If you feel a bit behind the times when it comes to SEO and social media, I can’t blame you. I read the news every day, adjust my company’s and clients’ strategies regularly and still feel behind. That’s because trends never stay the same for very long, and there are always new ones emerging to challenge the status quo.
Live video and real-time engagement
There’s no question that video content is on the rise, in popularity and significance. Users have faster, more mobile internet connections, and the flood of written content on the web has left users hungry for something more visually engaging. Beyond that, live, in-the-moment content is becoming more important in the social realm thanks to mobile experiences and constant communication. These two trends together are facilitating the rise of live-streaming video, which is being promoted by most major social media profiles, and you can expect it to grow in both streaming and viewing figures.
Digital assistants and voice search
Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana have been steadily growing in sophistication and user adoption for the past several years, and now a new kind of digital assistant is emerging — the home unit. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are just two examples of how voice search is gradually gaining significance in our daily lives. What does this mean for search? It means an even lower focus on short, core keywords, and a higher focus on long-tail keywords and on conversational, colloquial types of searches. You will have to adapt your content accordingly.
The rise of social content
There’s no shortage of content on social media, from brands and users alike, but now that features like Facebook’s Instant Articles are emerging, we may see a new kind of social content develop. Users are already starting to warm to the idea that videos automatically play in their newsfeeds, and full-fledged articles are available without users ever having to leave a social app. This puts an increased demand on brands to provide content through social channels first, which as you might imagine, also has implications for traditional on-site SEO.
Increased priorities on apps.
Adding to the complexity of these in-app experiences, both social media platforms and search engines like Google are favoring apps more and more in their new features. Google, for example, is developing features like app streaming to prioritize the visibility and usage of apps for mobile users. As this trend develops, apps will take on an even more important role in users’ online experiences, possibly pushing us ever closer to an eventual “death” of traditional websites.
Buyable pins by Pinterest were one of the first “true” social commerce hybrid features, crossing a boundary beyond simple social media advertising to create a new kind of online experience. Thanks to the popularity of social commerce, more social media brands are considering the model and tinkering with their own advertising strategies; expect to see a more fluid online experience for online shoppers in the near future, which may decrease the need for your own stand-alone website in an SEO context.