Looking Ahead: How Video Content will Shape Social Media in 2016
There was a time when Myspace ruled the realm of social media and AOL Instant Messenger was the quickest and simplest means for communicating over the internet. Today, it seems like there’s a new revolutionary social media platform being introduced every month. However, as these new platforms continue to develop, most are putting emphasis on a common feature: video content.
As public relations professionals, part of our job is keeping up with the newest trends in social media to better serve our clients and to find the most effective way to reach the billions of social media users every single day. So, what can we look forward to this year? Recent trends suggest that video will continue to be heavily emphasized in 2016.
Over the past decade, there has been more and more demand for immediate feedback on social channels. Right now, we see this in livestreaming applications. Looking back six months ago, most people hadn’t even heard of apps like Periscope and Meerkat. However, these apps are now being utilized by reporters, Fortune 500 companies and your everyday social media gurus. Benefits of livestreaming include:
- Ease of access: Users can broadcast directly from trade shows, press conferences and other events, giving their audience a front-row seat or behind-the-scenes experience that otherwise would not be possible.
- Building trust/loyalty with your audience: Users can communicate directly with their audience as they are livestreaming, providing instant feedback. Without the ability to edit the video before it reaches its intended audience, livestreaming provides an authentic feel to the content.
- Working in real time: The audience can view content as it occurs, rather than having to wait for text updates from other social platforms that involve delays.
Recorded video content
Towards the end of 2015, social media users began to notice changes to the platforms they used on a daily basis. Dedicated social media users now rely heavily on recorded video content. This prompts companies and public figures to use video as a means to better captivate and engage with their audiences. Social channels shifted their focus from using photos to recorded video content in 2015, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. Here’s why:
- Relationship building: Similar to livestreaming applications, recorded video content can engage the audience in a way that isn’t possible through text and photos, ultimately building trust between the brand and the user. However, unlike livestreaming apps, the user can edit their video content before publishing.
- Making an impression: It’s almost impossible to log into your Facebook or Twitter account without seeing a video on your timeline. How much of an impression is it making? Metrics show that Facebook Video is experiencing more than 8 billion video views every single day.
Whether you are answering questions at a trade show through a livestreaming app, or publishing a weekly video blog on your social channels, there are plenty of opportunities to optimize your social reach through video content. You may not be creating the next viral video campaign, but your social impact can improve drastically by producing and sharing video content. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then according to Forrester Research, a 60-second video is worth 1.8 million words. Keep this in mind as you think through your creative campaigns in 2016.