What's On The Plate For Social Media In 2016?

Social Media – Review of 2015, Predictions for 2016

BY 2015 Year In Review + Predictions For 2016

The last days of every calendar year are often ones of reflection. We look back on how our world has changed, and we look forward to how it will continue to evolve.  In particular, we’re interested in learning about how social media will continue to impact our world.

A look at the story 2015 has told us:

A lot of Americans are on social media. Facebook is still King, but other social networks are growing.

  • 72% of all American internet users are on Facebook (via) 70% of its users engage daily (via).
  • 28% of all American internet users are on Instagram (via). 59% of its users engage daily (via).
  • 31% of all American internet users are on Pinterest (via)
  • 25% of all American internet users are on LinkedIn (via)
  • 23% of all American internet users are on Twitter (via)

Globally, there’s even more going on. (via)

  • 3.175 billion users across the globe are now active on the Internet (up 2.5% from 2014)
  • 8.7% growth in social media users since 2014 (that’s 2.206 Billion worldwide)
  • There are around 4 billion mobile users worldwide, and the vast majority are on smartphones

Jeff Bullas describes: “The biggest trend over the last 12 months has been the move from earned marketing attention (sometimes called free) to “pay to play.”

  • For a business to survive on social media, you have to do more than post every now and then; you’ve gotta pay to be seen. That means running ads, boosting posts, and paying for your posts to show up in user feeds.
  • When you’re paying for your business to be seen, you need to pay more attention than ever before to measure your results. Several social platforms have bolstered their analytics services in 2015, and even more outside services offer analytics.

Snapchat got real.

  • In January of 2015, Snapchat launched Discover. While Snapchat claims “this is not social media,” we like to think of it as a new wave of social. They describe the new feature: “Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”
  • Businesses created their own Snapchat profiles. Followers can add them via username or QR code, and the business shares snapchats with them by posting stories. Everybody from Hillary Clinton to Jimmy John’s is getting on board.

Pinterest became a store.

  • Well, not entirely. But, Pinterest announced “buyable pins” on Pinterest For Business.

A look at predictions for 2016:

  • More e-commerce
    • Businesses are going to follow their customers, wherever they may be. Just look at what’s happened so far: Buyable pins, “Buy Now” call-t0-action on Facebook, “Download Now” call-to-action on Twitter
  • More visual
    • Text posts simply aren’t going to cut it any longer. The general population far prefers skimming to reading, and short videos in their timeline to clicking an external editorial link
  • Focus on real-time
    • Hashtags, Periscope, and Snapchat are all prime examples of how businesses are moving toward real-time updates.
  • Social media as SEO (via)

What does it mean for your business?

Ads and analytics

  • Social media is getting noisier and noisier. Paying for ads and running analytics on social will be key to honing your strategy.

Don’t neglect Facebook.

  • This platform really is on top in terms of the number of users and daily engagement. You simply cannot ignore it.
  • Sadly, you just might have to pay to play. Unless you’re creating naturally viral content, you will need to pay for your posts to show up in any follower’s newsfeed.

Know where your demographic is.

  • Though Facebook is still on top, its user base is aging. This means you may need to start paying attention to platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Analytics tools allow you to find out where your industry is on social media, and how to reach them. Don’t spend time on platforms where your target market isn’t active. For example, the beer industry is huge on Twitter, so new breweries should build that platform on it right away.

Better visuals

  • Whether it’s videos, infographics, or images, everybody will step up their game in 2016. If you want to be a player, you’ll have to as well.


Pew Research Center

We Are Social

Jeff Bullas

Rokk Media

Social Media Today

Digitalist Mag

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