February 29, 2016 By BJ Cook,
Even though we’re only about a month-and-a-half into 2016, we’ve already seen an absolute explosion on social media, and we’re not talking about Kanye’s frequent Twitter outbursts. Several trends from 2015 carried into the new year along with some new features that brands and marketers alike can capitalize on. Without further ado, here are three ways the social media landscape has transformed in 2016.

Interactive Videos Are On the Rise

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth at least double that. That much is evident with Facebook’s launch of 360° videos last year. 360° videos were first introduced on YouTube but didn’t really gain traction until Facebook rolled them out last September. They not only allow viewers to watch a video but to actually experience it from every angle. So what does this development mean for marketers? They can now (metaphorically-speaking) break their users’ screens and pull them into the action. Rather than merely being observers, viewers can now be a character in an ad or promotional piece. In this era of relationship marketing, it is imperative for marketers to talk with consumers as opposed to talking to them—to make them an integral part of the brand story—and this feature makes that process much simpler.

Live Streaming Is the New Social Media Frontier

And speaking of pulling users into the experience, there’s no better way to have them be there without actually being there than with live streaming. Meerkat and Periscope, two relative newcomers to the social media arena, have completely revolutionized the way we watch videos by allowing users to share them in real-time. By putting a link to your live stream on Twitter, any individual who sees it can join your room and watch your live stream. Essentially, it’s like Facetiming, except with hundreds—if not thousands—of people. This makes the viewing experience intimate, interactive and authentic. Like 360° videos, Meerkat and Periscope’s live streaming capabilities allow users to see everything in first-person. And because it’s a live continuous video, everything seen is unedited and uncut. This makes for a genuine and spontaneous viewing experience, because anything can happen at any time. Marketers can leverage this to add credibility and trustworthiness to their brands, because (ideally) nothing is staged or planned.

Social Commerce Slowly Overtaking eCommerce?

Last year, Facebook; Pinterest and YouTube added a new and more convenient facet to online shopping: social commerce. Rather than linking to ecommerce sites, these social media titans added Buy buttons to their sites to make online purchasing a quick, one-step process. By clicking these Buy buttons, consumers can purchase a product directly without hassle. Easy enough, right? Say goodbye to scrolling through dozens of pages to find that perfect product and say hello to simplicity. Thanks, social commerce. It’s obvious that social media is taking over the world at a staggering rate. With these revolutionary innovations, it’ll be interesting to see the next big thing in social. Social media brain implants, perhaps? Okay, maybe not. But with these new technologies, somehow that doesn’t seem so farfetched. Have questions or want to chat about how we can aid in your social media efforts? Contact us anytime- here.

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