[Social Media Examiner] 2016 SOCIAL MEDIA Marketing Predictions From the Experts

We are experts in B2B Social Media Management. Why not talking about it?

In the meantime, here is an article about the hot marketing trends coming in 2016.2016 social media marketing predictions

Do you want to know where social media pros are focusing their attention?

In 2015, new platforms made a big splash and several popular networks monetized.

To get you ready for what’s coming next, we asked 14 social media marketing experts what to watch for in the new year.

2016 Social media marketing predictions from 14 experts.

Here’s what they had to say:

#1: Social Media Goes Private

Make no mistake about it, the most social of social activity is going to happen in two unique and private places: private groups and messaging apps.

Whether it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn, we’re already starting to see usage of private groups take hold and a surge in people creating them. It’s no secret that if you ask power users on Facebook where they’re seeing the most value from the platform, it’s coming from the private groups that they’re part of.

Snapchat started this, but the shift to messaging apps (think Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, etc.) is going to force brands to get a lot more private and personal with their social media expenditure.

What does all of this mean? We are pushing ever closer to a new kind of social media: one that happens on these public and for-profit channels and networks, but one where the best (and possibly most valuable) content can only be seen by those who are granted permission to see it… or by a small group of people.

The most valuable social media interactions will happen in private, controlled spaces.

It also means that customer service is going to shift to messaging and private group spaces, and that brands will be expected to provide this level of communication between them and their consumers.

The last part of this equation, which proves to be most fascinating, is that this usage and growth is fundamentally a mobile experience. This will be brands’ biggest struggle in 2016, as they’re still ramping up to provide responsive web experiences that aren’t mobile-first by design.

#2: Get Ready to Pay More for Traffic

I predict big changes for the little blue bird. There are two reasons we’re likely to see huge changes at Twitter. First, year-over-year growth in active users has stalled. The number of people using the social network is leveling off.

The second reason is the stock price. Tech investors are often more concerned with user growth than profit, until growth stops. When share price drops it’s time to monetize and maximize the value of having have 300+ million users.

Twitter’s need to monetize will lead to a new algorithm.

So what will happen next? Sometime in 2016, Twitter will create an algorithm that will affect which tweets are seen in which streams. Google has PageRank. Facebook has EdgeRank. Twitter will have TweetRank and it will prioritize ads. A year from now, your tweets won’t appear in the streams of all of your followers. Organic reach will be throttled, Facebook-style, but you’ll have plenty of options to boost the visibility for a small price.

The social media world will quake at the change. Marketers and the news media alike will worry, wonder and wail. But when the dust settles, brands will find that spending a bit more on Twitter will be worth it. In the end, investors will cheer the reversal of Twitter’s financial fortunes.

If this doesn’t happen, Twitter will eventually be a target for acquisition by Google or Facebook, which marketers might prefer, but those who prosecute antitrust cases at the Justice Department might not.

My prediction for social media in 2016 is that more social networks will start charging for traffic. As social media networks adjust their algorithms, the only way brands can ensure they generate a decent amount of traffic is through advertising.

For example, Facebook was once easy to leverage; all you had to do was post a status update with a link on your fan page or personal page. Within minutes, all of your fans and friends would see your links and the traffic would flow in.

Now you’re encouraged to boost your post if you want to get the maximum amount of traffic. Even if you have 100,000 fans on Facebook, the only way to get the majority of them to see your content is to pay for visibility.

Brands in search of social traffic will have to pay for it.

In essence, what happened with Google’s algorithm years ago is the same thing that’s happening with these social networks. The algorithms are continually becoming harder to leverage via organic means, so if you want maximum traffic you’ll have to spend money on ads.

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