Want to stay on top of social media trends for your business? Check it out. A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words... But Only if It's Good Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are welcoming more and more users every day. Image-driven media platforms create a simple way to tell a story. The idea of visual storytelling makes sense. The human brain interprets image much more quickly than we ever thought possible - we're talking just 13 milliseconds. We're able to get the gist of a post and move on to the next one. No need to spend a whole five seconds reading a status update or a tweet. Facebook is catching on too - they've revamped the Newsfeed to include larger photos and larger image-driven advertisements and sponsored posts. However, they've also changed their algorithm to show users less of certain images that are thought of as "low quality." If sharing cute pictures of puppies and "share this to show your support..." images have increased your page engagement in the past, you may not see the same results. Share your high quality photos and infographics with your fans and followers. Make sure they're timely, relevant, and share your story!   
You'll be seeing less of those "share if" posts and more posts that will garner organic engagement because of the content. (For the record, we love animals.)

You'll be seeing less of those "share if" posts and more clever posts like this Oreo Pride image that will garner organic engagement because of the content.
(For the record, we love animals.)

  Choosy Brands Choose Gifs...Or Vines. This past year we've noticed a shift towards more visual media and that includes video. While YouTube still reigns supreme, reaching more US adults 18-35 than any cable network, Vine has changed the playing field. Micro-videos, those super short videos that are 6 seconds long, are able to convey a LOT of information in that short time. Users are able to capture key moments and  let their followers in on those moments without keeping them there for 2 whole minutes (because who has that kind of time?). For those that simply don't have 6 seconds to spare, GIF-heavy sites like Tumblr have gained a ton of popularity this year! Again, it's the same idea as a Vine. It's an easy to digest story that gives you more flexibility than a static image, but less commitment than a YouTube video. Try out Tumblr or Vine if your content allows. Vine is a great marketing tool for those brands that find most of their customers are on the go, not at their desktop.

 ---> This is part of Target's #UnPopTheBox campaign.

    The Best Things in Life Are Free... But Social Media Isn't One of Them Social media has been touted as this amazing free marketing tool...unfortunately, it's not. It never has been. Especially now, your brand's social media presence requires time, strategy, and know-how. In most cases, it's necessary to hire an extra person to help out with social media, which costs money. Now, brands are starting to find that not only does it cost to hire somebody to do the work, but they're also having to pay money to the "free" social media platforms. Visibility and reach aren't free. Facebook for example, it's algorithm shows your page's posts to only 1-2% of your fans. That means that you're taking the time to write these posts and they're being seen by just a small fraction of your audience. To get the reach and engagement you have to pay in to Facebook's advertising system by creating sponsored posts or running ads. Social media isn't free. If you want to get noticed this year, you'll have to pay up.