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Re-Visit: The Social Media Channels you need to watch in 2016

EDIT: We published this at the beginning of 2016 with some predictions for what Social Media had in store for the next 12 months. We wanted to re-visit it and see what the current state of play was 8 months in to 2016.

What goals have you set for your Social Media Strategy in 2016? Perhaps venturing in to a new Social Media channel might be one. The question is, which one?

Here are some of the channels on the rise that you might consider for the upcoming year

Snapchat

It is THE fastest growing Social Media platform right now and boasts over 100 Million Daily Users. Businesses have seen some fantastic growth on the platform as well. The app plays to a unique ploy for users around authenticity and removes inhibitions from higher engaging apps like Instagram. We really like this explanation on the app from Mashable Tech on why Snapchat is so popular. 

Suitable for: Gen X, Y and anyone with a short attention span, 15 – 25 year olds

August 2016 Update: Snapchat is still growing steadily. With the introduction of custom geo-filters and sponsored content they now how multiple revenue streams to help continue their growth. Some people said it would slow due to the introduction of Instagram Stories, however we don’t think it will affect it too much. Perhaps the only impact will be the migration of the 25-30+ year age group having an excuse to not go to Snapchat now. It still should play a role in your marketing though.

Periscope

In the past 12 months there have been some major players venture in to the live video streaming space. Periscope has stood out from the rest, simply because it’s owned by Twitter so it connects with it well and taps in to it’s user base. The fascinating thing about live streaming is that provides a no holds barred, up front and behind the scenes aspect on your business. Users on the app can also communicate with the person streaming so you can interact back with them, answering questions in real time and providing more authenticity than any other platform out there. You can also save the video from your live streams so you can re-purpose them across other channels as replays.

Suitable for: Anyone that is mobile and slightly voyeuristic, 15 – 39 year olds

August 2016 Update: Periscope has no doubt been impacted by the biggest player in the game – Facebook – securing their spot in the live streaming space. It’s still slightly different from Facebook Live though. For businesses, it makes sense to stream on Facebook unless you have a larger following on Twitter where Periscope fits in nicely to. For individuals though that want to connect with people around the world, Periscope being a public facing platform is the only one that does that. Facebook Live for individuals still only goes out to friends unless they change their privacy settings which most users are tentative to do. We can see Periscope having a bigger impact in political and worldwide issues and movements. Facebook Live will most likely have more Chewbacca Mum moments. 

LinkedIn

Facebook for suits, right? Well kind of. But LinkedIn have made some inroads in to their publishing network and creating communities around professional industries and organisations. More and more users are taking advantage of the LinkedIn Pulse feature to re-purpose blog content and use it as a publishing platform for professional opinion. LinkedIn groups also provide some valuable insights for market research and networking. You have to publish and interact as your personal profile though so be prepared to be the face of your business on LinkedIn.

Suitable for: Business professionals, 25 years+

August 2016 Update: Microsoft had a shock announcement when it announced it had bought LinkedIn in June this year for $26.2 Billion. Along with the purchase though, they also acquired Lynda.com, the biggest online training and education marketplace. This is where we can see the future of LinkedIn going, venturing in to the online education space and becoming a market place for people to find and hire specialists in certain areas. Their publishing network seems to have lost steam since the sale, indicating the company is due for some big changes.

Slideshare

This app owned by LinkedIn helps users upload and show off their presentations, PDFs and images. It’s super easy to use and a lot of people use it (including us) to get some valuable SEO rankings as Google search presentations on Slideshare and show them on search results pages.

Suitable for: Businesses, 25+ years

Flipboard

Think of Flipboard as a digital magazine based around all your favourite topics. You can literally ‘Flip’ through it from one story to another. People then subscribe to your magazine and a notified whenever you flip a new story in that magazine. It’s a great way to become a thought leader in your industry and attract a likeminded audience.

Suitable for: People that still want to mix some of the old but with new technology, 25+ years

August 2016 Update: We really like the user experience in Flipboard but it’s safe to say it’s slowly floundering. With the advancements in other platforms it certainly hasn’t grown in 2016.

Vine

The app, owned by Twitter let’s you record or upload six second videos continuously or in a stop-start fashion. It’s hugely popular amongst Generation X for it’s creative, entertaining and incredibly viral videos on it. Videos often get shared across other platforms but Vine is where they start.

Suitable for: Gen X, Y and anyone with a short attention span, 15 – 25 year olds

August 2016 Update: Once a spot for Millenials to consume short based content, Vine has been overtaken by other apps and improvements in current ones such as Instagram stories. Getting a mass market there was always going to be difficult and one major player has risen drastically in 2016 to prevent this – Musical.ly.