2016 Social Media in a Nutshell:
A Marketers Love Notes to Each Platform

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2016 has been yet another growing and evolving year in the world of social media. Not surprising since the field is still emerging, especially in the marketing world. While it can be exhausting to keep up with all the platforms, changes, and ideas, it’s also highly rewarding, exciting, and challenging. We have an amazing team at Thin Pig Media, and while we’re excited to see what changes come in 2017 on the business side, I wanted to do a fun year in review for the top platforms from a personal perspective.

Oh, Facebook. I think many of my marketer friends can agree, we have a love/hate relationship with you. Your constant algorithm changes and never-ending updates without notification keep us on our toes, and your glitches abound, but with your endless possibilities for reaching people, you are often a marketers dream. In 2016 you added various advertising options, new page layouts, algorithm updates, and made an obvious emphasis on live video. I’m looking forward to what 2017 brings, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot more live video.

Twitter, you lost yourself a bit this year. My once active and engaging stream just felt cluttered and empty at the same time. Cluttered with the links, self-promotion, and inspirational quotes, but empty of any meaningful conversations. Yes, you haven’t always been the most personal of social networks, but I remember being able to have a real conversation (albeit, under 140 characters) back in the day. Now, it actually seems rare to see two people tweeting back and forth to one another. You remained great for breaking news and brand customer service, which is where I have always turned for these types of updates. I hope you make an awesome comeback in 2017 because you were once my favorite social platform.

Man oh man, Instagram. You kept kicking butt and taking names in 2016. More and more people and brands turned to you for sharing memories, in both photo and now video format. You even opened up advertising, which has been very high quality thus far. Even though I wasn’t a fan of you “borrowing” Snapchat’s idea of 24-hour disappearing stories within the app, I appreciate the changes you made in 2016 like multiple account management, interest-based feed optimizations, and the save-as-draft option. Looking forward to working with you in 2017 and the changes you’ll make.

Snapchat. You became more than just a fad in 2016. Congrats. In a way, you became the Facebook of the year because not only did I start using you more and more, but so did my mom (and, we’re both not millennials.) I really hope Instagram does not knock you out because I’ll truly miss your private video message feature and your constantly changing lenses and filters. You helped keep my kids busy for many minutes when I was in a pinch, and I thank you. Cheers to 2017, and not disappearing forever.

And then there is LinkedIn. My old professional friend. At least you used to seem like a place for professionals to hang out. Now you just seem filled with click bait and men lurking on women. Okay, that doesn’t really sum up 2016 on LinkedIn, but those were the first two things that came to mind, and I’m kind of scared those might actually be spot-on in summing up LinkedIn in 2016. Am I the only one? 

And lastly, Pinterest. Well, you continued being Pinterest: full of amazing ideas that I rarely do myself. Perhaps in 2017 I’ll make a resolution to actually do 25 ideas from one of my 1.2K pins.

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While the above is just a fun (although that’s subjective!) rundown of my thoughts from 2016, I’m really looking forward to 2017 on the social media and technology fronts. My quick predictions for 2017 (because hey, if you don’t write them down, they doesn’t exist!) are:

- Live video (especially on Facebook) and video in general will grow in use.

- Virtual reality will be focused on and highly improved upon.

- Social advertising dollars will continue to skyrocket and take over traditional advertising method ad dollars

- Myspace will make a comeback (Just kidding. Wanted to make sure you’re paying attention.)

- We’ll see more influencer marketing on more platforms. Brands will turn to “gurus” and YouTube and Instagram personalities to help push their products instead of traditional celebs.

I’d love to hear your summation of each of the platforms from 2016 and you predictions for 2017. Leave a comment or tweet us @ThinPigMedia!

We hope everyone has a wonderful time ringing in 2017, and we look forward to connecting with you. Happy New Year!