The social media world is constantly evolving and no matter how many times we say it, it doesn’t stop amazing us. Something popular could become outdated in just a few months and something old school can suddenly start trending – such is the social media world. And the same holds true when comes to the social media buzzwords in the marketing industry.

The best way to keep yourself up-to-date with such buzzwords is to listen to what people are talking about. But doing so in between all the revamping of marketing strategies, is kind of impossible.

So after eavesdropping on several social conversations and reading about the various social media trends, we listed the top 7 social media buzzwords that you must know for 2016:

1. Digital marketing

As content marketing continues to grow across digital media, a new phrase that has been trending the industry alongside is – digital marketing.

According to a research conducted by Adobe systems and the Chief Marketing Officer Council, about 69% of marketers claim that digital advertising has become important. This includes part of content marketing and practices that brands follow to create an online presence; some of them being:

  • website content
  • content creation
  • content optimization
  • conversion rate optimization

Another study by Search Engine Land, states that half the traffic to most B2B and B2C websites comes from organic searches. And this only reinforces the importance of content and digital advertising this year.

Suggested tools: All tools listed here – The Ultimate Digital Marketing Toolkit You Need

2. Real time engagement

Today more and more people are starting to prefer ‘dropping a message or a post’ on a social platform than dialing to a customer service desk for resolving an issue. Asking businesses for help on social media continues to be a growing practice, indicating their want for real time engagement.

Here are some numbers from Convince & Convert that show why this term and trend is all set to get into action in 2016:

  • 42% of customers expect a response from brands within 60%
  • 24% of those customers expect responses within 30 minutes
  • 57% of customers expect early responses on all days – regular business hours, after hours and on weekends

Brands should analyze which social media platform most of their customers are present and stay most active on. They can choose to use one profile for updating their customers and engaging with them on a daily basis as well as offering customer service; or they could create separate profiles for them.

Suggested tools: Buffer, Hootsuite, Google Alerts, TweetDeck

3. Social listening

A term most marketers have been hearing since last year, social listening refers to monitoring conversations people are engaging in across digital platforms on a regular basis.

Social listening revolves around searching and monitoring customer value indicators in online conversations. Marketers basically track words, phrases, brand names or hashtags being used on social channels that are relevant to them.

This trend is all set to become a buzzword this year as people have started expecting more real time engagement with brands. But it will also become a challenge for any as most customers don’t tag or add the right hashtags while addressing you on social media.

Suggested tools: Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Mention

social media buzzwords - brian solis

4. Trendjacking

While we have following this technique for years now, it has finally found a word for itself – trendjacking. Trendjacking is the practice of hopping on to a major social media trend and using the buzz around it for marketing your brand. Call it a refined form of viral marketing, this term is going to stay around us for a while.

For example, last year saw a very interesting social media discussion – #thedress. Also known for the hashtags #whiteandgold, #blueandblack and #thedressiswhiteandgold. The discussion was around determining what color the dress actually was. Most fashion brands used these trending hashtags to bring their products (some similar, some different) into the limelight.

Here’s what our search on the dress gave us on Instagram. And trust us, there was a lot more content on the platform!

social media buzzwords - trendjacking

With brands focussing on social listening and real time engagement, brands will be using trendjacking through the year and even beyond.

5. H2H (Human to human) marketing

If you want to market something today, it just has to be relevant and useful for the consumers. After all, with an unlimited access to the internet, they know exactly what they want and where they can get it from.

H2H marketing refers to how inbound marketing efforts should be focussed on building human relationships instead of conversions. A person reaching out to another to add value to his life in some way is what this trend is all about.

Here are some benefits of implementing H2H in your marketing strategy this year:

  • improves search results as personalization gets better reviews
  • boosts customer satisfaction by humanizing the brand
  • increases digital engagement

The idea behind this technique is to make customers feel important, cater to their needs better and make you worthy of their time.

increase social following cta

6. Show marketing

About 65% of people learn through visuals and about 90% of information in our brain is stored in the form of visuals. This only goes to say that people respond to visual – ‘show’, more than textual information. Marketers across different industries are now making use of various types of visual content to engage with their audience.

Here are some of the visual content marketing statistics HubSpot has listed for this year, 2016:

  • Researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to share a content piece by 80%.
  • People tend to remember only 10% of the information they hear. But when a relevant image compliments the same piece of content, it increases their retention power to 65%.
  • 46% of marketers say visuals are critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

social media buzzwords - show marketing

image courtesy: CMO Council

Clearly, visuals are going to dominate the digital industry this year and we’ll be seeing all businesses make the most of them to up their customer engagement.

7. Employee amplification

Previously there have been stringent rules for employees against usage of social media and sharing work related content on personal social profiles. But now marketing managers are discovering the benefits of a socially active company.

Employee amplification refers to the technique of getting company content approved from the management, and encouraging all the team members to share it on their social profiles. 2016 will be seeing a lot of company content being shared by employees working there – speaking of their good culture and giving the content more exposure.

Over to you

Social media is not going to stop evolving and we’re definitely going to have a lot to do through the year. But if you have heard of an upcoming trend or a buzzword in the digital industry, don’t forget to let us know by dropping a comment in the box below!


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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