If it seems as though the world of social media marketing has already changed dramatically in the last year or so, that may be nothing compared to what we will see in the coming year. Below, we explore five upcoming trends with the power to change how you approach your social media marketing strategy.

Reduced Organic ReachOrganic-Search-iconFacebook was simply the first in what is certain to be a long line of reduced organic reach. In the past, marketers were accustomed to leveraging the power of social media for free. Now, that is no longer the case.  For most social media marketing platforms, this is a trend that likely will increase in the future. What this means for marketers is that you will likely need to look at allocating more money toward your social media marketing efforts. While no one likes to hear they will need to spend more money, this should be viewed as an investment in growing your business. Digital advertising is expected to become so important that it is anticipated to overtake TV spend by reaching $69 billion next year.

Video Marketing ExplodesVideo-MarketingWhen it comes to marketing to millennial, you must ensure that video is part of your marketing arsenal. Consumers in the 18-34 age bracket are now consuming content on YouTube, Vine, and even Snapchat at an ever-increasing rate. As platforms such as Blab and Periscope offer the ability to publish interactive live video, this is a trend that will grow stronger over the next year. In order to stay ahead of the curve, marketers will need to refine their streaming efforts. Still not convinced? Consider Google’s in-SERP advertising, which clearly demonstrates that consumers have become accustomed to video ads as an accepted method for the communication of content and information. This may well mean a shift away from Facebook, which simply is not able to place users virtually at an event in the same way that live streaming apps are able to do.

Faster Social Mediasmo-icon-2Make no mistake about it: the race is on in social media. Whether you are marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or one of the other many social media marketing platforms, it’s vital to post content faster and faster. Now, it’s all about “in the moment” advertising. This trend began with the acquisition of Periscope by Twitter, and it continues gain strength with each passing day. In fact, Periscope users now consume approximately 40 hours of live video each day. This is not a fad that will eventually pass. It clearly represents an evolving trend. Marketers must now publish content as soon an event occurs, or run the risk of falling behind the competition.

Digital Assistants
318More and more, marketers are working to find ways to prevent users from ever leaving a platform or app. Digital assistants make the possible. The trend that first begin with Siri has now made its way to social media with the introduction of M by Facebook in August. A digital assistant for Facebook Messenger, M helps users with any number of personal requests, including ordering gifts for special occasions. The assistant will face competition from other built-in mobile digital assistants, including the original Siri that is already undergoing another update. Assistants like M still have a long way to go, as they do not yet have the capability of voice recognition, but it still represent a powerful opportunity for marketers to have their products listed as suggested solutions to questions posed by users. Moving forward, expect to see social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter adopt the same feature.

Quality over Quantityabout-icon-qualityQuality has become increasingly important, particularly when compared to quantity. When developing your social media marketing strategies and campaigns, you will need to pay even more attention to the relevance, reliability, and value of your content. Consumers have numerous sources from which to obtain their information.  Therefore, you must take care to distinguish your content from that of your competitors. The best way to do that is by ensuring that your content is more relevant, trustworthy, valuable, and interesting.

Now more so than ever, brands must maintain a clear focus on the changing expectation of consumers. While this is certainly challenging, considering the diversity of consumers groups, you must strive to make your brand extremely visibility in order to remain competitive. The best way enhance visibility is by staying on top of the latest trends.