Social media trends and predictions 2016

social media trends 2016

Happy New Year!

I recently asked a few social media experts from a range of backgrounds what their top social media trends from 2015 were – and what their social media predictions for 2016 are.

Meet the experts

Brid O’Connell is the Social Media Manager at Zoopla, one of the UK’s most popular property portals.

Julian Miller is Charity Lead at Hootsuite, a social media management system.

Kirsty Marrins is a freelance digital communications consultant and trainer.

Social media trends in 2015

Live streaming

“A big trend in 2015 was live streaming, with apps such as Periscope, Meerkat and Blab all launching in 2015. Periscope was named iPhone App of the Year by Apple and I think that is the one that will stand the test of time and really explode in 2016.”

Brid O’Connell

Native video

“2015 was all about native video as Facebook took on YouTube. Twitter soon followed and the result is a seamless experience for users and an easier way for marketeers to keep their content on one platform.”

Kirsty Marrins


“We all have one and we all want websites to be mobile optimised. Mobile is more effective than any other channel as it enables brands to create and take advantage of their existing customers. So now, digital marketers can connect social engagement to purchasing actions – especially as many social networks are integrating buy buttons on their mobile ads.”

Julian Miller


“Emojis were another hot trend with Oxford Dictionaries announcing the emoji ( ‘Face with Tears of Joy’) as its word of 2015. WWF ran a hugely successful #EndangeredEmoji campaign and Instagram launched an Emoji search function.”

Kirsty Marrins

Social media predictions for 2016

Customer experience

“There is massive potential to engage audiences of all industries with Periscope – fashion brands taking you backstage, tech companies doing product demos, property companies bringing you virtual tours, celebrities hosting Q&A sessions and the list goes on. For 2016 it will be interesting to see if companies bring this into their customer service offering for a next level customer care experience.”

Brid O’Connell

Instant messaging

“More businesses will tap into apps like WhatsApp and Kik. This phase is in limbo at the moment but I suspect progress towards the end of the year.”

Julian Miller


“I predict that brands will invest more in social listening and create content based on what people are talking about/interested in or even what they’re saying about them. I also predict that content will become more personalised, in the form of videos or photos.”

Kirsty Marrins

Utilising staff

“More businesses will enable staff to integrate social networks into their jobs, using employees to raise awareness of products and services. Additionally I expect more sales professionals to utilise LinkedIn and Twitter to help them achieve their goals.”

Julian Miller

What are your social media predictions for 2016?