You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true–the social media world is constantly evolving. What was popular just a few years ago could now be viewed as out of date or old fashioned in today’s social media world. That’s why it’s critical as a social media manager or marketer to stay on top of the latest social media trends so you’re ready for the year.
One of the best ways to keep current is to know what people are talking about. While we’ve already discussed trends for 2016, we haven’t looked at the social media terms that will be frequently used in the upcoming year. Even though there are several massive lists, indexes and databases of social media terms to help you along your way, we feel it’s best to know what terms to be familiar with in 2016 so you can see results in your marketing campaign.
Without listing everything known to man, here’s our top seven social media terms you should know for 2016:
A term that many people aren’t quite familiar with, but have seen it a thousand times on social media is trendjacking. Simply put, trendjacking is when you hop on a major social trend and use the buzz to get those people to engage with your own brand. In 2015, trendjacking grew exponentially and it’s pretty clear this form of viral marketing will not slow down in 2016.
#TheDress looks silver and blue to us.
— Coors Light (@CoorsLight) February 27, 2015
If you need help with an example, here’s one for you: #thedress. Last year’s most random and biggest social media discussion was around determining the color of a dress. You had to be hiding under a rock if you didn’t see at least one brand or business chime in on the discussion.
Trendjacking is a highly effective way to get those emerged with your brand on social media. If you visit some of the more advantageous social media channels like DiGiorno Pizza’s Twitter, you’ll find plenty of trendjacking posts on pop culture events, people or subjects.
Remember Cleveland: even if the football gods have cursed you with unending pain, there's always pizza
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 1, 2015
For 2016, it’s likely that companies will focus more on customer engagement, interaction and conversations. One way to do this is to get talking about trends and find an appropriate and clever way to start the discussion.
2. Real Time Engagement
Noun: [ree-uh l tahym en-geyj-muh nt]
A trend that continues to increase in social media is real-time engagement. Dialing the 1-800 phone number for customer service is a pain that no one wants to deal with, which is why turning to social media for questions and concerns has skyrocketed. Asking companies for help through social media continues to grow as more customers want real-time engagement. For 2016, this term will less likely be something of a nuance and more of a staple in any business to customer (B2C) strategy. Here are some statistics from a Social Habit report that show why this term will be in full force in 2016:
- 24% of customers expect brands to respond on social media within 30 minutes.
- 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
- 57% expect responses during regular business hours, after hours and on weekends.
The demand for instant conversation isn’t going away and brands have to be ready when they enter the social media world. This isn’t to scare off companies, but instead, these stats should be seen as a chance to engage customers and convert them into investing long-term. Think about the quick success of social platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, Snapchat, Blab and Facebook Live.
Luckily with Sprout Social, you can manage all your social profiles and into a single-stream inbox so your customer service team doesn’t miss a single question or concern raised to your network.
Sprout’s engagement tools make it easier to manage dozens or hundreds of messages pouring into your social channels. If you leave your customer’s concerns in the dark, you run the risk of losing them for good. This year will be another step toward faster instant gratification and consumers will continue to turn to social media to look for these interactions and responses. Click here to get a 30-day free trial today.
3. Social Listening
Verb: [soh-shuh l lis-uh ning]
While social customer engagement will certainly be on the minds of many organizations in 2016, so will social listening. Many marketers have heard of using social monitoring tools to enhance engagement and to see what people are saying about your brand. However, a term that often gets lumped with social monitoring is social listening.
Social media monitoring tends to revolve around searching and watching for certain indicators within the online conversations. However, social listening is the act of tracking online conversations for exact words, phrases or brand names. In previous years, more organizations have begun to use social media monitoring tools like Sprout Social to gain intelligence on specific analytics.
But at the same time, 2016 is likely to bring more attention to social listening as a buzzword for finding out what people are saying about your company. You don’t always see every company interaction, especially when the customer doesn’t tag or @mention you.
Through Sprout’s keyword finder, you can track, monitor and engage with those who use hashtags, @mentions or simply mention your name in a Twitter conversation. Social listening tools help brands gain insights on these conversations through analysis.
4. Show Marketing
Noun: [shoh mahr-ki-ting]
There’s no doubt about it, the social world is going visual. Twitter even discovered engagement increases by up to 35% when there’s an image included in a Tweet. Additionally, an Adobe and Software Advice survey found visual content to be the highest performing and most successful material on social media.
Visual content is nothing new for 2016. However, a term being thrown around recently that is similar in vain is show marketing. Essentially show marketing is a way to use visual content to demonstrate exactly how a product can work.
Whether it’s through interactive guides, demos, webinars or other visual media, show marketing will likely be a term used more frequently this year as marketers push more emphasis on visuals. Because our brains process visual information 60% faster than text, marketing campaigns continue to test the boundaries of interactive media and visuals.
For higher engagement, consumers want to see what they get before they buy. Show marketing strategies could be the next term used in your campaign.
5. Employee Amplification
Noun: [em-ploi-ee am-pluh-fi-key-shuh n]
Social media managers are beginning to discover the benefits of having a socially active company. More businesses are pushing their own employees to share content across their personal social media sites. It’s not easy for employees to Tweet, post on Facebook or add images on Instagram about work. Many companies have thorough employee handbooks that strongly advise against sharing company information.
But what if you could easily have marketing executives and company leaders approve content to be shared and give employees an avenue to do so? This is essentially employee amplification and this term will be front and center in 2016.
More companies are using platforms like Bambu to get their employees to share and converse about the company they work for so their social channels are then introduced to the company brand. When you get your employees involved, there’s huge potential to reach new customers on a personal level because their friend, family member or follower works for the company.
Not only do employee amplification platforms help marketing efforts, but they also boost employee engagement by giving workers a route to post company information to social media.
6. H2H Marketing
Noun: [eych too eych]
A term popularly coined a few years ago could be a major focus for marketing campaigns in 2016. H2H or human-to-human marketing is term used to explain how inbound marketing should focus on human relationships and not to think about B2B as you reaching a person but another human.
There are several benefits that marketers believe H2H campaigns bring when you’re trying to build relationships and increase transactions:
- Increases searches: Inbound marketing through H2H helps personalize brands, which leads to higher-rated reviews and simpler transaction processes. This ultimately turns to higher search volume for your brand.
- Higher customer satisfaction: Customers don’t want to feel like just another customer. Instead, people want to feel humanized in business purchases whether they buying for their own organization or a service for themselves.
- Engagement: When customers are happy and your brand is searched more frequently, your interactions grow. This gives you the perfect chance to increase engagement and speak on a human level with customers.
Getting customers to feel more appreciated and worthy of your time is certainly a sentiment that will increase in 2016. One brand that now knows this all too well is StubHub. Recently the event ticket vendor was in the news for taking back a Los Angeles Lakers fan tickets to Kobe Bryant’s final home game before he retires because the market price increased dramatically from the original purchase date.
— StubHub (@StubHub) January 7, 2016
The snafu went viral and eventually another ticket vendor came into the picture and gave the fan free tickets to the Lakers game. By acting on a human-to-human level, customers will actually appreciate your business. With the spread of word through social media these days, you want to seem as honest and human as possible.
If you want more information on H2H, check out Bryan Kramer’s “There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H.” He wrote the book on it.
7. Digital Marketing
Noun: [dij-i-tl mahr-ki-ting]
Content marketing continues to grow through cross-channel strategies. One phrase popping up more frequently is digital marketing. According to Adobe Systems and the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 69% of senior marketers say their biggest focus is on digital advertising. This includes things such as:
- Website content
- Content development
- Content optimization
- Website performance optimization
In 2016, digital content will continue to surge in the marketing world because of online and out-of-home advertising. Channel performance and optimization are two other terms that could easily be on this list, but tend to fall under digital marketing.
BrightEdge recently discovered more than half of all traffic to B2C and B2B sites come through organic searches. That statistic alone should make every marketer’s eyebrows rise up. Content will continue to be king and marketers have to understand the importance of digital marketing this year.
Getting Prepared for 2016
Social media is still evolving and 2016 will likely bring us plenty of new terms we never even thought of. However, by keeping these seven terms on hand, you’ll be ready to address the market changes as social media continues to grow. To stay organized with all of your platforms, try Sprout Social today for a free 30-day trial!
It's also worth remembering that Trendjacking can backfire if done crassly or about the wrong thing.
That can even be a thing accidentally. After the Boston Marathon Bombing a store like Macy's or JC Penny ran a big promotion for pressure cookers that gained them some heat. This was unintentional but still a PR problem for them.
@SeekingNothing Absolutely. Trendjacking has to be done with precision. Even DiGiorno messed up badly with the "Why I stayed" campaign.
Trendjacking is my favorite, using every opportunity, but in a decent way, without insulting anyone. Nice article.
@Dan The Iuvo Thanks for reading, Dan! It's one of my favorite too. Definitely takes some skill.