22 Social Media Experts Share Their Bold Predictions for 2016 and Beyond
22 MARKETING EXPERTS SHARE
THEIR BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR
THE FUTURE OF
The Question We Asked
“What is your boldest prediction for
the future of social media
Social Media Marketing is slowly going to drive less and less traffic to websites. With platforms
like Snapchat increasing in popularity and with Facebook continually updating their algorithm,
it you see less traffic from social networks, as some don't make it easy to promote
your website unless you advertise.
Social media marketing is going to be less about
content curation and more about content creation.
We're seeing hints of this with the reintroduction
of Facebook notes, and the recent rumors that
Twitter is building a new product that allows users
to share messages longer than 140 characters.
For too long businesses have gone on autopilot
with social media. Consumers are sick of seeing
the same link-baity garbage sprinkled throughout
their newsfeeds. They want more heart. They
want more originality. These updates are going to
give businesses and brands the opportunity to
invest in the human side of social media again.
The businesses that embrace this change will
continue to find value in participating in these
online communities—the ones who don't will soon
find it a lot more challenging to connect with
and VP of Marketing at When I
My "boldest prediction for the future of social media marketing" is that companies will
become more dependent on seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum: Becoming more
dependable on social media tools like eClincher in order to automate and scale and get
the job done effectively and efficiently while at the same time becoming more human,
authentic and transparent with
their engagement with other users in social media communities.
Social media marketing has grown up a lot, but we’re only just now
starting to cross over into it becoming serious, a necessary element
for all businesses. While you may have been able to get away with not
having a branded social media presence for some time, consumer
habits are changing and those that fail to change with them will quickly
fall behind, in all sectors.
How this evolution will manifest in 2016 will through a wide scale shift
in marketing and communications mindset. Programmatic targeting
will become more important, data and analytics more mainstream. The
greatest benefit of social media is data, we’re slowly starting to realize
that, but no one really knows what it all means, what the possibilities
are with all this insight. Because we’ve never had it before. We’ll see
the rise of social analytics, the evolution of data translation, and the
wider shift towards using the resources we have available to us in a
more intelligent way. In this process, we’ll also shift further away from
traditional outreach methods like print and television, as more spend
shifts to focused, refined digital campaigns. This may not seem like
such a bold prediction – really, it’s pretty much a no brainer – but the
impact it will have will be significant, particularly as younger
generations of digital natives, those who’ve never known a world
without social media or online ad targeting, shift into more lucrative
demographic brackets and force a change in mindset in order to meet
their ever-increasing expectations of marketing.
Social Media Today)
Looking forward, social media entities will continue to mature into full-fledged media entities. Don’t agree? Check Facebook’s ever-growing advertising
revenue stream based on increase number and price of ads.
This will result in 2 key trends:
Increased social media marketing spend. Marketers will need to support their social media presence with tailored content, better distribution using
paid tools and technology and social media advertising. Translation: Increased marketing spend.
Increased focus on blogs as owned social media. Blogs are an underrated content marketing and social media tool to achieve key business
objectives. They support customer information needs at every step of the buying cycle.
In-the-moment updates will dominate. Social media is
already “in-the-moment” by nature, but there are some
posts that are more “in-the-moment” than others. For
example, take Periscope, which was recently acquired
by Twitter—it allows users to give a live video
broadcast of some stretch of their lives. Compare that
to simply taking a video and posting it later—Periscope
users collectively watch 40 years of live video each and
every day. Instagram and Snapchat also support on-
the-go, in-the-moment updates as opposed to late-
game retrospectives, and could collectively herald in a
new era of immediacy in social media. If it catches on,
you can forget about scheduling all your company’s
social media posts in advance.
(Founder and CEO
Marketers will embrace the power of live streaming to build trust with the
community like never before, which will shift the content marketing strategy as a
whole from creating marketing and sales content to creating employee led content
that is shaped and molded by the community conversations and live streaming
I predict that, very soon, we will begin to see real retraction
in the social media industry. We're in a period right now
where we're still seeing multiple new platforms birthed, with
plenty of room for growth. Even the largest social network,
Facebook, is still growing, adding millions of new users
each month. That won't last. Soon, consumers will not just
say they're weary of trying new networks, they'll express it
through an utter disdain of anything new. New platforms
will see so much struggle to gain traction that they'll quickly
fold, and that will lead to extreme caution on the part of
investors. Without investors to back them, ideators will find
it hard to build solutions for perceived problems.
Instead, the remaining networks will continue to evolve
and expand their offerings. We're already seeing this today,
with Facebook in particular. They've added video and are
quickly becoming a rival to YouTube for video consumption.
As that capability matures, and it becomes easier to use
the Facebook platform in manners similar to YouTube,
smaller video solutions will die off or be purchased. So
those who hate it every time there's a new social network
announced, and who only want to use their favorite few
platforms, rejoice! Your day is coming.
(CMO at SiteSell and Social
Media Marketing Consultant
at The Social Media Hat)
For marketers thinking about approaching social media from a networking and community building aspect rather than a marketing
and sales aspect can be very difficult. Brands need to attract customers, but breaking through the clutter is challenging. Everyday
brands and marketers are spending millions trying to get you to use, keep using, and share that you love their brands. But why
aren’t they doing everything they can, and using some of those millions to do it (probably way less that they are spending on
those marketing campaigns), making experiences with their brand remarkable. Opportunities to do this are given to brands each
and every day and they simply, turn their heads, rave about their latest and great “campaign’ as if it were a military conquest, and
pass up ways to really create customers for life. We are not there yet, but my boldest prediction is that brands will start to realize
that they will stand out by "Liking" them before they "Like" you.
Facebook will turn into AOL. That doesn't
mean that they'll go old-school, or offer
Internet service, but rather that Facebook
will continue to encapsulate the entire web
experience all on its platform, just like AOL
was when it started. Have you noticed that
videos played within Facebook don't count
toward YouTube views? Links and other
external content is preloaded and opens
within Facebook too. In a way, they'll be like
AOL 20 years ago, offering content and
experiences through their platform.
Marketers will have to work even harder to
get people to their websites, and will
probably have to resort to paid ads to see a
Eric T. Tung
(Social Media Strategist and
Facebook will create more millionaires than YouTube with their video platform. Video will dominate on
every level- live interactive video as well as pre-recorded videos. Today’s social media user is
interactive, and we’ll see more people using live streaming on their personal Facebook profile pages,
like “Mentions For Profiles”.
Bottom line: Video + Facebook = more wealth for brands and more fun for people!
Automating certain tasks on social media isn't anything
new, but I think we will be debating the ethics of some
forms of automation much more readily in 2016. I love
some forms of automation, but I've never been a huge
fan of automating engagement, however we're now
entering an age of robots and artificial intelligence and
the landscape is about to change. There are new
artificial intelligence tools that are starting to do a very
good job at intelligently engaging with users on social
media- so much so that the individuals aren't even
realizing they are speaking with a robot!
Whether we like this or not, we are going to see more
and more tools using artificial intelligence to help
businesses find new leads and engage with existing
customers on their social networks - particularly in
answering common questions. There will be a lot of
backlash against this kind of automation, and mistakes
will be made, but like it or not, artificial intelligence is
here to stay. We need to learn how to use this new
ethically and productively.
Ian Anderson Gray
(Co-Founder of Select Performers
Internet Solutions, Social Media
Facebook Search function usage grows so rapidly that Twitter becomes less relevant in terms of
surfacing trends and Google ad revenue begins to suffer as users turn to FB search for more refined
context for local search.
Social platforms will institute conversion tracking
that will definitively provide attribution metrics that
profoundly impacts marketers’ attitudes toward the
power of social media. Additionally, conversion
options will be plentiful to push the conversion
closer to the social interaction rather than driving
them through a complex funnel.
(Co-Founder and CEO of
CircuPress, CEO of DK New
Media and Founder of
Marketing Technology Blog)
The future of social media marketing is more ads. I'm not happy to predict this, but it's true. To maximize the visibility of
ads, social networks throttle back the organic reach of social posts, especially posts from brands. I expect we'll see an
algorithm within Twitter within the next 12 months. Just as in Facebook, this will reduce the reach of posts and
increase the visibility of ads. This in turn increases the value to advertisers and the subsequent ad spend ...and
eventually the share price of the social network.
I think there will be two big trends emerging for
social media in the coming years. The most
impactful social media trend I see moving forward
will be social media buying power. It has already
begun on channels like Pinterest, but there will be a
huge rise in e-commerce on social media networks
that makes products instantly available and easily
accessible. The hunt for seeing something online
and trying to find out where to buy it will be over.
The second will be driven by deep data and
analytics more than ever before. Brands will use
these insights to hyper target their audience
through content, conversations, posting times and
created extremely effective and targeted strategies
to connect with their audience that will yield
(CEO at Leimkuehler Media
In 2016, cyber security - or rather the lack thereof - will make headlines. Despite some prominent social account
hacks in the past, many brands and individuals have not been taking the cyber threat seriously. Major hacks that
will lead to huge data losses and privacy breaches as well as social media phishing attacks will shake up social
media marketing as we know it.
I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid, I don’t think I am.
I boldly predict that in 2016, organizations will give
marketing robots the boot and fully embrace a more
thoroughly human approach to marketing. We’ll see more
partnering with influencers, advocates taking active roles
in brand messaging, and the creation of genuine
relationships with audiences. Both B2B and B2C
marketing will sport a much more human face.
My prediction for the future of social media is all about transparency. Customers want direct communication with companies
now, and they want transparency in the process. This is why videos, live streaming, and live chats are so important. Whether
it's keeping people up to date on delays, availability, mistakes, upcoming products, company changes, employee insights,
and more, customers want this information in real time.
The more you can put the "face" of your company out there, the more your audience will interact, engage, and purchase from
you. If you haven't figured out ways to incorporate this into your social media strategy yet, now is the time to investigate the
new tools in community development (podcasting, live streaming, live chats, etc.) to share this with your audience.
(Twitter Marketing Influencer,
Blogger and Podcaster at
"We're going to see more on social selling in
2016 because people are getting a handle on
how to manage their social media, now they
want to monetize it. My newest online course
is called "Tweeting for Profits" because my
community wants to make money from their
efforts on social. Most people are not
beginners anymore. Social media has been
around for awhile. They are becoming
advanced and they want to go to the next
"In 2016 content will still rule for businesses to get in front of the
right people. But context will be more important than ever. It's
going to be about real-time geographics. Where you are at the
who is near by, and what content relates to that."
(President of Be Visible Associates
and Content Marketing,
Blog and Social Media Coach)
"My prediction for the future of social
media is that we will be moving toward
end of free reach."
1. Live Streaming Will Continue to Grow
2. Real-Time Engagement Will Become Key
3. Greater Dependence On Analytics
4. Increase In Paid Advertising
5. Social Selling
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