6. Competition for organic visibility will increase. Finally, as the ROI of social media marketing becomes more established and social marketing itself becomes more accessible for a wider range of businesses, there will be a greater level of competition for organic visibility. Already, Facebook is throttling organic visibility to force people to buy advertising, and as more businesses emerge in the market, that throttle will only increase, and among more social media channels. The cost of advertising, too, is set to rise over the course of the next year.

7. Fewer small platforms will emerge. For the last several years, we’ve seen at least a few dozen new social media platforms rise up and either blink out of existence just as quickly or settle in as a middle-of-the-road platform that never gets more attention but never really dies out. This past year, the trend has changed—platforms have tended to skyrocket in popularity to stand on their own, get enough attention to be acquired by one of the big three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), or die a quick death. In 2016, I expect we’ll see fewer small platforms as the big players' race to gobble up the promising small fry, meaning you’ll have to worry about fewer up-and-coming opportunities.

I anticipate these trends will permeate the landscape of social media marketing, across multiple platforms and of course many audiences. Already, you can see platforms like Facebook and Twitter rushing toward these achievements at an alarming pace, but it’s the companies who adapt to these changes who stand to benefit the most. Prepare for these changes and beat your competition to the punch, and you’ll be rewarded with more visibility and a greater reputation.