If you’re worrying about where to invest your social media budget in 2016, you’re not alone. We know, it’s not an easy task. There are so many rising trends and with the fast paced nature of social media it can be hard to identify what’s here to stay versus what could be just a flash in the pan (peeple, anyone?)
Last year businesses reported social media adverts represented 14% of digital advertising, and whilst that may not seem high, in 2016 70% of marketers expect to spend more. So how can you ensure you’re spending your money wisely? Here are our recommendations for how to invest your 2016 social media budget:
Listen and Learn
Personalised content will reach its peak in 2016. The best way to get a slice of the action? Start by actively listening to your clients and participating in real time conversations. Investing in a good social listening tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial creates unique opportunities to engage in conversations – something we saw O2 and three do in 2015 to win Dan round. The results were a very happy customer and positive publicity for both brands.
As social media teams get bigger and social media tools get better in 2016, adding personality to your business by listening will go a long way.
Pay to Play
In 2016 you’re going to need to be prepared to pay to play. It doesn’t matter how great your content is – if you can’t reach your audience they won’t hear your message. Plan to invest wisely as we see a rise in smarter targeting options, responsive adverts and “curated” time lines.
Remember to design your adverts with mobile in mind, which brings us nicely onto our next point…
Rise of the Buy Buttons
In 2015 we saw Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest roll out “buy buttons”.
Using buy buttons businesses can focus in on the customer journey to drive conversion rate. By removing complications such as slow load times and broken links can bring, you’re making it easier for the customer to complete their purchase and creating fewer opportunities for abandoned carts.
Instagram is set to bring in $2.81 billion in mobile ad revenues by 2017, if forecasts are correct, taking advantage of buy buttons can really pay off. Could this mark the arrival of a purely social commerce store? Only time will tell.
If the event of #drummondpuddlewatch in early January taught us anything it’s that people love video (and puddles evidently). From livestreaming to video messaging, video marketing is all around us. Cisco predict that in 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will be video. Whilst we’re not quite there yet, it’s fair to say that social networks such as Periscope and Snapchat have rapidly grown in popularity.
We’ve already seen creative use of video in 2015 from Snapchats Coachella sponsored filters to Facebook’s launch of The Force Awakens trailer in a fully immersive 360 video. Whether customers are searching for tutorial videos, reviews or real-time updates in 2016 you’ll need to be prepared to give your customers what they want.
These aren’t the only trends that will dominate 2016, there are more we could look at, such as the effect of privacy on social media and we’re yet to see the relationship flourish between wearable technology and social media. It’s safe to say, the earlier you start to react to these predictions, the more time you’ll have to adapt.
What are your plans for social media spending in 2016? Are there any other critical trends to keep an eye out for?