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Five social media trends that will change marketing and business in 2016

Social media networks have taken the world and they have become an integral part of our everyday lives. There are more than 2 billion active social media users right now, and that number keeps growing as we speak. It has increased by 25% each year, which only shows that the popularity and the use of social media is definitely not going to go down anytime soon.
The most interesting part about these platforms is that they have crept their way into business planning, thus becoming one of the most crucial marketing tools. This year, we will definitely witness the peak of social media use, and the number of users will absolutely keep increasing for years to come. Let’s take a look at the trends that will change the way we see marketing and that will most certainly pave the way for success.

The evolving role of social media at the workplace

Let’s face it – everyone uses social media at their workplace, whether they are allowed to by their employers or they are patiently waiting for their superiors to turn away so that they can check their notifications and news feed. Something here is pretty obvious – that kind of activity lowers the levels of productivity and efficiency at work, which is something every business owner should take into account.

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However, there is a way to use social media at the workplace, and both keep the employees satisfied and ensure their productivity levels are high. Slack has become a very popular app. It has gained over 2 million active users in two years’ time on the market. Built around chat rooms and archives, with its interactive interface, it has become quite a game-changer for businesses around the world.

It is great for work, as it helps employees keep the communication going, without the annoying threads of endless e-mails. Tens of thousands of business teams across the globe are using it to make their work a lot simpler and themselves more productive.

Facebook at Work is another way for businesses to change how people work internally, as it helps them build their own secure social networks. It is still in trial mode and many companies are on the waiting list, but it will become free for general use this year and it will definitely change the way businesses work.

Employee advocacy and social media marketing

At the moment, almost 80% of businesses have their social media team, as they have come to the understanding that it is of crucial importance to have employees who will only deal with social media marketing. That way, they will be truly dedicated to doing their work effectively, thus managing to reach their target audience.

Likewise, businesses encourage their employees to share their business content on their own social media accounts by implementing employee social advocacy programs. They have shown quite a huge improvement, with a growth of 191% since 2013.

If each and every employee within a company shares content on their social media, they will get a lot more engagement than the company’s brand channel. Since they can attract a lot more people, they can help the company get a vast number of new customers. Social media marketing is the next big thing on the market and it is undoubtedly one of the best tools for expanding a business, as well as for boosting one’s reputation.

Business owners who are in need of effective marketing to showcase their business to a large number of people can easily do so with the use of social media, which will spread the word about their business before they know it.

The advancement of social media advertising

Remember the time when banner ads were pretty much everywhere online, constantly annoying you even on Facebook, when all you wanted was to simply scroll your newsfeed and relax? Those days are gone, as the new and improved social media ads have taken the place of the old-fashioned ones.

You have certainly noticed them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, looking like the regular updates from your friends and followers, which is definitely more natural than banner ads. The best feature of these new ads is that they are carefully targeted towards the right audience’s needs and desires.

Age, gender, location, interests and many more factors are used in order to target an audience with great precision, so that the ads you see on your news feed are the ones that you may actually need. Social media advertising has grown to a great extent, and has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Only major corporations were able to buy social media ads before, but today, every small business can afford them easily and use them as one of their marketing tools.

This trend will definitely grow more and it will continue to do so in the years to come. It will certainly become even more popular among business owners who follow the latest work trends and who want to advertise their business across the globe to successfully spread the word about their brand.

The emerging social media messaging apps

There are billions of active users of messaging apps (almost 4 billion, actually), such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and many others. Their primary use was to enable people across the globe to chat with one another in real time, but they have evolved into great marketing tools for many businesses. Since the major platforms have developed messaging components, social media messaging apps have become great for customer support as well.

Every business owner who has a brand channel on social media networks uses those apps to stay in touch with customers. Keeping the communication with customers ongoing is extremely important for every business and social media messaging apps enable a perfect one-on-one social customer service. They are very important for e-commerce, as they are ideal for business-to-customer interactions.

The rise of social video

Social video is literally taking over the world. Last year, the number of video views on Facebook was 8 billion. Social video is emerging everywhere, as now you can put a short video on Instagram as well. Snapchat now counts an incredible number of 8 billion video views per day. Those numbers are certain to grow even further in 2016, particularly with features such as Suggested Videos on Facebook.

Videos are some of the most useful marketing tools for any kind of business, so it is no wonder that 70% of companies say that video is absolutely the most effective tool in their marketing campaigns. Social videos have definitely dominated social media networks and each and every business owner in the world should understand the role of social videos to be able to incorporate them effectively into their marketing plans and strategies.

There are also plenty of video-editing apps that are very easy to use and can provide them with high-quality videos for their marketing. This is a trend that will only keep growing with each coming year and we are yet to see its peak.

In the day and age we live in, social media networks are the key to successful marketing. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you should follow these social media trends that will most certainly leave a mark on the way companies do business and explore the world of marketing.

About Ivan Dimitrijevic

CEO & Founder at @MyCityWeb. Author & Blogger. My favorite topics: Business, Digital & Social Media, Online Marketing, Design, Travel & Lifestyle.