Happy New Year from all of us here at Pagemodo! It’s that time of year when we all start making resolutions for our businesses, setting important goals, and scribbling out last year’s date on everything we sign for the next few weeks. It’s also the time when there’s no shortage of predictions floating around the blogosphere from social media and marketing experts about all the trends that will affect our planning and goal setting!

To help you dip a toe into all the news, we skimmed some high-level predictions from experts that we think might prove useful and intriguing for social media marketers in 2016. There are many more out there, so definitely do some digging when you have the time. Since one of my predictions was to spend less time procrastinating, it seems only appropriate that we jump right in!

1. The free ride in Twitter’s feed will come to an end

Social Media Examiner features this prediction from Orbit Media co-founder Andy Crestodina, who believes that as Twitter’s user growth tops out, investors will be looking for monetization. He predicts that this will lead to the creation of an algorithm akin to Facebook’s EdgeRank that will decrease organic reach and increase the need to pay for ads in order to be seen.

 2. Audiovisual media will win the day on social media

As predicted by Charles Crawford for Social Media Today, videos and imagery will continue to edge out text-only posts on all the major social media platforms. As Crawford points out, over half of users already say they find these multi-media posts more engaging than their wordy counterparts.

 3. 2016 will see the rise – and usefulness – of the machines

Social media consultant Amy Vernon wrote for Inc. that she believes this year will bring about more and more advances in machine learning, which will then be leveraged by social media. As the content explosion continues, we will take advantage of machine learning to help organize and make sense of the vast number of photos, videos, and updates that live on social platforms.

4. Real-time marketing will take on a whole new meaning

Social selling expert Melonie Dodaro asked author and influencer Joel Comm what trends he saw emerging next year, and received an answer that has been echoed by many other social experts as of late. Comm predicts that live video streaming apps like Periscope and Blab will lead to a fresh influx of original content and a new trend toward more on-the-scene journalism in 2016.

5. Social channels will go from traffic sources to direct ecommerce platforms

Our final prediction today comes from tech entrepreneur and founder of Invoke, Ryan Holmes. Holmes has read the tea leaves (like Pinterest’s Buyable Pins and the Twitter Buy Button) and predicts for Fortune that 2016 will see a major shift in the role of social media in ecommerce. Long known as a reliable source for directing highly engaged traffic to company websites, social media will continue to realize its own potential for driving purchases directly from its own feeds.

Do you have any predictions of your own for the year? Let us know in the comments. If you found this article helpful, you might also want to jump on over to our interactive roundup of 31 marketing tips for 2016!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Marketing Communications Manager for Webs and Pagemodo. Loves marketing, small businesses, whales (not necessarily in that order). Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog, Pagemodo blog, and Twitter.

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