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TechRepublic: 5 social media trends to watch in 2016


By Erin Carson, TechRepublic 

The social media landscape is in a constant state of flux. It was last year, and 2016 will be no different. What remains the same is that businesses will have to rise to the challenge of figuring out how to get the best results from a channel that’s getting an increasing amount of attention and resources.

Click through to read Erin’s five trends to watch in the coming year relating to business and social media.


Companies will have to rethink the customer

Brian Solis, Altimeter Group principal analyst, sees a convergence coming of real-time, mobile video, and imagery.

“We’re going to see the proliferation of emojis, selfies, and filters that bring both worlds together like we see in Snapchat to further turn people into human emoticons. Those moments into expressing experiences, sentiments, events, etc. What it all comes down to is these tools are going to completely shatter the customer journey and any notion of the customer as we know them,” he said.

Solis referenced Google’s concept of Micro-Moments. This is how Google defines the concept: “Thanks to mobile, micro-moments can happen anytime, anywhere. In those moments, consumers expect brands to address their needs with real-time relevance.” Think about that moment when your hair dryer stops working and you need a new one. So, you pick up your phone and search for hair dryers.

Brands will have to figure out how to be there and be relevant to the customer in a different way than before.

Social media is maturing, and will need better measurement

That will be a challenge. Solis brought up how emoji was the 2015 word of the year, according to the Oxford Dictionary.

“If you look at more traditional thinkers, they’re incredibly upset that emoji is the word of the year. At the same time, what is a word but a collection of symbols? That’s just like a philosophical crux that I think businesses have to better understand,” he said.

As a sub point to the idea of social media growing up, Solis said there will be more of a reliance on agencies to handle social on behalf of businesses.

“The reason why they’re not doing this internally is because this is a highly specialized skill set. They’re the ones who understand the dynamics of Periscope or Blab or what’s next,” he said.

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