2016 social media trends: Live video, Facebook & Snapchat

Go live or go home

During his keynote to kick off Social Media Marketing World 2016 in San Diego, Social Media Examiner CEO Michael Stelzner gave attendees a sneak peek at his much-anticipated 2016 Social Media Marketing Report. Mike surveyed 5,100 marketers to identify 2016 social media trends — and the findings might surprise you.

Michael Stelzner Social Media Marketing World
Social Media Examiner CEO Mike Stelzner discusses 2016 social media trends at Social Media Marketing World 2016.

1. Social marketers embrace video.

OK, so this one might not come as such a big surprise. You need only look at YouTube’s 128 million unique average monthly users to figure out that video can benefit your business. Simply using the word “video” in an email subject lines boosts open rates by 19 percent. Mike’s survey found that 73 percent of marketers will increase their use of video in 2016, with 21 percent claiming video is the most important form of content marketing.

2. 2016 is the year of live video.

 “This is the fastest growing phenomenon in the entire evolution of social media.” ~ Mike Stelzner

A mere 14 percent of the marketers surveyed currently leverage live video streaming — but 50 percent plan to start using or to increase their use of video in 2016. One big reason? Facebook Live. The social networking giant announced it will give preferential treatment to Live videos, placing them at the top of followers’ news feeds. “Facebook has gone out of their way to make sure live is easy for people,” Mike says.

Here are Facebook’s tips for using Facebook Live.

3. Many marketers are unsure about their Facebook traffic.

File this one under “hard to believe, but true” — an astounding 40 percent of marketers surveyed do not know if their Facebook traffic has declined in the last 12 months. It probably has. With exemplary transparency, Mike shared analytics of Social Media Examiner’s Facebook traffic to show a steady decline.

Social Media Examiner Facebook Traffic

“What do marketers do when they’re not sure,” Mike asked. “They double-down.” That’s right …

4. Marketers will increase their Facebook marketing in 2016.

They might not have a pulse on their Facebook traffic stats, but a majority of marketers are still banking on Facebook — with 67 percent of those surveyed saying they will increase their Facebook marketing in 2016.

5. Facebook is still the most important social platform.

Last year, 51 percent of marketers ranked Facebook as the most important social network — a figure that climbed to 55 percent in 2016.

And what do they hope to get out of using Facebook and other social platforms for business marketing?

6. Exposure is the top benefit of social media for business.

Overwhelmingly, marketers want to use social networks to amplify their brands. A huge 89 percent of marketers say increased exposure is the main benefit of social media. But are they doing it right?

Mike offered up JetBlue as an example of a brand that knows how to leverage customers to gain exposure through social media. The airline launched the highly successful JetBlue SoFly site to make it easy for fans to view and share JetBlue tips, photos and more. “If you have customers that love you,” he asks, “why not encourage them — at the point of transaction — to be your evangelists?”

JetBlue SoFly Website7. Pay to play is here to stay.

Want to make an impact on Facebook? You have to pay for it. Eighty-six percent of survey respondents regularly use Facebook ads for business marketing. Facebook ad revenue grew more than 50 percent from 2015 to 2016.

8. Snapchat is rapidly rising.

Snapchat Logo
Mike Stelzner at Social Media Marketing World ‘16: “Is this little ghost something we should pay attention to?”

Haven’t started using Snapchat for business? It’s not too late. While only 5 percent of marketers surveyed currently use Snapchat, 16 percent plan to start and 28 percent want to learn more. “It’s very intimate,” Mike says. “It’s kind of a direct platform that allows you to connect with people in an amazing way.” He predicts that Snapchat will rise to one of the top three social networks in the coming years. If Snapchat works for your small business marketing model, get in now.

Will you capitalize on any of these 2016 social media trends to move your small business forward? Please share in the comments!

Image by: Onefound via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

Andrea Rowland
A former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for small businesses and web pros through her work as managing editor of the GoDaddy Garage. When she's not writing or editing, she likes to experiment with baking, travel, read, and dip her toes in the ocean.