In 2015, social marketers saw a wave of new tracking and consumer preference data that brought personalization to another level. Given how quickly the social landscape can change, it’s difficult to predict where we’ll be at the end of this year. But as you fine-tune your social media strategy in 2016, keep an eye on a few important things.
Personalized Social Media Ads
Content personalization has been a very popular trend of late, so why should social content be any different? Many of the larger networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer advertising opportunities that allow you to customize your ads. You can incorporate some of their consumer demographic and behavioral data (or your own) into your social marketing.
This can be especially useful in developing content related to where prospects are in the buyer journey. For example, if you know that someone has been following a hashtag related to a service you provide, it would be beneficial to serve them an ad for your service that is associated to their search history. Similarly, you can target existing customers by running ads for related products or services.
Live Social Broadcasts
One of the more popular trends in social media is the use of live video to show your contacts what is going on as it is happening. Through apps like Periscope and Facebook Live, you can put them front and center at an event or product launch—or give them a behind-the-scenes look.
Even if you don’t want to go the route of live video, consider the use of recorded video on your social channels to drive engagement. Statistics show that videos average 62% more engagement than photos.
New Publication Options
The competition for organic visibility is at an all-time high. Social networks have been adding their own publication options to boost their organic rankings and encourage you to post more within the network, versus on your own blog/website. LinkedIn Pulse, Facebook Instant Article and Twitter Moments make it easy to curate content and build in-network traffic.
To increase organic search traffic, Facebook is pushing people to advertise in order to boost their results. You will see this trend carry over to other networks as they compete for organic search results. More importantly, I see this resulting in a rise in the cost of social advertising.
This year, you will see more advanced “buy” functions within social networks. In 2015, Facebook and Pinterest rolled out new “buy buttons” to make shopping easy on their users. Instagram isn’t far behind.
You will see these on most major social networks by the end of 2016 as part of their advertising campaigns. The buy buttons will be used for a variety of purchases, including apps, retail and even services.
Concern over privacy is at an all-time high due to the frequency and impact of large-scale, high-profile data breaches. Facebook is introducing more privacy awareness tools which have caught the eyes of users and advertisers alike. Don’t think the other major social networks will be far behind. This could spell trouble for advertisers looking to generate custom ads based off that demographic and behavioral data.
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