Did you know: Around 84% of communication will be visual by 2018?

Did you know: 95% of B2B buyers prefer short, bite-sized content

Did you know: Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.

2015 was a great year for social media, but 2016 has some new trends that I have to talk about. As a small business, you need to stay up to date with the trends in social media to make sure you are connecting with your target audience in the way that they want you to connect with them.

So, what does 2016 have to offer? Keep reading to find out my 5 top trends in social media for 2016!

1. Live-Streaming

Live-streaming has become a huge part of social media marketing in 2016. With the likes of Periscope, Meerkat and Blab taking centre stage we can only expect other social networks to follow, just like Facebook has by introducing Facebook Live, allowing users to live-stream from the app to their newsfeed. I would also expect to see the likes of Google evolve their Hangout options, as well as Snapchat and Instagram.

2. Social Content Publishing

Content marketing has been an extremely popular way of of marketing a business online, and with the likes of Facebook Instant Articles, LinkedIn Long-Form Posts, and Twitter Moments, innovation forms of social content publishing platforms have become a huge trend in social media.

3. Consumers Become Your Influencers

Thanks to social media, the consumer is now consider a thought leader, and an influencer in a purchasing decision. Because social media is conversational, your customers will have built up a social following, meaning their voice is heard and can impact the opinion of other customers ready to purchase a product.

4. GIFs, Video Marketing and Virtual Reality

It isn’t just the 18-24 year olds who are obsessed with video and GIF sharing; everyone else has jumped on the bandwagon too. 2016 has seen the rise of GIFs especially with them generating 60% more engagement than a static visual.

The likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter are leaning more towards GIFS, and video marketing because of the engagement increase. We have also seen Facebook leading the way for VR (virtual reality) content with 360 capabilities being added to the platform.

5. Get Mobile

I remember writing an article around a year ago about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website because of the likelihood of mobile marketing becoming exactly what is has become today; a necessity.

2016 is the year to prove that mobile is important and recent studies show that 70% of all smartphone searches result in an action, whether it be a purchase or an website enquiry. There are 3.65 billion mobile users that have access to the internet, and social media via their phone so if you haven’t already looked at mobile marketing, you will be missing out.

What is your favourite trends in social media, and are there any that I haven’t mentioned which you think should have made my top 5?

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