SOCIAL MEDIA 2016: WHERE WILL THE CROWD BE?

For businesses in Wales, social media is an important part of the marketing mix but as organic reach on Facebook drops, and Twitter struggles to gain new users, where will UK social media users be in 2016? Here are a few platforms to keep an eye on, after all it’s not all about Facebook and Twitter…

INSTAGRAM

Instagram

We’ve discussed Instagram before. It’s a photo-based social media platform which has grown hugely since being acquired by Facebook in 2012.

The concept is simple; you take pictures and videos on your mobile and share them to your Instagram account. You can add a description (often using hashtags), a location, and you can tag fellow Instagram accounts. Other users can follow your profile to like and re-share what you post.

Instagram’s popularity represents a major shift in social media over the last few years, and that’s visual content sharing. In today’s social media communities, visual content is key to creating online engagement.

There are two great reasons for using Instagram in 2016. Firstly, if you’re a business that creates lots of great visual content, Instagram is a great way for you to build a strong brand following; fashion, food, and art, are all popular themes among the 14 million active users in the UK.

The second reason why Instagram is a platform to keep an eye on in 2016 is advertising. The company has created a number of different ways for businesses to advertise on the platform, each with calls to action to your website.

According to Shopfiy, Instagram users are more likely to purchase a product from an advert than users on Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest!

BOOMERANG

Boomerang

While we’re talking about Instagram, it’s worth mentioning their new stand-alone service Boomerang. Boomerang allows you to capture 1-second video loops and upload them to social media platforms such as Facebook. This creates something very similar to a GIF, and this makes the app a really interesting tool for businesses. Varying content output on social media is really important and Boomerang could be a simple and free way to do it!

PINTEREST

Pinterest

Pinterest has seen unbelievable growth over the last few years. In the UK, their site gets around 10 million visits a month and the platform is widely regarded as being the first female-centric social media platform. So what is Pinterest about?

Pinterest allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (called ‘pinning’ ) images or videos to their own or others’ boards. The most popular themed boards on Pinterest are related to DIY, cooking, home decorations and holidays.

Users generally access the site via their mobiles and Pinterest doesn’t currently have advertising features in place, but don’t let that put you off! If you build a brand board that really captures a user’s imagination with stunning visual content you could well be building a relationship with your next customer.

Though there aren’t advertising options for businesses on Pinterest,  in Amercia the company has launched ‘buy pins’, where a business with an online store can ‘pin’ a product to their board and a user can buy the product directly through Pinterest. This is expected to be rolled out for the UK version too!

PERISCOPE

Periscope

Periscope is a live video streaming platform which gained huge traction in 2015. It works in a very simple way, you set up an account, stream a live-recording, and anyone else who uses the app can watch your stream.

4 months after launching the platform had 10 million active users, both Facebook and Twitter took two years to get the same number, so it’s definitely a social media platform to keep an eye on. Periscope’s impressive growth is expected to continue in 2016, with hundreds of thousands of UK users adopting the platform.

So how can a business use Periscope? Well, it could be used to live stream the next event you attend? Or, you could even use it to run a mobile-based webinar? There are plenty of possibilities.

FLIPAGRAM

Flipagram

Flipagram is a ‘visual story’ mobile app.  It allows users to create short videos either from their photos or video clips and set them to music (it even integrates with Instagram). People can then like or comment on the videos, follow other users and share the content on other social media channels.

The platform is attracting attention from many of the UK’s leading businesses because of two things; there are 33 million active users worldwide (and adoption in the UK is growing quickly), and Flipagram  allows users to link their clips to external sites such as an online store.

Pop culture is central to Flipagram’s user base, which means fashion, food, and travel are key themes among the 700 million clips shared every day on the platform. For forward-thinking businesses Flipagram could be a great way to not only engage with today’s ‘millennials’ audience but also drive users to their online stores.

So there we are. Five social media platforms that could be the new places for businesses to be in 2016. We hope you enjoyed our article, why not give it a share?