Whether 2016 is the first year you will enter the realm of social media marketing, or you have been using social media to promote your business for years, it is important to understand what is upcoming in 2016.

If expert predictions are correct, the trends we have seen in 2015 point towards some new developments coming down the pike, along with a few trends continuing and intensifying in the next year. Don’t finalize your marketing strategy until you take a look at these social media marketing trends.

1. Social Media Marketing will Move Towards the Fringes


Whether they were using strictly content marketing, paid advertising, or both, until recently many companies have ignored social media websites such as SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

These sights were seen as either being unproven sources of marketing opportunities, or simply too edgy for consideration. Now, the traffic on these websites is exploding as younger users abandon Facebook. 2016 may be a good year to consider advertising on these websites, or creating customer interaction by becoming an active presence.

2.Content Quality Variety and Customization will become Even More Important


If your content marketing strategies have relied heavily on curation, or you have focused solely on a single type of content, you may have your work cut out for you in 2016. Your social media audience is becoming pickier about content.

Some curated, or shared content is fine, but they also want content that was specifically created for them, by you. They also want a variety of content. It’s been shown that pictures, infographics, and videos are regarded as more informative and more likely to be seen as trustworthy than blog posts and articles that are wholly text based. As a matter of fact, content that contains pictures and video is often indexed more favorably than content that does not.

3. Mobile will Dominate


In the past few years, everyone writing about social media and content marketing has reminded us that we need to be mindful that people will be viewing our content using mobile devices. Not only will this remain true in 2016, there will be a major shift. Successful marketing strategies won’t simply take mobile into consideration, they will be based around the needs and desires of the mobile user.

This new trend isn’t just limited to content optimization. Strategies will also need to take into account the habits and behaviors of mobile customers. Switching to a mobile first social media marketing strategy could be a huge undertaking for companies who have lagged behind when it comes to mobile optimization.

4. Search Engine Optimization will Focus on Social Media


There is an increasingly common change in behavior among computer users. Many of them are bypassing search engine websites when they are looking for information. Instead, they are going directly to Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media website and using their search utilities.

As a result of this,SEO slightly away from the rules established by Google. However, it is highly unlikely that any company will find success if they abandon Google’s optimization standards all together.

5. Companies who Invest in Pay Per Click Ads will Focus on Landing Page Optimization


While the economy is steadily improving, many companies will still feel the need to get as much as they can out of their advertising dollars. This includes making sure that every paid ‘click’ on an advertisement has the best chances of resulting in a conversion. In order to do this, business owners will need to focus on designing their landing pages so that customers will heed their call to action.

This will include creating landing pages that are mobile friendly, including content that is germane to the visitor’s purpose for clicking over, and ensuring that share and call to action buttons are prominently displayed.

6. The Internet of Things will Result in Advertising that is Even More Intuitive


If you are unfamiliar with the concept of IOT (Internet of Things), it refers to the connection of everyday devices to the internet. An example of this would be appliances in a smart home that can connect to the internet so that you can access those appliances via your smart phone, or so that the manufacturer can connect to these appliances to make needed repairs and configuration changes.

A more current example for the year 2016 will be wearable technology. Why will this be a trend? Today, we can target our advertising efforts based on users’ behavior on the internet. Facebook retargeting is a perfect example of this.

As IOT grows, businesses will be able to advertise to individuals not only based on their online behaviors, but also their daily habits and routines.

7. More Money will be Spent on Analytics


As mentioned above, 2016 will be the year in which many companies will invest advertising dollars and content marketing efforts in social media websites that were not considered to be mainstream a few months ago.

This leads us into the 7th trend for 2016. Business owners will want to see proof that these new efforts are paying off. They will want to see numbers that indicate that new traffic and engagement is coming as a result of these new investments. As a result, the use of tools to measure website traffic and other behaviors will increase, and the money spent on these tools will increase as well.

About the author: Julie Ellis marketer and passionate blogger, finds her inspiration in the educational help to gifted students. Master’s degree in Journalism allows her to follow her passion and help students around the world. Julie’s Twitter and Google+.