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How Businesses are Using Social Media in 2016

In general, the way business is conducted has changed a lot and will probably continue changing throughout 2016. While virtually all businesses are – or should be using – social media for their marketing purposes -, there are visible specific trends regarding how they are using it this year.

It is important to point out that over $30 billion of all the revenue coming from E-commerce came from social media platforms in 2015. Also, 46% of salespersons that used social selling were able to achieve their quotas compared to 38% of those who didn’t during 2015. It is clear that companies have already acknowledged that social media is the present and the future of business. Here is how they are using social media in 2016 in order to help them achieve their goals:

  1.   More Focus on Instagram

While Facebook was and is still the “king” of social media business use, more and more companies have also started to focus their attention on Instagram. This is mostly due to the social commerce options this social media platform has to offer. With a total of four call-to-action buttons, Instagram users can land directly to a business’s website, app, or landing page. These buttons include “shop now”, and “learn more” among others. In March 2016, Instagram lengthened its videos to 60 seconds – originally being 30 seconds long. The purpose of this move is to optimize viewership metrics. Also, the number of active users in Instagram has skyrocketed from 300 million in 2015 to 400 million in 2016.

  1.   Using More Videos

Companies have begun to use more videos for their marketing purposes. There is a clear explanation for this occurrence. Ever since Google announced that all of its videos would come with “shoppable” ads in late 2015, businesses worldwide have been more and more interested in this feature. These ads allow the viewer to purchase products that are promoted in pre-roll ads before a video is displayed. Additionally, YouTube is also featuring call-to-action interactive cards in which a company can give viewers information about a product so they can buy it right away.

Also, new social platforms that encourage the use of live videos are being launched. For instance, Your Brandlive allows companies to have live videos along with questions and comments from customers, thus, creating a personalized online shop brand experience.

  1.   Reviews and Rating Social Media Integration

The power of public opinion can’t be underestimated. According to Ironpaper, peer recommendations are considered trustworthy by 90% of people. On the other hand, paid ads are only trusted by 14% of the general population on average. Businesses are being more and more aware of these facts and are using them to their advantage. As data such as the one listed above becomes more available on the web and business owners begin understanding the importance of being informed about these issues, social media integration – particularly, in regards to reviews and ratings – is now being used more than ever before. Ratings and reviews are a way to socially validate a purchasing decision. Currently, there isn’t a direct way to integrate reviews and ratings on Facebook and other similar platforms. What businesses are doing is posting their reviews (both the positive and negative ones) in their social media business pages to let potential customers know what others think of their products and/or services.

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