What will the world of social media look like  in 2016? Discover a panorama of 5 trends of the upcoming year.

Trends 1. After “Mobile First”, here comes “Mobile Only”

A new trend called “Mobile Only” emerges, it can be a media campaign or a service but it occurs only on mobile. Figures are impressive: in 2015, Facebook realized 78% of its advertising revenues on mobile. More than 50% of the 100 billion Google searches are on mobile and nowadays, 51% of the time spent on the Internet is on Mobile. In 2015, it is the first time that mobile becomes n°1.

Social Media Trends - Internet trends - TimeSource: Study Internet Trends KPCP

This is the case of Soon(one of Axa banking subsidiary): a “100% mobile Bank” which is accessible only via an application.

Trends 2. The all-in-one WeChat 

            ↪ Here is a more accurate article on Messaging Apps on digital-me-up

The Chinese social network WeChat is truly trying to democratize the concept of all-in-one messaging app and tends to become a channel of influence for major brands, media and opinion leaders. If its integrated portfolio, WeChat Wallet, offers several online ordering features, the launch of WeChat City Services Urban last April goes even further by allowing users to make an appointment with their physician or to pay their electricity bills. WeChat thus aims to multiply the phygitales experiments, to anchor themselves in the daily lives of users, including those of younger generations.

WeChat Wallet screenshots

Source: Wechat Wallet

This all-in-one positioning avoids the proliferation of apps while creating a certain dependency on the platform. Facebook also has a similar approach by including Uber reservation in the Messenger App.

Trends 3. It’s all about DATA 

If you know the basics of inbound marketing and digital business development, you know that one of the fundamental principles is knowing how to be very familiar with its prospects in order to anticipate their questions and to answer with the greatest efficiency. In this context, social networks are useful places for observation and great analysis laboratories. Here you will find a lot of very accurate data on your prospects (name, function, sector, location…) and current trends, enabling you to focus your efforts around best practice. With the million or even billion data that the company has, Spotify has launched Insight Data, an analysis platform of musical big data.

Data can also tell stories and you can use this data to enrich and inspire your brand communication. A number of companies themselves are already looking for a new kind of people: data storytellers. Their function is to analyze the company’s internal data and learn how to best create content to satisfy its communication strategy. If some brands are sticking to a basic campaign, others have made a true advertising strategy such as Amazon which publishes an annual rankings of  their users’ habits.

Trends 4. The development of the (micro) video

When video becomes shorter…

Video will gain even more popularity on social media in 2016. And for good reasons: “a tweet containing a video is six times more effective than a tweet with a picture,” has revealed Damien Viel, CEO of Twitter France, on the occasion of the HubdayFuture of Social Media. If the use of the video is expected to increase, its duration is decreasing. This is why Instagram launched last October, Boomerang which offers three seconds micro-videos design – two times shorter than those of the application Vine. Their is also ScratchReel from Twitter, allowing users to interact with the micro-animations such as gifs.

When the video becomes shop.

Many brands have started to insert call-to-action within their videos in order to make real tools for boosting e-commerce sale. A New York company, Cinematique , pushed this concept even further by creating touchable videos: you just have to click on the objects appearing in a sequence so that those words then appear in a dedicated shopping cart.

↪After Net-A-Porter and Petit Bateau, Fendi has promoted its collection of shoes fall/winter 2015 via this device.

Trends 5. UX advertising: advertising that respects user experience

Nowadays, social networks tend to favour the native advertising, often qualified as “new generation advertising” which ambition is to put the user at the center of advertising. The objective? Generate new type of engagement between advertisers and their consumers. “Nobody wants to see a publication of a brand on social networks, we have a creative requirement for each of our posts: it is 20/20 or nothing says Bérénice Charles, responsible for marketing of Burger King.

Intrusive advertising is frowned upon on social networks. While Adblockers users are more and more numerous, this is why specialized cells have emerged at YouTube (Zoo), Twitter or Instagram (Creative Shop). Their aim is to advise brands for free on the design of non-intrusive advertising formats, adapted to the uses, codes and specificities of each social network.

↪In 2014, Zoo thus imagined for the Italian brand Fendi first show filmed by drones and broadcasted live on YouTube.

When it comes to Snapchat, CEO Evan Spiegel advocates a ‘cool advertising’, meaning that the user has the choice to display it or not, demonstrating a true opt-in choice. Another variant can be the emojis, these small icons that people use in their conversations to replace a mood or a Word.

↪Dyptique has used to this technique to promote it’s company, such as Duracell and its pink rabbits. Finally, the idea is to make advertising without looking, because banners tend to infuriate people.

Dyptique Paris Emoji

Conclusion: choose some of these trends but be prudent

I reviewed the main trends of marketing on social networks that will arise in 2016. And it may be tempting to develop everything but I think it would better to focus on a more limited choice, taking between one and three levers instead of getting lost in a huge strategy. Also, do not hesitate to monitor new social media such as Periscope, for example. Remember, a lot of marketing is not always the god option – less can be better – as long as you do it well.