Social media in 2015 was all about small-scale solutions getting more popular and more involved with advertising – everything from Snapchat to Whatsapp became fair game for capturing audiences. As the third quarter ends, though, it’s time to look ahead and start keeping in mind what will be important to watch in 2016. Lots of trends and strategies will stay the same for businesses, but there are several statistics that help give us a clue into what may change.
Social Media Statistics Give Us a Look Into Strategies for 2016
Below are several different lessons we can learn from some of the social statistics from 2015:
Mobile Grows – Again
It’s safe to say that mobile popularity will only increase in future years. Nearly all social media users visit and monitor profiles from their mobile devices in some way. Keeping track of how your audience uses mobile can help you cater the content you post on your social media sites.
People who are clicking links from a social media page are looking for short and sweet pieces that can be completely read and digested in less than 10 minutes. Take a look at how your users are accessing your site. If most are accessing through mobile devices, it is a good choice to start tailoring the information you post to that crowd.
While social media use is leveling off in the United States in terms of new users, there is an explosion in other countries. India, Indonesia and Mexico are seeing unprecedented growth in social media usage. Pay close attention to your global statistic in 2016 – where are most of your users from?
It may suit your site to start a global campaign targeting the countries where new social media users are aplenty. These new users will be hungry for content, so it makes sense to get your message out there and ready for them.
The Facebook Factor
Facebook’s demographics will continue to change in 2016. As the bread and butter of social media, it is becoming so mainstream that the 65+ crowd is jumping on board innumbers never seen before. The younger crowd (mainly 24 and younger) is moving to more mobile-based social media options like Snapchat, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Monitoring your target age demographic will be especially important in determining which kinds of campaigns you send out through Facebook. What has worked for you in the past will likely not work in 2016, but Facebook will continue to be the giant in terms of social media usage. Your Facebook click rates and number of users will be just as important in 2016 as it was this year.
Increasing Popularity of the Underdogs
Pinterest is primed to boom in 2016. It is widely popular, especially with women, and will likely continue to tap into the advertising market next year. More and more companies are realizing the power of pinning and often push new products out through pins. Buzzfeed, Etsy, Poshmark and Wayfair.com have all become commonly seen companies on Pinterest boards.
The expansion of the Pinterest for Business program over the past year has further bolstered the notion that business will continue to harness the advertising power of the site in a new way next year. Monitoring your number of following and how often your items are pinned will help ensure higher click-through rates.
The Power of Politics
With a U.S. presidential race looming for 2016, you can expect to see not only an increased use of social media by politicians, but an overall increase of political-based content. If politics is in anyway relevant to your content, you will want to keep track of the following information for users: Location, Political affiliation, Age.
While useful for other areas of social media, knowing these specific statistics for your audience throughout 2016 will help you relate better and reduce the risk of alienating – or worse, losing – followers.
The Continued Rise of Video
While YouTube still remains highly relevant, newer video platforms like Snapchat, Vine and even Instagram are quickly becoming go-to places for short, funny clips. Users of these applications are mainly younger Millennials, so if you are targeting that audience, video may be an appropriate way to go in 2016. Through monitoring click and watch rates, you may be better off using a platform like Vine rather than YouTube.
If you are targeting a mixed group in terms of age range, however, YouTube will continue to be the best option, as it has retained appeal to most generations.
Focus on Content
If 2015 taught us anything, it’s that users want to click on engaging headlines that lead to well-written and meaningful content. This trend will continue in 2016, which means that in addition to monitoring click-through rates, you will need to monitor how long people are staying on your site. It’s no longer enough to capture a user through a link posted with a photo on Instagram – they will not return to your site unless you provide engaging content.
Research shows that measuring web traffic is a better indicator of success over measuring social media engagement. This is not to say social media engagement doesn’t matter – it does – but you should be measuring the success of your website or product through actual web traffic. Social media is important, but it is essential to remember that its purpose is to drive people back to your site.
Are there any cool social statistics you’ve seen this year that give us a look into what to expect in the industry next year? Do you agree with the analysis above? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.