Social Media – what can we expect in 2016?

Date: 25/01/2016 Written by: Jo 3 minutes to read.
Digital focus

Social media is changing the way we interact and how people do business. It provides the perfect marketing opportunity, allowing businesses and organisations to engage directly with their audiences through many different . However, social media is constantly evolving and making advancements in this digital era. So, we have to ask, what's next?

In the past year, we’ve seen yet more emerging social apps becoming popular, such as Snapchat who have now amassed over 200 million active users. Video media is also becoming ever present in our social timelines and feeds and there has been an upsurge in the use of short videos used to express a conversation, in the form of GIFs. On average, these video clips have 60% more engagement than an equivalent static post.

Currently trending is a chap called Bill and a seemingly never-ending dialogue of how he behaves on social media. These witty 'Be like Bill' memes give ‘tongue-in-cheek’ advice on how people should conduct themselves online – common sense examples of what a lot of people may find irritating on their newsfeeds such as unwanted game requests and individuals constantly posting on social media.  

So, with the ever-changing phases of social media, what can we expect next? In current production is the evolution of videos, with Mark Zuckerberg recently acquiring a virtual reality company, producing 360 degree videos. These videos give a realistic simulation of footage from all angles, giving the illusion that you could actually be in that situation. This means that in future, you could receive videos from friends filming at festivals and be able to experience the party atmosphere as if you were in the crowd yourself.

Another emerging development is the use of live streaming – already a possibility with Snapchat, Twitter have acquired a live streaming platform called Periscope which has gained over 10 million users in the first four months since its launch. Facebook is now working on incorporating live broadcasting into its newsfeed, with the imminent revelation of Facebook Live, following product testing.

Social media is even transforming the way people do business. The long awaited Facebook for Work is being piloted by various companies, as a new concept of communication during working hours. This will be completely separate from a user’s personal profile, and is set to revolutionise day-to-day business proceedings. Meanwhile, the popularity of customer services via social media is fast becoming the best way of direct contact between businesses and their consumers, due to its speed and ease of use. 

With more and more businesses talking directly to their customers through a social medium, the natural progression is to have better communication via content design. In the past, many businesses have created their own content, promoting their own products and services directly to the consumer, whether the customer wants to engage with it or not. Recently, there has been an upswing in the adoption of content ‘curation’ or using relevant/trending topics to engage followers, that aren’t necessarily about their product, allowing these companies to become ‘part of the conversation’, adopting a friendlier approach in contrast to previous 'force-feeding' approaches. Using this more interactive content can generate up to 33% more engagement than created content.

With these exciting prospective developments in the world of social media, we are eager to see how the latest ideas and visions will be incorporated into our daily lives and what the future looks like for the constantly evolving digital market.

If you would like to talk about how to embed digital into your organisation or campaigns please contact our team. We are Google Squares so can help you with all aspects of digital!  We even have our own social, digital and media production team who can help you grasp everything you need to know about the online world. 

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