While I like to think I know quite a bit about social media, I don't like to call myself a social media expert. Because, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a social media expert. It changes from week to week, and too much of your success is down to the opinion of others.
At the same time, I do like to think I know quite a bit about the topic. I also believe I can sense when something is about to happen in the space. With this in mind, here are my five social media predictions for 2016.
1. Facebook advertising will become more competitive
In comparison to other types of advertising, only a fraction of businesses is engaging in Facebook advertising. It might look like every second company is running a campaign, but they're not. This will change in 2016. More and more companies will finally appreciate the level of targeting you can do on the world's number one social network that you can't do with other forms of advertising.
What this means for businesses in the tour and activity space is that you will be vying for the eyeballs of your customers with your competitors. This could result in higher costs, but will still produce better results in comparison to traditional advertising.
2. More businesses will use live streaming video apps
One of the many barriers when it comes to social media marketing is time. Companies that don’t have many resources constantly remark how they don’t have the hours to spend planning and executing a social media strategy or publishing content.
With live streaming you don’t need to worry about the publishing part – it’s done in real time. All you need is a smartphone with a half decent camera, an account on Periscope or Meerkatapp and hey presto – you’ve got content!
To save the hassle of creating content and publishing it or scheduling it, expect more businesses to live stream it to save time.
3. Almost all businesses will be using video on Facebook
If you’re not using video on Facebook I have some advice for you – start using video on Facebook. Reach for this form of content surpasses all other types. Also, Facebook advertising at the moment is extremely cost effective. I've run campaigns where a Cost Per View came in at €0.003.
Granted, not all of those that watched stayed until the end of the video, but enough of them did. This might not last, thoug. So if you weren't planning on using video on Facebook in 2016, I strongly suggest that you squeeze it into your marketing strategy somewhere.
4. Social media will play a bigger part in our professional lives
A lot of businesses have intranets to communicate and collaborate with other team members. A lot of people using these intranets also use Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg’s team is fully aware of this, which is why they’re introducing ‘Facebook at Work' – a platform where you create an account that's separate to your personal account but still offers the tools to interact with your co-workers.
More companies will also begin to use LinkedIn Groups more – using these doesn’t cost money. Building a custom intranet does.
5. You’ll see more businesses using ‘Facebook Offers.'
A lot of social media predictions for 2016 say you'll start seeing consumers shop on social media more due to a ‘Buy Now' button that you're going to start seeing more of in the future. I disagree because for that to happen businesses need to use this button. But there is the facility to create more commercial posts with ‘Facebook Offers’ that companies don’t take advantage of.
Before people start rushing out sharing ‘Buy Now’ posts here, there and everywhere, they’ll test the waters by using a function that’s been around years first.
What do you think about these social media predictions? Let us know in the comments below!
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.