The world of social media is rapidly evolving, and it is important for consumers and business owners to keep up with the trends. It was not that long ago the now almost defunct MySpace ruled the social media universe — then came Facebook and Twitter to disrupt the marketplace and change user expectations.
Facebook and Twitter may still be the top of the heap, but those companies cannot rest on their laurels. The rapid rise of sites like Instagram and Pinterest has taken many experts by surprise, as has the enduring popularity of apps like SnapChat. As 2016 gets underway, there are a number of social media trends to watch out for. Here are a few of the most important.
User Privacy Will Become Even More Important
In 2015 it seemed that hardly a week went by without word of another security breach. Consumers and social media users are becoming increasingly concerned about online privacy, and smart companies will take steps to respond.
Consumer privacy will be king in 2016, with businesses going out of their way to protect the personal information of their customers. In the meantime, consumers themselves will continue to balance the convenience of sharing their locations, likes and preferences against the privacy concerns that information can create.
Instant Updates will Become the Norm
Access to timely information is one of the major advantages of social media. From breaking news updates and accurate weather forecasts to instant messages from friends, social media is all about access to the latest information.
That trend is likely to continue in 2016, and smart marketers are likely to take advantage of it with things like instant coupons and time-sensitive promotions. Technology that allows companies to schedule their social media posts will only accelerate this trend and give business owners a greater level of control over their marketing messages.
The Buy Button will Come of Age
Facebook made news when it announced the buy button, a simple and easy way for consumers to purchase the products they see on their feeds and in the sidebar ads. In 2016 the buy button will come of age, as it is adopted by more and more social media platforms.
Smart companies will take full advantage of the buy button to market their products and build their profits. At the same time, consumers will continue to get more and more savvy, looking for savings, free shipping and other special offers to get the most for their money.
The world of social media has been undergoing rapid change, and that evolution is only expected to accelerate in the future. As 2016 gets underway, consumers and businesses can expect to see even more changes. Whether you own your own business or are just a casual user, it is important to be ready for these changes.