With the start of 2016, there’s a lot of buzz about social media – what will be the trends, all the different platforms, what to look out for and what to watch for in 2016.  Having been in the social media space for nearly a decade now, I thought I would share with you my take on things…here are a few things I know for sure when it comes to social media.

1. Consistency wins.

Back before social media, when I was in traditional marketing, we would always say that someone needs to hear your message ‘X’ amount of times before taking action.  The same hold trues for social media.  There is so much value in consistent effort over the course of time.  If you look at anyone who has had success with social media (on any platform) the number one thing they are doing is being consistent.

I know this may seem like a no-brainer, but what I’ve found is there are a lot of flash in the pans.  Every time there is a new platform, or widget, or something exciting you see all of these people jumping onboard – only to fizzle out quickly.  But the people who stand the test of time are the ones that are showing up consistently.  Decide where you want to be in the coming year and then commit to showing up there, consistently.

2. Facebook continues to be the #1 social network in 2016.

Facebook is still king.  Facebook is still the number one social media platform and will continue to be so in 2016.  First, there’s the personal side of Facebook.  If you’re connected to any of your clients, customers, or potential leads don’t underestimate how valuable that is to continue to nurture those relationships.  The other part of Facebook is of course business pages.  Facebook’s ad platform is only getting better and better.  If you’re a business owner and aren’t utilizing Facebook ads (and not just boosted posts) then you’re truly missing out on a huge opportunity.  Video ads are also huge right now for Facebook pages.

3. Instagram is really, really important.

Instagram is still such a great place to connect with that next generation: gen x, gen y, and millennials.  It is becoming busier and busier, so one of the things we’re doing is posting more often.  Another key for Instagram in 2016 is Instagram ads, which just recently opened up and are accessible through Facebook ad manager.  When you’re looking at your Instagram strategy for 2016 think about using it as a way to tell your brand’s story.  Everybody loves stories and Instagram is the perfect place to tell it visually.

4. Live streaming is only going to get bigger and better in 2016.

Live streaming is the big thing for 2016.  I firmly believe that live streaming is only going to get bigger and better in the coming year.  What I know for sure is that live streaming is allowing us to connect with people in a way that we’ve never been able to before.  Between Periscope, Facebook Live Streaming, Meerkat and a host of other platforms – I believe it’s going to be all about live streaming in 2016.

5. Be authentic.

Being yourself and being real is going to be more important than ever in 2016.  It’s one of the reasons I started doing my morning Periscope show, #CoffeeWithKatie.  I’ll be broadcasting M-F at 9:15am PST on Periscope this year as a way to get more real with my audience and allow them to get to know me better.  Think of it as us sitting down to a cup of coffee each day.  In 2016, I encourage you to look for ways that you can be authentic and real with your audience.

6. Facebook groups are a great tool for building community in 2016.

Digging into your communities and community building is huge.  I touched on this briefly already, but what I know for sure is that community is going to be the backbone of a successful social strategy in 2016.  Wherever you are building your community – whether that’s a Facebook group, Periscope, Instagram or a combination of platforms, remember that community is not just a hashtag.  We’ve been able to build a great community in our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GetSocialSmartWithKLC/

7. To really build true community it takes time.

It takes consistent effort and providing tons of value and resources to those in your community.  Aim to be a good finder this year for your community.  Noticing the good happening in your communities is an awesome way to surprise and delight people!

8. Systems and processes are more important than ever before.

If you’re thinking about social media strategy for 2016, especially if you’re thinking about social media for business, you’ve got to have a system and process in place.  Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t do things in the moment (the random selfie or Periscope) but it means you have to be intentional about your efforts and have a system.  Whether that’s 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, or whatever it looks like for you, make sure you have it in place as you head into this new year.  What I know for sure is that a system for your social media is essential for 2016.

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