2016 is coming to an end and within the world of marketing we've seen some big trends take shape and integrate with mainstream cultures. It's important to reflect on the trends we've experienced in order to compare with past trends and to also predict what could be coming in the future. Having a social media presence has become more of a requirement
for businesses and with it providing them with a real time connection to a potentially global audience, the power and potential is incredible. It's clear to see the role social media plays in our everyday life, with us as individuals being able to share what we had for lunch to big profit organisations sharing details of an exclusive launch... all through the use of free technology
So what's happened this year?
We've experienced some really defining marketing trends in social media this year including the growing number of platforms allowing us to stream live videos, big social platforms giving companies the opportunity to turn their ads into slideshows, the competitive addition of Instagram Stories and the popularity of social chat.
- Live Video Streaming: The last few years has seen video content growing in popularity, quite simply because of the accessibility of them; users appreciate the information on a video a lot more than a standard medium. In previous years we've seen live video streaming contenders with the likes of Meerkat, Periscope and Blab but it's been since the launch of Facebook Live that users have gone on to be more demanding of live updates; we want to be in the moment and fully submersed in order to appreciate the content a little bit more. It allows everyone to have their own exclusive. Many other social platforms have noted the popularity of live video streaming and shared their considerations of incorporating the feature into their own social presence... it's a trend that is set to continue growing.
- Using Social Slideshow Ads: Another popular form of interactive visual content got added to the mix this year. You may have seen some ads in the form of slideshows popping up on your social networking pages recently. Slideshows are allowing advertisers to incorporate a number of images and videos into one single advertisement; it allows your audience to interact with your business in a different way. Some brands have utilised this feature well and to their advantage- for example, if you are selling a product, with the slideshow ad you can give a product tutorial over a few pictures, which shares more information with your customer... they say that a picture speaks a thousand words... so why not have more than one?
What should we look out for in 2017?
- Instagram Stories: Unless you've seriously been avoiding all social media news then you should know that Instagram jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to expiring content- and to be more specific, on Snapchats bandwagon. After Snap declined to sell their app to Facebook for $3 billion, Instagram Stories was born as a bid to win over the large number of Snapchat users. Whilst the reaction was mixed, it's clear to see that theres potential for this type of feature... both Instagram Stories and Snapchat have gained their own level of popularity from it and as a follower of social media trends, it's exciting to see where they will go next. It's war.
- Social Chat: WhatsApp has become one of the worlds largest chat apps and Facebook Messenger has accumulated 900 million users. The figures are staggering... it's clear to see that 'chatting' has taken over and people are no longer looking to broadcast news but create personalised content to engage with people. Many companies across the world have adopted the idea of internal communication through the use of programmes such as Slack (including ourselves). As we come to the end of the year, we can already see that the competition in 'social chat' is growing.
There's sure to be a tonne of new trends emerging next year and whilst we can't predict them all, we do have an idea on what's going to take off. It's not the end of what's taken off this year though... there'll be developments for everything we've discussed. Live video streaming is going to move even further into the spotlight with more individuals taking part in live videos across platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Social chat will also continue to encourage more brands to compete, we've already started seeing businesses emerge towards the end of 2016, with programmes such as Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace... competitors for existing and popular Slack. Other trends that will take shape next year include the growing popularity of Artificial Intelligence and chat bots, features that correlate with the development of the worlds technology. We're excited for what's coming up next year and we'll be sure to let you know what we think as new trends come into play.