Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook0Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter

6 Social Media Trends SMEs need to Watch Out For in 2016

by

“Do you know that a whopping 80% of SMEs in Australia lack a strategic social media plan! According to Sensis Social Media Report for 2015, only 33% of businesses have a social media presence compared with 68% of consumers on social media, which means this remains a fairly untapped avenue for SMEs in Australia. If your SME business still lacks a social media presence, while your customers are actively using it, there is a great chance that they are buying from your competitors rather than you! If you do have a social media presence but lack strategy, then without doubt you’ll be finding it hard to generate the return on investment! With just a couple of weeks to go before we

social-media-trends

social-media-in-2016

“Do you know that a whopping 80% of SMEs in Australia lack a strategic social media plan!

According to Sensis Social Media Report for 2015, only 33% of businesses have a social media presence compared with 68% of consumers on social media, which means this remains a fairly untapped avenue for SMEs in Australia.

If your SME business still lacks a social media presence, while your customers are actively using it, there is a great chance that they are buying from your competitors rather than you!

If you do have a social media presence but lack strategy, then without doubt you’ll be finding it hard to generate the return on investment!

With just a couple of weeks to go before we roll into 2016, it’s a good time to look back at what worked thus far and what new trends are likely to emerge that can potentially impact the buying behavior of our customers on social media channels.

As an SME business owner you need to ask:

1. What are the top social media marketing trends to look out for my small business?

2. How emerging social media trends will impact my online business?

3. What can I do to keep up with the social media trends in 2016?

4. Do I need to have different outsourcing partners for SEO & Social Media in 2016?

Holiday season is here and you may want to plan ahead and enter 2016 with a strategy and an implementation plan. If so, here are two of my recent articles where I discuss 7 ways to gear up your small business website for 2016 and 8 ways to optimise your small business for Google Search, which may also a good supporting articles for your overall strategy?

social

Today, I explain what is it that you need to make your social media marketing strategy work in 2016? Let me do this in my normal acronym style, using the Keyword: SOCIAL

So here it goes:

1. Stimulate Interest Through Story Telling

stimulateBusiness story-telling is one of the top social media marketing trends to look out for in 2016.

If you have tried the regular way of social media posting – telling about a service and linking the post back to the website, try giving this a shot!

Story-telling in social media can be interesting and done in a number of way. Such as a series of catchy posts leading up to a big event or accomplishment for your business. This creates a beginning, climax and end to a post and give your fans something to look forward to and get them coming back on your page.

Remember, ideas, not products, tend to catch fire. Story-telling has proved to be great asset in the online SME’s arsenal in 2015 and the trend will become more common place come next year.

Irrespective of how compelling target ad messages get, social media consumers will continue to care more about the story behind the brand rather than the product or service offered!

As a SME business owner how can you leverage business story-telling in 2016? SMEs or their social media outsourcing partners need to identify values, emotions or ideas that their customers care about and that also resonate with the overall branding.

2. Optimise Social Content For Search Engines

optimiseSocial Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation are closely intertwined when it comes to selling your brand online!

Social media pages are treated as any other page on the web!

If a search query matches the content of a social media page, it will show in search results increasing your chances to get more click-through and traffic to your social media page, which can then be directed to your website!

As I mentioned in my earlier article, with Google and Twitter joining hands, what people are tweeting about your brand can have a greater impact on how you appear in search results! While it’s early in the partnership, twitter can be a great way to climb up the ranking ladder. Additionally, Google is now showing more and more posts published on its social networking site, Google Plus, in its search engine results.

So, as an SME business owner what do you need to do to keep up with the social media trend in 2016?

Growing your number of real targeted followers, getting a diverse number of external inbound links, optimising the post for searches, social shares, locally optimising the posts and increasing your reputation on social media, can all slowly add up to result in better Google ranking!

3. Complement Marketing with User Generated Content

complementWith influencers, brand advocates and employees talking about your brand on social media, 2016 will experience a rise in user-generated content as opposed to the content developed by brand marketers.

Hence in 2016 word-of-mouth will gain momentum!

As an SME business owner, it will be even more important for your business to keep a track of what is being said about your brand online and doing so will surely pay off well.

Influencer marketing opens a whole new world of opportunities for business to find and connect with the customers directly, organically and on a much larger scale. Content created by collaborating with social media influencers has the potential to amplify the message in a more powerful and meaningful way, while directing it to your target audience.

4. Indulge Users Through Rich Content

indulgeWhile social media is already keeping its users up to date with the latest happenings, the coming year will witness a greater obsession for in-the-moment updates via live video streaming that gives a peak into a given event or a product launch happening in business right now! In 2016, Live video streaming will overtake simple videos that are captured and posted on to a later date!

How will this emerging social media trend impact my small business?

While it is easier for large corporate companies to adapt this with larger budget, what does rise of ‘Live streaming’ in-the-moment updates mean for an SME business owner? This means its high-time to capitalise visual marketing and gear up to show the human side of your business to your customers.

This could include behind the scene shots, sneak peek into up-coming products, tutorials and webinars, real time question and answer sessions with your social media fan base and offering time sensitive discounts and offers.

5. Assure Privacy Protection

assureThis year you may have seen SnapChat’s rise to popularity, one of the reasons being its secure environment for communication. Similarly, Facebook also rolled a new set of privacy awareness tool in 2015.

Moving towards 2016, the rise in the privacy concerns of social media users will require businesses to back off their intrusive marketing methods and respect their user’s privacy more.

What do you need to do to keep up with this social media trend in 2016?

How should a SME Business owner react to increasing privacy concerns on social media?

For one, asking users to provide private information publically, is not going to work anymore. Alternatively, try using a more personalised and private communication channel such as email marketing. Start by outlining a privacy policy and following it rigorously on your website as well as social media platforms.

6. Leverage From Search Made Through Social Networks

leverageWith the battle to keep users within the app for as long as possible, 2015 saw a new trend with social networks taking the role of search engines.

Users are searching for products and services directly from Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube because they are relying more on product reviews, feedback and testimonials that can be easily found on such social networks. Additionally, users find videos and image based information more credible.

In response to this shift, Facebook has been testing with a new way to search for links to be included in status updates making its own in-app search-engine. Facebook is also providing incentive to business owners with new tools to manage communications on Facebook business pages.

As an SME business owner what do you need to do to leverage from this update? With the holiday season approaching fast, expect more people to search for discount deals, special offers, and gift ideas, make sure to redefine your keywords and hashtags and share information such as promotional codes and product reviews more frequently on social media. This will increase your chances to turn up in local searches made within a given social media channel.

Some of the other trends that will lead the way are Facebook and Pinterest “Buy Buttons” that allow users to make a single click and complete a purchase. Additionally Facebook’s “Call Now” button

Conclusion

2016 will see a rise in brand story-telling and use of rich content as a unique and original way to get closer to your customers and develop brand authority! Small business will up their budget on social media ads, make privacy protection a priority and consumers will be using social media through their mobiles to search for local business online.

We hope now you have found the answers to the following questions:

1. What are the top social media marketing trends to look out for my small business?

2. How will emerging social media trends will impact my online business?

3. What can I do to keep up with the social media trends in 2016?

4. Do I need to have different outsourcing partners for SEO & Social Media in 2016?

Don’t forget to keep out an eye for my next article in which ill discuss “How Social Selling will change your small business in 2016.”

Grab my Presentation on SlideShare:


 

With less than a month to go before the year ends, this is high-time for you as a forward looking SME business owner to take a leap and get ahead of your online competitors by adopting these leading Social Media Marketing trends. Remember! The ultimate bottom line is to convert more leads for your business online! With Facebook providing incentive to business owners with new tools to manage communications on Facebook business page, Google partnering with Twitter and showing Google Plus posts in search results, social media marketing can no longer be overlooked by small business owners.

If you are wondering: Do I need to have different outsourcing partners for SEO & Social Media in 2016?

The answer is NO! The simple reason being that social media marketing is an integral part of SEO, both aiming towards one goal: Growing your online business! Assigning the job to two different partners cannot work as well as having one outsourcing partner who understand all aspects of your business.

Make sure your outsourcing company is well-versed with the ever evolving trends in the online landscape and can help you achieve your online marketing goals.

If you are a SME business owner looking for a partner to outsource social media marketing campaigns, search engine optimisation and content marketing that is up to the mark and in line with the latest technology trends then we can help you succeed in 2016 and beyond!

At SolomoIT, we are a team of digital marketing and website design and development professionals, actively integrating latest technology trends serving a diverse client base comprising of small and medium business in Australia for more than a decade.

With an Australian based sales & marketing staff focus and with our own technical team of experts based in Sri Lanka, we are well positioned to support with your local needs and marketplace capitalising on our cost-effective off-shore business model.

website-for-2016

Want your business to thrive online, then Contact us to book your free one hour consultation on how your SME business can leverage social media marketing to increase your company’s bottom line in 2016 and beyond.