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3 Social Media Practices You Need in 2016

Social media is constantly evolving -- it seems like there is always something new and exciting going on. Of course, it's also hard to keep up with sometimes. How do know which new channels to focus on, and how do you use what's out there to increase your social media presence? How do you separate the passing fads for emerging trends that will stick around?

Well, you don't always know what's going to stick, and it isn't always easy to know which direction to go, but what is important is that you be willing to try new things, experiment, and be consistent with your branding no matter what you are doing in the social media space. If you are looking for new ways to use social media in the year ahead, try these ideas on for size:

Live Streaming

Have you looked into Periscope or Meerkat? These sites are growing quickly, and savvy brands are using the high level of engagement to build relationships and increase visibility. There are so many ways to use live streaming. Use it at events, host live interviews, give how-to's, tours, do product spotlights, answer FAQ's, just about anything you can imagine.

Social Media is an Amazing Tool for Feedback

Building an engaged following on social media and consistently engaging is a great way to invite feedback. People will often post comments, reviews, questions, problems and even complaints on social media. What a great opportunity! Don't overlook the wealth of information that can be found in this feedback, as well as what you can learn about your customers and potential customers. There is so much information you can use to give people what they want, to identify problems and potential problems and to find out what it is your customers are really thinking. If you aren't sure -- ask! Use the many tools available to you to ask your audience questions. You can ask them directly and personally, on your social media pages, or you can use third-party polls, questionnaires and other feedback tools to help you learn more.

Improve Your SEO, With Video

If you aren't using video yet, there are compelling reasons to do so. People love video. They respond to it, engage with it and share it. Video helps build trust. Also, it captures attention, quite possibly today's most rare and valuable commodity. But did you know that video can help your SEO? When it's done right, it can. Did you know that Youtube is the world's second largest search engine?

It's important, though, that you do it right. This means thorough descriptions on your videos, relevant keywords and catchy titles. Videos themselves can't be searched, so search engines rely on video descriptions and keywords. Get that right, and you can greatly increase your online visibility and search-ability.

These are just three ways you can use social media throughout the year to boost engagement and continue to grow your audience. Social media is a powerful tool, so use it! Remember, above all else -- be social! That's what it's for! No matter what trends are happening right now, one thing that remains the same is that consistent activity is the key to building a community.

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