Right now, more than 2 billion people use social media worldwide. That's certainly an impressive number already, but it will only continue to grow with time. No one can ignore the expanding digital universe. In fact, 97% of U.S. companies have a presence on a social network. So what's in store for 2016? These trends may change how organizations use social media in the year ahead:
Ad blocker usage continues to climb - up a huge 44% in the past year. More people know about AdBlockers and young people protect their privacy with vigorous detail. This challenges traditional models of digital marketing. To succeed in advertising, content must tie into specific audience interests, preferences or affiliations - in other words, microtargeting. Instead of focusing on the lowest denominator, if ads microtarget to users who would actually benefit from their content, people will be less likely to block them.
We no longer question whether a company has a dedicated social media team - 80% of businesses do, but many still struggle to reach their audience. Organizations continue to find ways to improve upon their digital engagement. Employee social advocacy programs encourage staff to share updates about the business on their own social media accounts, an idea that has grown by 191% since 2013 and will only continue to take off.
New Optimization Strategies
In the past, most online marketing strategies relied on traditional search engine optimization (SEO). But other innovative technologies like Siri and Echo can answer people's questions, like a standard search engine. Optimized sites will work with these digital assistants and traditional SEO.
More Video Ads
OK, I know video ads have been around for awhile. But this year, they could see a boom of interest. For one, Facebook and Bing have started offering video options to advertisers. More importantly, Google now includes video content in its search engine algorithm. It's been a big year for online video ads, because users now accept their existence. In 2016, organizations will continue to unveil their effectiveness.
I'm not typically one to make predictions, but I feel pretty confident that the trends above will gain great traction this year!