10 Social Trends for 2016

2016 is less than 2 weeks away so it’s time to discuss what trends to look for in social media for the new year.  I started to write the post, then decided I would get some help from the Blab Universe, and I surely did..thanks Samantha Kelly.   So here is the audio, video and blog post…10 Social Media Trends for 2016.

1. Be Personable-I have been saying this for years now. You audience wants to see more of the business owner(s) personality and personal life. Now, I’m not suggesting that you put everything out there for the world to see but give them a taste of what your life outside of work looks like.

We all know that business owners have very little time to themselves but there is a reason you started your own business. I find that most business owners went into business for themselves to improve the quality of life them and their families. Show your audience what that looks like.

Here’s an example drawing from my own life. I love baseball, and it really bothered me that I couldn’t be more involved in my oldest child’s softball career. Now that I am working for myself I have some flexibility with scheduling. This allowed me to coach my son’s t-ball team this past spring, and I loved every second of it. Pictures and moments were shared to my social media accounts.

I didn’t give away my whole life but I showed that I am human and have other passions in life. If you look around you’ll find pictures of my oldest daughter and me on the paintball field.

Social Media Trends for 20162. Become fans of your audience-This one will be the toughest for many business owners, and marketers. It’s also probably the most necessary one if you plan to grow socially as a business.

You probably network in real life if you’re a small business owner. There’s a good chance you see certain people all the time when networking. You ask them how’s business, you show an interest in their business and maybe even their personal life.

Why not do the same on social media? You have an audience (hopefully). Why not interact with what they’re sharing on social media? Like, comment, share…all of these things are noticed and often reciprocated.

I know this is a difficult task to manage. It can be very time consuming. There are several ways to do this. You can hire a digital marketer. You can bring on an intern. You can use a tool like Hootsuite to keep everything in one dashboard.

Whatever you decide to do stick with it. If you’re not a fan of your audience you will lose your audience.

3. Repurpose and Remarket-Such a powerful option in marketing yet so many fail to do this. On the day I am writing this blog post I shared a blog post that was written for a client of mine over a year ago..but it’s relevant today. This is called Evergreen content and you can do this with some of your own content, as long as it’s still relevant.

I also take my blabcasts (podcasts recorded on Blab.im) and upload the content to one of my websites, YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher and it will be on Google Play once Google launches their podcast platform. The link is then shared multiple times over several social media channels.

It’s great to blab or periscope live thus creating a community, but when you do this you’re only reaching a small audience. Not only can this be discouraging to some but it limits your reach. People lead busy lives so you cannot expect everyone to be available for a live show all the time. You can however reach those people later by remarketing and repurposing.

4. Content is still king, it’s just evolved-Yes, content is still king. You’re just seeing it evolve into formats that people can easily digest. Adopting video through live streaming allows you’re brand/business to stand out more because EVERYONE has a blog now. There are several ways to use video and audio to share content as mentioned in repurpose and remarket.

Content Evolved is KingToday I am moving towards a combination of video/audio and written blog. On many of my posts I will now include video and/or audio, plus a written post. Each member of your audience has a different style of absorbing content that is also sometimes determined by their current environment so meet your audience where they are..not where you are.

5. Advertising-I am working on another piece of content regarding the sales/marketing funnel. Certain aspects of the funnel are dead in my opinion. Not everyone will agree with this sentiment and that’s fine but we live in a society of instant gratification.

I don’t want you to think I am suggesting that you should return to the days of cold calling, or have every piece of content you share be a sales pitch. You should absolutely still have a digital marketing plan but like content marketing the funnel is evolving and your team needs to evolve with it.

Google and Facebook are making it incredible easy to market to your ideal client. Google has taken it a step further with Call Only ads. Call Only ads eliminate the need for landing pages, long forms to fill out and moving people through a funnel. By clicking on the ad the potential client is connected to you via a phone call. Just make sure that someone is there to answer.

This is one reason advertising is changing the face of the funnel. The playing field is level now because you can create ads on two of the largest networks in the world, and the ads only connect with who you determine to be your ideal client.

6. Video/Live Streaming-If you have been listening to anything I have been saying for the last few months then you know live streaming is my new favorite form of content delivery. It’s so easy to interact with your audience and create lasting relationships.

There’s a form of marketing..right? Relationship Marketing is exactly what it sounds like…building relationships to grow your brand/business.

digital marketing trends 20167. Listen-Any good salesperson will tell you to LISTEN. This is true on Social Media as well. Listen to what your audience wants and how you can deliver it to them. Social listening is the art of “Searching” for topics related to what you do and joining the conversation.

You do this in real life, well some of us do. Imagine you’re out and about and you overhear a conversation about your favorite sports team, or likely to chime in, even if you don’t know the people having the conversation.

It really is that simple on social media. The difference is it’s easier to find those conversations, and easier to interact. It’s almost expected that someone from outside the circle of the person creating the conversation will join in, especially if hashtags are used.

8. Assisting Others-You will hear me say often that I am always willing to help others, and I practice what I preach. Samantha Kelly suggested we add assisting others to the list. When she said this it made perfect sense, and I came to the realization that people are more willing to help people on social media than they are in real life.

It can be as simple as sharing someone else’s content or thoughts or as complex as connecting people for the greater good via social media. Crowd funding campaigns are often shared across social media and I have witnessed many donations and shares from complete strangers.

This is an easy trend for your brand or business to take part in but still takes an effort. Showing others your sincere compassion goes a long way to creating a trust worthy and honorable name for yourself.

9. Consistency-I had to be reminded of consistency as well. While it is something I always tell clients and others asking for my opinion it slipped my mind for this list. One of the members of the audience in the chat pointed out that consistency is important. This is a very valid point. If you create a Facebook page and post on it for a month but then abandon all efforts you are not being consistent with your social media efforts.

Here is an example of where this can backfire on your business. Lots of people created Twitter accounts only to eventually give up because they didn’t understand them, or they felt the effort wasn’t worth the reward. Along comes Periscope and Blab which both require a Twitter account. Suddenly everyone who wants to participate in one or both find themselves getting reacquainted with Twitter again. The only problem is you left your audience high and dry, and Twitter has made changes since you last were on. There is no level of consistency in your social media campaign.

My suggestion to business owners who are trying to handle their own social media campaign is this. Try one channel first. Figure out where your audience is and use that channel for marketing but remain consistent. Once you feel you have mastered that channel then move on to another channel. This will require a lot of research and learning to get going but if you are not in a position to hire a marketing expert then this is the best approach. Without consistency your efforts are for naught.

10. Build Relationships-If you’re doing 1-9 then this is easy for you. In the face to face world you know you have to build relationships to succeed. If you’re in the business of burning bridges it won’t be long before there are no bridges to burn. You know what you have to do.

It’s no different on social media. You have to take the time to cultivate relationships. Yes live streaming can speed that process up a little through Blab, Persicope and soon Facebook Live. You have to build up the relationships and it probably will take a little longer and a little more effort on social media.

There you have it.  Nothing earth shattering or really that new, but all of them are trending as we head into 2016.  Really all you need is to apply what you already know from interacting with people in the real world and apply it to the social world.  Do you think you are able to do that as a business owner or entrepreneur?

Did we leave anything off of the list?  Let me know!

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