2015 has been a big year for social media. Periscope and Snapchat exploded, Instagram became incredibly valuable for products and Twitter have been struggling to grow its user base.
In 2016 the industry will keep evolving and renovating itself with its usual speed: predicting what’s next in the industry is, at best, problematic. That’s why I’m sharing a wish list for 2016 – trends, practices and features – rather than predictions. There’s a lot to be excited about, so let’s dive in.
Tweople: More personal stuff!
When you tweet something out, don’t be afraid to add your personal touch, whether it’s yours or other people’s content. A comment, a quote from the tweet, an image that reflects what you’re sharing. Here’s what I believe is a good example:
— Franz Vitulli (@franzvitulli) December 4, 2015
If I tweeted only a post title, link and hashtag, it would have been just another tweet in the stream. Instead, I’ve sacrificed the post title, added a quote from the post, highlighted the real meaning of the post (the author’s view on a topic), and inserted an image – taken from the post itself – that echoes the topic.
I also wish people sent out less thank-you tweets to multiple handles. Simply put, when you thank people in bulk, what you’re saying is I don’t have time to tell you something meaningful. It might work from a quantity point of view – new followers, new notifications, Klout score going up and other vanity metrics – but doesn’t really add anything relevant. There’s a lot of things you can do instead, i.e. connecting with less people but starting real conversations, intro’ing them to other people that can be interested in their content, and so on.
Less #latergram and #throwback on Instagram
From a product marketing point of view, Instagram has the attention of a pretty good number of people, so the strategies that brands are using to connect with their prospects must include a wide array of visual content.
When it comes to people, I like thinking of Instagram as a real-time tool. People, in fact, are still brands: if I follow them, they have my attention. That’s why I like to learn what they are doing now, not what they used to look like when they were 16.
Less cliché pics
Laptop and coffee. Chicken with avocado. A cat with big, beautiful eyes. We got it, you are a coffee drinker that works remotely, eats healthy food and enjoys the company of a lovely pet.
As working from coffee shops and eating less sugar become more mainstream, there’s nothing unique or inspiring in those pictures anymore.
When I see someone showing off the lack of grey office walls in their life, I’d love to know what they’re actually doing, what tool they’re using and why, how they’re solving problems. Every time I stumble upon the picture of a salad I want to know what’s inside. The social media game shouldn’t be about you, it’s about the audience.
Less motivational crap
The brutal truth about these “motivational” quotes is that they’re created and posted because they’re excellent at capturing likes and followers. That’s it. Nothing more.
You don’t need those cheap, cheesy and one-size-fits-all posts. Whatever you’re trying to do with your life. In a bad mood? Feeling a lack of motivation? Look for real stories. Luckily for us the Internet offers so many places to share success stories and things that work (looking at you, Medium.com).
More television-like experiences on YouTube
As both smart TVs and Chromecasts (or the Apple TVs for that matter) become more popular, YouTube offers a remarkable opportunity to all those media producers, podcasters and film-makers out there to host their shows, publish their documentaries and distribute short movies, episodic shows and even independent, full-length films.
YouTube is full of talented people, but sometimes it’s hard to know where and how to find them. I really wish to see a significant improvement both in the YouTube homepage and in the YouTube iOS app that makes it easy for everyone to discover new content.
Special mention to 360° videos, which I’d love to see more often during 2016.
Instagram: let us switch between multiple accounts!
For many social media managers, having the ability to switch from their personal to their professional / business account would save so much time. Apparently Instagram is testing this feature on Android, so there’s a big chance to see this happening within the next 12 months. Personally, I can’t wait.
What are you looking forward to seeing on social media in 2016?