A Year in Review: Top 3 Social Media Themes of 2016


A year in social media marketing feels like 10 years in traditional marketing. Things change at light speed and as marketers, it’s our jobs to stay on top of it all. While it’s impossible to remember all the changes that happened, we can help you wrap your head around the biggest social media themes of the year to help you plan for 2017.

1) Video, Video, and More Video

It probably isn’t surprising that this is one of the top social media themes of 2016. It seems like you can’t go a day without hearing about videos in social. While they’ve become more important over the years, they are now a vital part of successful social media strategies. Not only are videos more cost efficient when you promote them, but they’ve even been shown to drive purchases. According to a global survey, “46% of viewers have actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media.” Another third considered doing so. In fact, people chose video as their favorite type of branded content on social. Not only are videos popular, but 360-degree videos are becoming easier to produce and in turn, more popular on social. What this says is no matter what type of video you’re making, be sure your brand focuses on them in 2017.

2) A Focus on Customer Care

Social media is a direct line of communication between consumers and brands, so it’s only natural that customer care is a large part of a successful social media presence. While this element has always been there, the increasing popularity of social media has made the need for a great customer care presence all the more important, especially with Facebook tracking response rate and reporting it to users. This year, consumers were clearer regarding their expectations in terms of customer service on social. According to research done by Edison and Jay Baer of Convince & Convert:

  • One-third of all customer complaints are never answered, most of them are in social.
  • Answering a complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%.
  • Not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%.
  • Forty percent of customers who complain in social expect a response within one hour.
  • Sixty-three percent of consumers are satisfied with response time in social media.

Given this info, you can see why a strong customer care presence is so vital. A missed tweet can prevent someone from becoming an advocate, whereas a prompt answer can potentially create one. Brands are finally understanding the importance of this and stepping up their game in terms of customer service in social.

3) Live Streaming

While Periscope & YouTube Live have been available for a few years, live streaming really gained popularity this year. This is likely attributed to the fact that more and more platforms changed their offerings to make live streaming easy for everyone. Facebook Live was announced this year and more recently, Instagram offered Live Streaming within their “Stories” functionality. Twitter is even offering Live Streaming directly from their site, instead of having to broadcast through Periscope. This all proves that live streaming is the new hot way to engage with audiences in social. But remember, live streaming is just that: live. So things can go awry and it can potentially hurt your brand more than help. If you plan to implement this trend for your brand, we recommend taking a look at our Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Live Streaming first.

So there you have it. Videos, live streaming and customer care were the top three most prevalent themes in social media during 2016. We don’t see these changing too drastically in 2017, but what do you think the top three will be in the coming year?

Feeling like you need help staying on top of these trends? Contact us to see the many ways we can assist.

Ignite Social Media