How will the social landscape change in 2016? It is a big question. The increased worldwide usage of smartphones and mobile devices has widened the reach of social networks. An average of 25% of traffic is on mobile, but on many sites, over 40% of social traffic is mobile.
Per Statista, the numbers of social media users are expected to reach 2.13 billion in 2016.
Credit: Statista.com (The number of worldwide social network users)
So, what are the biggest findings that will influence the marketer's activity in social media? Let's discuss them below:
What Makes Successful Social Content?
First of all have a goal that is measurable, as having a goal is critical to effectively measure success. Based on your goals, you have to produce content that can have the maximum impact on your potential customers. Here are some content types that are found to be the most effective on social media:
- 34% of the US audience use webinars to make a purchase decision. (Source: Eccolo Media).
- Hashtagging is found to generate a fair amount of response. Map an evergreen hashtag and your followers will automatically start tagging content with it. This is an excellent way to grow your followers and generate publicity.
- Personalization and segmentation will remain the key factors for deciding the content success. Add a human touch to your posts. Use personal comments from the CEO, use pictures, personalize or segment sharing for a particular user/group, engage with campaign participants etc.
- Content that considers audiences a part of it will be most effective. Offer prizes, free product samples, discounts or even simple public recognition in order to boost participation in your campaign.
What Will Be The Most Important Social Media Marketing Strategy Goals in 2016?
The top 7 goals of social media marketing are:
- Audience Engagement
- Brand Awareness
- Lead Generation
- Driving Website Traffic
- Increasing Revenue
- Distributing Content
- Increasing Audience Size
(Findings: Ascend 2 - Top Social Media Marketing Goals)
Simply concentrate on your own set of goals based on your target audience. Choosing accurate objectives is crucial for any successful social campaign.
What Role Will Segmentation Play?
Segmentation will hold the key to acquire customers and smaller players like Snapchat will force the marketers to change their existing tactics in order to widen their reach. Social is important because it is the only channel that we can easily influence. Make use of Facebook lists, Twitter lists, Google Plus circles and LinkedIn filtering to properly segment your desired audience.
You can also use Facebook Graph Search and Hashtags to find people that can be a great fit for your brand.
What Time of Day is Best for Social Sharing?
Regional social traffic substantially underperforms overall traffic from about 5 a.m. to noon, and social substantially over performs overall traffic from about 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. (Source: Chartbeat).
Here’s a chart showing how social traffic compares to overall traffic across a set of websites.
5- What is the Frequency of Return Visits?
An average of 41% of social visitors is new. About 82% of visitors who come from social only come once, but there’s a long tail of people who come two or more times.
Facebook has a visitor rate of 28% while Twitter has around 33%.
Data from Chartbeat
Which is the Leading Social Platform in Terms of Engagement?
At the beginning of 2015, Facebook had nearly 1.5 billion active users. That’s 71% of adults who use the Internet. However, the average engagement per post on Instagram was 2.81% of the total audience.
Engagement levels on Instagram are higher than Facebook which has an average engagement per post of 0.25%, and Twitter which has 0.2% engagement per tweet. (Source: Locowise.com.)
What is the Ideal Response Time For Companies Handling Social Media Inquiries?
Among respondents to The Social Habit who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. Further, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
Which New Social Media Platforms Are Set to Rise in 2016?
Some of the top platforms that are set to play a role are:
Wanelo: Made up of the words – ‘want’, ‘need,’ ‘love’. This app is about to generate a good amount of buzz among online shoppers. Pinterest is also seeing a rival in it.
Bubbly.net: This is a voice-based social sharing network that allows you to share your voice and connect with friends, celebrities and stars. Create your voice post, tag it with a cool picture, customize it with amazing filters and post it on Bubbly. Nice, isn't it?
Line: Line is a free messaging system that lets you exchange free instant messages with friends whenever and wherever with one-on-one and group chats. It also allows photo, video sharing and voice messages.
Rinbw: This platform allows you to view the status of any of your friends in your phonebook as five second video clips. With rinbw, you can see your friends’ status before calling or texting them.
Hyper - Hyper lets you create posts directly to the areas that interest you and everyone in that area will be notified about that post. The top content goes to the top of each interest page and the best content within the app makes the front page of Hyper.
What Are the New Ad Forms That Should Play a Major Role in a Campaign's Success?
Twitter's promoted moments, Facebook’s carousel ads, slideshow ads or the premium video ads, Instagram’s image, video and carousel ads etc. are some of the ad formats that are set to revolutionize the world of social ads.
The only thing to consider before opting for any ad format is what your goals from the campaign are. Do conversions matter more than reach? Think that and you will always remain ahead in fulfilling your campaign objectives.
What Are the Best Tools For Brand Management and Brand Promotion on Social Media?
Some of the popular tools to analyse the performance of your campaign are:
- Microsoft Social Engagement: This is an awesome tool that helps you connect with customers, prospects, and partners on social media, in Dynamics CRM or a stand-alone app.
- Hootsuite: Right from content finding to publishing updates at a particular time of the day, it allows you to manage all your social network activity from one platform.
- Tweetdeck: One of the best tools for real time tracking, organizing, and engagement.
- Sprout Social: Offers features like smart inbox, monitoring, CRM publishing, analytics and collaboration. The best part is the social CRM that provides contextual information to help teams resolve support issues, nurture prospective leads and deliver an exceptional brand experience.
- Iconosquare - Although not a new tool but surely has the potential to grow in the recent years. It allows you to promote your Instagram account across other social networks, manage your community and their comments, analyze your activity through professional statistics and engage with your community with photo contests: setup, promote, moderate, monitor etc.
SEMrush also features a helpful new brand monitoring tool in addition to its effective social media tool. Check it out!
It is always best to follow the big brands in your niche and keep a track of their social activity. Further, you need to realize which social ad platforms may make sense for your business and what skills are required to manage a vertical online community. The consumers have become more responsive online so you need to have a special team to handle the social customer communication in the most polite manner.
I hope the above stats and information will be helpful in planning your social media marketing strategy for 2016. Feel free to share your comments here.
Joydeep Bhattacharya has over a decade of experience in digital marketing. He maintains a personal SEO blog, Seosandwitch.com, where he shares information related to SEO, PPC, social media and conversion optimization. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.