The Crystal Ball Effect
Social media has had a record breaking year; Instagram recorded over 400 million active monthly users and finally beat Twitter. Facebook overtook YouTube for desktop video views and finally hit 1 billion daily active users. But as one year comes to a close, we naturally want to know what comes next. In today’s world, it’s hard for anyone to play their cards close to their chest, so we’ve made it easy and confided with our crystal ball to predict what 2016 will bring in the world of social media!
Video becomes content of choice
This is an easy one to predict, because all you need to do is look back at last year’s numbers. Facebook got on course to steal YouTube’s crown and overtook them in desktop views (beating them by over a billion views). From a marketing perspective, companies have really got on board with video marketing, which makes sense as visual data is processed 60K times faster by the brain than text. Further investing in video content, Facebook has also announced that video profile images will come into play, allowing users to upload a small looping video in place of the traditional static image.
Virtual reality becomes an actual reality and introduces new content forms
It’s a thing of science fiction; putting on a helmet and being transported from your living room to anywhere else in the world, without leaving the comfort of your lounge. Facebook has invested heavily in its Oculus platform, a virtual reality headset with endless possibilities. You’ll be able to play games, watch immersive movies, jump to destinations across the world (and perhaps other worlds), spend time with your friends, and possibly even go shopping in a virtual mall! With an innovation as big as this, the possibilities for businesses will be as endless as the overall experience.
Facebook gets smarter with the help of artificial intelligence
In the last issue of Optimize Magazine, I wrote an article about Facebook’s commitment to further the research into A.I. While researching for the article, I was amazed to find out that A.I. isn’t a thing of the future; it’s something that Facebook have already incorporated with their translation button, along with organic posts and ad filters. As they dig deeper, expect the face of social media to change and be a completely immersive, personal experience.
Social media will change the telecommunications industry
As our personal profiles on Facebook become more personalised, as the content strengthens and as mobile usage grows stronger, the telecommunications industry will need to change its current model to accommodate. Ten years ago, data was extremely expensive and rarely included with standard mobile plans, whereas these days people will sign up to a plan simply because of the amount of data they allow. Capped plans used to include a certain amount of texts; now we just use data to send messages, or communicate through social media, and texts are generally free and included with plans. The way of the future is simply data based plans. When this happens, mobile usage will skyrocket, and tech providers will no longer be limited by telco companies (and more mobile usage means big money for advertisers on any platform!)
Paid advertising on social media is a necessity
With the decline in organic reach for business pages, many businesses shunned paid advertising because they felt like they were being pushed into it. Those who made the investment and were smart with their social advertising ventures thrived. The upside to paying for who your content goes to, is that you choose who it goes to. This increases your chances to convert and gets better quality traffic to your site. Be prepared with a good paid strategy leading into 2016.
Social conversions will be a big focus
I believe 2016 will see a lot more methods across all social platforms to provide direct action. Facebook have already introduced locally-based click-to-call ads, but the possibilities and rumours are endless. Facebook have yet to integrate a direct sales function, but many believe this is coming sooner rather than later. This could work a number of different ways; Facebook could use profile details to help speed up the process of filling out purchase information (address and personal details), give you exact shipping costs, give people the option to tag friends in items they may be interested in, and allow e-Commerce stores to shorten the sales funnel and make it easier for people to purchase.
Growth won’t stop
Social media is no longer a fad. It’s the global norm for staying connected. With billions of people using various social networks daily, often being logged onto different networks at the same time, it’s time for businesses to get savvy and adapt. All user statistics are trending upwards, and with future innovations taking shape, there’s no better time to jump on board!
Don’t wait for the future to get here, start acting on your social media strategy now! Contact SponsoredLinX today on 1300 859 600 or visit our website www.sponsoredlinx.com.au