds privately.
While the millennials are using Snapchat and Twitter to communicate with each other, it’s their parents and grandparents who are turning to Facebook as a way to keep in contact with their loved ones. In an article by the Kansas City Star, “45% of American seniors who use the Internet are on Facebook.” That number is up from 35% from the previous year, which means you can expect to see that continue to increase in 2016.
7. Social media Ads
With the increase of brand visibility across social media, it only makes sense that there would be an increase in social media advertising. Topping more than 23 billion in sales, brands are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms to generate an increase in website views. According to eMarketer, the number of social media sales is set to increase to 35 billion by 2017. Setting up ads are easy and with costs available for all budgets, it’s no wonder there is such a surge. (Need help setting up social media ads? Contact us today!)
8. Being mobile-friendly
With more and more people using their smartphones everyday, it’s obvious many will be visiting your website using mobile, and your site needs to reflect that. Gone are the days of pinch and stretch screens. In fact, Google recognizes how important it is that anything on the web should be responsive (aka mobile-friendly), and started penalizing websites who are not mobile-friendly in 2015 by lowering their search engine ranking. Take this test to find out if your website is on Google’s black list. If it is, we can help! Contact us today.
Knowing your readers likes and dislikes is something that will never go out of style. Creating a simple survey using Google docs or Survey Monkey (both free!) to ask hard hitting questions will let you know if you’ve been doing everything right or really wrong (yikes!). The purpose of the survey is to reveal if you’ve been wasting your time cranking out daily email posts when they only want to hear from you once a month. Or, maybe they want you to host more events, whether virtually or in person. These are important things you should be aware of, and taking time to collect data and tweak your strategy at least once a year is critical.
Speaking of knowing what your audience wants, we’d love to know what YOU think about social media for the upcoming year. Take a moment and complete this quick survey. There is no judgement on your answers, we promise! Click here to complete the survey.