Social media is a steadily growing beast that has taken on a life of its own. It’s not enough to look at social media within the purview of overall online marketing — you need to treat it as the same kind of juggernaut. Social media changes as quickly as the overall landscape, if not more so. It’s important that you stay on top of those changes so that your brand can remain relevant and continue to attract the customers you need.

Some of the important highlights are noted in this 2016 social media marketing industry report:

Video is a Big Deal

Marketers really started taking notice of video when Google started prioritizing video in search rankings. However, video has become even more important both on social media and off.

Now, 60 percent of marketers are using video, and 73 percent say they want to increase the amount of video they use (some increasing from zero). Facebook and Snapchat have made it possible for people to live stream their videos, and 50 percent of marketers say they are using these services or plan to do so. Forget about simple Vines or YouTube videos. Start exploring all your options for creating video for social media and expanding your brand.

Facebook Dominates

Facebook continues to be the most important social network for marketers, and many name it in their plans for future social media marketing expansion. More than half of marketers said that Facebook was their most important social media site, and 67 percent said they planned to increase their use of Facebook in the future.

Not only are marketers maintaining active profiles and business pages on the site, but they are also spending a lot of money on Facebook ads. Eighty-six percent of marketers said they regularly buy Facebook ads (compared with only 18 percent for Twitter).

Yet despite the fact that marketers say that Facebook is very important and they continue to spend money on the site, 35 percent of marketers say they aren’t sure if their Facebook campaigns are effective. This could be the result of not knowing how they should create a campaign, or it could be because they don’t understand how to properly measure their campaigns.

Either way, it shows that marketers need to do more research about how to effectively use Facebook, and they need to find better ways to take advantage of the site.

Sites that are Growing

There are actually hundreds of social networking sites, but you have probably only heard of a dozen or so. That’s because so many pop up and die out quickly, or they stay around a long time but don’t get a lot of followers. However, some actually stick around and gain real traction, and they make it into the rotation for both customers and marketers.

Right now, Snapchat is having a major moment. Marketers are realizing it’s not just a fun site that a few teenagers were using to send disposable messages. It’s become a legitimate social site that even politicians are using to reach voters.

Only 5 percent of marketers are currently using Snapchat, but 16 percent say they plan to increase their presence on the site. A little more than a quarter of all marketers say they are interested in learning more about the site.

If you aren’t on Snapchat already, now is the time to start exploring how to create a strong presence on the site. You can get in early when the site is not overcrowded with marketers. That way, you’ll have a better chance of winning over followers.

Social Strategies

Though many marketers are using social networks to promote their sites, not all of them actually know what they are doing. Some feel content to just have a profile and post a few times a day. However, that’s not enough to get results.

A whopping 90 percent of marketers say they want to learn more about how to engage their audience on social media and to be more effective in general on these sites. That means that the vast majority of marketers are either not doing very well on social media, or they are not getting the results they would like.

Staying aware of social media trends can help you stay on top of the latest strategies for engaging with customers. Buying social ads and using the right advertising platforms can also help you get exposure that boosts your content marketing strategies.

CodeFuel offers advertising solutions that put your content on the right sites at the right times so that you reach more of your target audience. That might mean advertising your social profiles on publishing sites, or it might mean advertise your content on social media. We’ll help you get the results you want by reaching the right customers and giving them the content they want to see.

Social Media 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report