Social media operates differently than any other type of media in the world. Not only is its function different, but what drives social media is also differently. “Social media,” as it stands, isn’t anything tangible per se. It’s a collection of platforms where people meet and mingle and take actions. The popularity of social media is driven entirely by trends. Without these trends to follow, social networks would blend in with other websites out there.

Over the course of the past few years, we have seen quite a few trends come along. Some of these trends have been around for years but are really still on the rise, so they can be considered as emerging trends.

If you’re a marketer involved in social network advertising, following these trends is something that’s very important to your livelihood. Check out a few social trends below and learn exactly why they’re emerging in the market.

The Trends, and why they’re Trending

The What: Social Mobile

With literally billions of mobile subscriptions out there and over 400 million mobile users accessing Facebook alone, social mobile is one of the biggest emerging trends in the world. Twitter receives over 55% of its traffic from mobile devices, and YouTube is another platform adored by mobile users. These social networking giants also cater more to mobile platforms.

The Why: Site Evolution

Mobile technology is increasing. With new types of Smartphones that are more sophisticated, better tablets, and social websites designing mobile-specific features to increase the appeal of logging on through a mobile device, it’s becoming more convenient and more appealing to use mobile to access the web.

The What: Social Searching

It’s not as if Google ever needed help in developing searching and ranking algorithms, but once social media exploded, it just made sense to introduce features like the “+1” to receive social signals to help rank something more accurately per social demand. This is a social trend that also has huge implications for Facebook marketers, like the ability to target Facebook ads better and optimize for searches, create better content and place more media in more locations.

The Why: Having a Say

Giving a +1 to a liked result gives the searcher more power and control over what they’re finding, and this impacts the entire search. On YouTube, Facebook, Google+, and other social sites, the power of the plus is tremendous. Liking or disliking something is the trend.

The What: Location Marketing

Marketing based entirely on location is something that’s trending in a big way in the waning days of 2015, and it will undoubtedly continue through 2016. Reaching out to people based on location as a key demographic means you can significantly expand any market. And with tools provided by Facebook and third-party apps, it’s a breeze to split campaigns and to effectively target international markets.

The Why: A Wider Reach

The “why” behind this one is fairly self-explanatory. As stated above, you can greatly increase your reach, and you can do it easily. Location-based marketing is trending because it’s working to help brands increase their presence.

The What: Mixed Media

If you were ever watching an episode of American Idol or House and caught a “#House” hashtag on the bottom, then you know that mixed media is an emerging trend. Every popular TV show is blending social media with their presentations, along with commercials, and even products on grocery store shelves.

The Why: Connectivity

If you’re a fan of the show and have ready access to the Internet, you’re more likely to go to that show’s Facebook page or Twitter account to like or follow them. You’re also likely to mingle with other fans of the show. And with so many mobile devices out there, advertising via mixed media is bringing in instant results. It’s a trend that’s only going to grow.

The social media trends that are emerging today are trending for good reasons. They’re giving people more power and control, more reason to visit social sites, and for marketers in particular, they’re allowing for a far greater advertising reach with less effort.