What’s Happening with Social Media? It’s sometimes hard to keep up with eCommerce trends but here are the best social media tools for this new year!

The year is coming to a close! While social media marketing has kept professional marketers lightly busy throughout the last year, the new year may prove to be more challenging. There are many outdated social media tools and tactics that will no longer be effective in this coming year.

Social media experts are forecasting that we will witness a number of strategic changes in social media marketing efforts. Whether you’re the owner of an online business or someone who manages social media marketing for a company, it’s crucial for you to know what’s happening with social media. Social media can help skyrocket your success but is also a huge time burner, if not done properly. If you aren’t aware of the latest trends and advanced tactics, pulling your social media strategies together can be more stressful and time-consuming it has to be.

So are you ready to take some notes? Given below are the emerging trends and tactics in social media tools that you should be ready to embrace in 2016. With these methods in place, you can make an impact with your social media marketing efforts and connect with your audiences effectively.

Social Commerce

Social eCommerce has been trying to break through for a while and finally, started to put its timid foot in the water last year. Towards the end of the year, it began to enjoy a wider spread and gained ground, in terms of racking up sales with social commerce. Online retailers began to witness substantial growth in sales by using eCommerce features like Facebook ad offerings (‘Canvas’ and a new shopping section), the Twitter Buy button and Pinterest Buyable pins.

This new social commerce trend is projected to continue and grow in 2016. So, you should roll up your sleeves, figure out how it’s done, and make it work for you. Use every outlet your target audience frequents to promote your products. The more exposure, the better!

Blogging (Long-Form Content)

For some time, it seemed like blogging was becoming less important… neglected, even. Brands engaged in pushing smaller snippets of information into the social media and didn’t work on quality content. But as the social stream continues to crowd and social algorithms push out brands (the ‘Facebook debacle’ is widely known), the focus has shifted to creating long-form content, on a regular basis. If you want to improve your brand, you should definitely consider revitalizing your blog with long-form, meaningful content. A minimum of 1000 words per article is now preferred.

Real-Time Video Streaming

An exciting new medium that has opened up for online marketers is a reality TV-esque version of social media – live streaming. If you’re planning to humanize your brand while building strong relationships, real-time video streaming is the way to go this coming year. Meerkat and Periscope (that Twitter recently acquired) are the two biggies in the live streaming arena. As new companies like blab.im, and most recently Facebook join in, live video streaming will only grow stronger.

With the help of these real-time publishing apps, you can effectively show your audience the behind-the-scenes perspective, announce new product launches or simply broadcast anything that explains how your offerings can work to the viewer’s advantage.

Social Media Advertising

Like it or not, sometimes you have to lay down a little green to get the results you want. Paid social media efforts should be an essential part of your overall social media marketing campaign. According to a report by eMarketer, around 20-25% people visit an eCommerce store or a website after seeing an ad on social media platforms, and around 14-17% of them convert. While you continue to pay attention to your organic social media efforts, you should not ignore the potential of paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

If you plan to improve the sales of your online store while beating out the competition, you should first decide on a budget that fits your efforts and work out an effective social media advertising strategy for 2016.

social media tools 2016

Social Media Tools

The world of social media is getting both more competitive and more complex. To achieve success, you should monitor and take good care of each of these tasks – content creation management, content publishing, relationship building, and measurement. But the big question is – ‘What tools should you use?’

Social media expert Devon Gardner talked about 10 of his favorite social tools at Marketing Land’s SocialPro conference in November last year. We agree that his line-up is on-trend and relevant for most SMB business owners who want to find success in online retailing.

These social media tools include –

  1. NetBase: for analytics and reporting
  2. Canva: for photos and graphics creation
  3. BuzzSumo: to find hot topics and influencers
  4. Socialbakers: for analytics and reporting
  5. Google Analytics URL builder: to track the impact of links
  6. PicMonkey: for photos and graphics creation
  7. ManageFlitter: for audience management
  8. CrowdFire: for audience management
  9. LastPass: for password management
  10. IFTTT: for time management

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have to start deciding which social media tools you should use. After all, there are thousands of social features available out there, many of which perform similar functions. Because of this, Devon’s list of 10 favorite social tools is a great one to start with.

For business owners and employees who manages any aspect of social media marketing, the key challenge is to keep pace with the ever changing tactics and trends, year after year. When you sit to tweak your existing social media strategy or create a new one altogether for 2016, you should definitely follow the tips mentioned above.

What do you think will be the new social media tools for the coming year? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!