3 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2016

3 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2016

2015 was a great year for tech & social media development & milestones. We have seen various new features & innovations. New changes are emerging faster than we could ever imagine. I personally believe, marketers should keep in mind the following trends when getting ready for 2016.

Real-time Streaming

In 2015 we have seen the rise of many new companies focusing on live streaming features, such as Periscope, Meerkat, Livestreaming etc. Marketers are currently experimenting with various apps as a storytelling tool. As Facebook is currently working on its live streaming feature called “Facebook Live”. It’s no doubt that it will be one of the strongest broadcasting tool in 2016 with 1.5 billion users. Even Mobile manufacturing giant Samsung phones have live broadcasting feature on their latest phones. In 2016, we can expect companies of all levels to play with this trend. Won’t be surprised, if a professional social network like LinkedIn starts giving such features to its users.

Samsung_Live_Broadcast

Virtual Reality / 360 Degree Videos

In 2015, Virtual Reality tools became affordable and currently can be easily experienced with the help of your smartphone. Yet, it’s not widely used by everyone. But, I am sure to see more virtual reality videos in 2016 from brands, publisher, events, etc. As the 360° cameras are becoming affordable, users of social media networks will be able to make and share 360° videos with its followers with ease. Recently, we have seen the 360° video of Star Wars : The force Awaken on Facebook.

360_Degree_Video_Virtual_Reality_VideoCurrently, YouTube / Facebook allows us to upload 360° videos.  With no doubt, we expect to see more of this trend in 2016 as the tools will be more available to users.

Social Selling

Interest based contents / ads was the trend of 2014 – 2015. In the mid of 2015, we have seen the rise of the concept of social selling. Social Media giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn already started playing with this feature. Facebook already implemented “Buy Button” B2C players. Also with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users can stay one step ahead when it comes to B2B selling. This year, we can expect all the global brands, SMEs, Start-ups directly start selling their product and services via social media channels. Also, the emergences of the Buy Button in Pinterest on smartphones are expected to boom in this year. Also, it’s time for Instagram, LinkedIn to offer such online store for companies to showcase and sell their products.

Pinterest_buy_Button_Social_Selling

2015 had been a fast year for social media. Looking back at the historical trends and current technologies, I am sure 2016 is going to be a great year for social media and marketers need to me prepared with these trends to take their brands to the next level.

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Best Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools for B2B Industries in EU

Ask any marketer, what tool they use for reaching out B2B customers in the EU. Most of them are likely to say, direct mails, social media, emails, etc. We have already seen many B2C companies, News Agencies, magazines, event-management agencies in America have started using several mobile messaging marketing tools to reach out to their customers and to enhance their brand presence.

Am I the only one who thinks that marketers can reach their B2B customer more easily and effectively using Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools? B2B industry in the EU is still using old school methods of acquiring and retaining their customers. Nothing wrong in that. But in order to stand out in the crowd, I think it’s time to step up and use unconventional tools create that WOW factor. Here’s my Top # 3 mobile messaging marketing tool for B2B industry in the EU.

Best Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools for B2B Industry in EU

Number # 1 – Whatsapp

54,9% people in western Europe owns at least one smartphone and that’s the highest in the world. For example, the Netherlands has one of the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world with 61% WhatsApp adoption rate. Imagine the number of customers you can reach out in one go. Moreover, Whatsapp has recently introduced Web Version, where typing and managing the contacts are even more easily than before.

As a B2B Company all you need to do is to have a fixed number, which your customers can add as a contact. You will not only be able to take care of customer request quicker, moreover, be able to reach them proactively with your latest offers/products.

Number # 2 – Snapchat

Snapchat – photo-sharing app has expanded in recent times to go beyond sharing disappearing photos. Snapchat has recently signed up with several companies such as BuzzFeed, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, MTV, Fusion, CNN, Vice, Food Network, People etc. The core idea is simple, “Less is More”; the users get to view the videos, images, news items in a very compressed format.

In the EU, this trend is still limited. By Snapchat, B2B Marketers can promote their events, showcase employer branding (for example, how it’s to work at X, Y, Z company). If your company doesn’t have the budget for paying $ 750,000 (Approx € 683,932), then all you need to do is to install snapshot and ask your customers to add you (your company snapchat account). Just create your SnapCode and share it with your customers to add / follow you. Then you can regularly SHARE YOUR STORY and customers can view them whenever they want.

Create your SnapCode here: https://accounts.snapchat.com/accounts/snapcodes

Number # 3 – Viber

Viber allows for free calls to and from people using Viber, and you can use it ViberOut for your PC as well. As a B2B marketer, you can use the “Public Chats” option, which allows people to follow the charts of companies, or a specific topic, etc. Users can also download sticker collections from brands.

Moreover, you establish a single contact point for the customers where they can call / reach irrespective of the location. Moreover, you communicate High-Resolution images (such as Posters / Offers / Event news etc.) With customers proactively.

These apps are still relatively young. It’s still an unexplored territory for B2B marketers. Before jumping into it and destroying your brand reputation, it’s highly recommended to understand your customers, research what type of tool they use in their smartphones and make a clear communication strategy. After all, it’s about how to use the proper mobile messaging marketing tools customer specifically.

New 4P’s of Marketing Mix – Success Recipe for any business

Still remember the first time I had my very first lecture on  Marketing Management during my BBA (Bachelors of Business Administration) in University of Pune, India. During the very first day, I learned about the 4P’s of Marketing Mix; Product, Price, Place and Promotion made me think about the whole ballgame of business  around.

Let’s be practical; those 4P’s of marketing mix is still the sole pillar for any market driven organization. The core of marketing still didn’t really change; but the business situation around us has changed with the time. Competition is even more intense, with the immense power of the internet and new technologies, we marketers are faced with new challenges everyday to sell our products whether we are in the B2C or B2B industry.

Many of you who are reading this article right now, come from a business background and already aware of 4P’s of marketing. Today, I want to share my view towards “New 4P’s of Marketing Mix” – completely new 4P’s of marketing, which I personally believe is a crucial addition to the conventional ones.

Proactive People

We can debate whole day and night about, whether the egg came first or the chicken. But when it comes to marketing, it’s the people who come first. It is the ultimate component of marketing strategy. However, in this era of crisis and tough competition, most of the companies are looking for proactive people who are willing to go the extra mile and always pushing themselves to outperform. After all, end of the day, it’s the employees who make campaigns work, sells the product and they are your biggest ambassadors of your product.

One of the best examples would be, Google culture, where employees are constantly pushing themselves to go extra mile for the company.

Perspective

Every time, you are selling a product whether directly to a customer or to a business, put yourself in their’s shoe. May be you have had successful balance sheet previously with your way of doing business, but now customers are more choosy and extremely selective when it comes to spending their money or your product. If you want to sell your product, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does this product change them?
  • What do they see as a benefit?
  • Why should they buy them specially for me?

I have been in the field of marketing since I have graduated and one thing I have learned clearly, It’s not the products nor price, but it is the customers’ product experience that creates a favorable impression and in result induces sales.

New 4P Marketing Mix

New 4P’s of Marketing Mix

Personalize

You have to differentiate product not only from your competitors; but also for each and every customer. I know, it sounds easy for me to write, but if you can pull it off; it will work like a miracle for your business. One of the best examples, would be tourism industry. Many 5 star hotels, leave a small personalized note for you when you enter the room or a personalize gifts for your kids. Even though most of the hotels offer the same service, but it’s that message or gift that enhances the experience of your stay.

Partnership

Myself being a firm believer of  Co-creation, I personally believe each and every company needs rethink their business model and ask themselves, “how can they bring customers together to create value for the company. The more you can involve your customers in your product, more valuable your company will be. After all, 2 brains together are more innovative than just one. Isn’t it?

What’s your view towards these new P’s ?

Well, that was my view towards, new 4P’s of Marketing Mix. Do you have any other “P” for marketing that you use in your organization?

Feel free to drop a line in the comment below. . .