Jayson DeMers wrote an article in Forbes about what trends to expect in social media marketing over the next year. He sees changes comes to big platforms like Facebook and Twitter. "Prepare for these changes and beat your competition to the punch, and you'll be rewarded with more visibility and a greater reputation," DeMers writes.
What does he expect for 2016?
1. In-the-moment updates.
Just as Instagram made it so pictures went up on a social platform moments after they were taken, platforms like Periscope allow you to live broadcast video. No more will you need to video something and then upload it later.
"Periscope users collectively watch 40 years of live video each and every day," writes DeMers. "Instagram and Snapchat also support on-the-go, in-the-moment updates as opposed to late-game retrospectives, and could collectively herald in a new era of immediacy in social media."
What could this mean for you? If you schedule your Twitter posts to go out, that could be a thing of the past.
2. Buy buttons.
Twitter's buy button went live recently. Pinterest has a buy button. Facebook is taking about getting one.
"Instagram isn't far behind on the trend, and I imagine more social platforms will follow," writes DeMers. "By the end of 2016, most major social media brands will feature some kind of buy button naturally as an element of their advertising campaigns."
What could this mean for you? Start using buy buttons!
3. Apps that do everything.
"Facebook is the king of adding new functionality," writes DeMers. "In the past year, they've introduced Instant Articles (a new form of publishing), an in-post search engine (to find articles you're referencing), and videos that play instantly when scrolling. Now, they're developing their own digital assistant (though it's technically a digital/human hybrid assistant)."
The other platforms are doing similar work so that users will never have to leave their app.
What could this mean for you? You might have to create content to address new functionalities on each of the big platforms where your audience spends time. You'll also really need to know which social platform to put your energy into.
4. New publication options.
You can publish article on Facebook now without linking to an external source. You've been able to do the same thing on LinkedIn for while now.
"As social platforms become more competitive and more aggressive about keeping users in-app for as long as possible, I imagine they'll dream up even more sophisticated forms of publishing for businesses and organizations, " writes DeMers. "Twitter's upcoming Project Lightning puts publication in the hands of its users, but it still represents a dynamic way to present material to the public."
What does this mean for you? You might start publishing your articles in a bunch of different places to reach different customers.
5. User privacy concerns will skyrocket.
There have been some pretty high profile security breaches this year. Ashley Madison, anyone? Snapchat's popularity is partly attributed to people's desire to have their messages be private and ephemeral.
"Facebook is introducing more privacy awareness tools for its users, and it's smart to do so, because as tension continues to rise, only platforms which offer a degree of privacy and security will continue to thrive," writes DeMers.
What does this mean for you? DeMers says, "For advertisers, that might mean backing off of sometimes-intrusive forms of advertising."
6. Less organic reach.
We've already seen Facebook decrease organic reach a lot. This necessitates that brands buy ads. No free lunch, anymore. This trend is only going to intensify both on Facebook and other social media platforms.
"The cost of advertising, too, is set to rise over the course of the next year," writes DeMers.
What does this mean for you? Maybe you'll need to put more money into your social media efforts.
7. Fewer small platforms.
"For the last several years, we've seen at least a few dozen new social media platforms rise up and either blink out of existence just as quickly or settle in as a middle-of-the-road platform that never gets more attention but never really dies out," writes DeMers.
This next year, he expects that because the big platforms are so well established, there is less room in the marketplace for new platforms. The big players will buy up the small platforms very quickly.
What does this mean for you? DeMers says, "You'll have to worry about fewer up-and-coming opportunities." This also means that there won't be as many chances to get in on the ground floor of a platform, which means that you'll instead need to hope you have a solid foundation on the big platforms.