by Jit Salunke
Social media was on a roll in 2014. Most of the prominent social networks showed impressive growth this year both in terms of number of users as well as active users.
Image Credit: Global Web Index
With the emergence of new social networks, opportunities to grow your business via social media are only getting bigger and better.
And to leverage this, social media marketers need to stand out in 2015.
How does one stand out in such a crowded space?
By doing things differently, by delivering an extra value, and by identifying what your audience will love before your competition does.
So, we wanted to show you some of the social media marketing trends emerging in 2014-2015, to inspire you to do great things in 2015.
Take a look at the trends we think will have a critical impact on social media marketing in 2015.
Visual content drives way more engagement than textual content. It is only natural since more than 65% of people describe themselves as a visual learner, which directly indicates their preference for visual content.
The use of visual content in social media has been phenomenal with a 70% jump in 2014.
Social networks like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Vine, which are entirely based on visual content, have added millions of users in 2014 and they will continue to grow in 2015. Such visual content has been even more instrumental in the growth of media sites like Buzzfeed, Playbuzz and Upworthy.
Facebook is testing payments so users can send money to each other and buy products.
Twitter is testing buy button with a group of brands, artists and non-profit organizations to sell their merchandize.
Snapchat has launched Snapcash so that friends can send money to each other.
All this happened in the later half of 2014.
What does this indicate?
Social networks want to enable users to purchase products on impulse and not just ‘Like’ or ‘Retweet’ them. This is a tremendous opportunity for retailers and small businesses to sell their products on social networks.
This is important because it eliminates the need for an interested buyer — who probably stumbled upon your product on a social media — to visit your site, create account, enter his payment details and make a purchase. With payments on social media, the user will have stored their payment details already, so the purchase can happen with just one click — a huge shift.
One fourth of the world is on at least one or more social networks. Given the tremendous reach of such social networks and their knowledge of each user’s behavior, there is every chance such networks can play a big role in amplifying the sale of your popular products or services. The possibilities are endless.
Just to give you an example, Snapcash might open a new way for you to run a limited period offer or a campaign on Snapchat, by collecting payments from users directly in Snapchat via Snapcash.
Everyone loves to be part of small communities that share common interests. Sub-reddits are perfect examples of that. Though Facebook tried to solve this problem by making groups, it couldn’t really crack it. This made a way for tiny social networks for small communities like Houzz for home decor, Cafemom for mothers, etc.
Though such small networks don’t boast millions of users, they are made of very targeted audiences focused on a particular interest. This entirely removes the need to segment and target your audience. For example, if your target audience is mothers, investing your time on Cafemom can get you an amazing return on your investment.
Every accessory and device we use daily is becoming smart: television, watches, glasses, fitness bands, etc. Everything is being connected to existing social networks.
Just like iPhone changed the way we use phones, smart devices connected to social networks will radically change the way users share and consume updates on social media.
Take an example of Google Glass and its use in taking photos in daily life. Marc puts it really well in his Quora answer:
For me, the #1 immediate use case of Google Glass will be impulsive, zero-friction family & social photo-taking.
Today, taking lots of great / useful life photos is a huge, high-friction pain. Whenever you want to take photos of other people, you need to stop everyone’s life and:
- Pull out your phone or camera
- Ask people to pose
- Open the application, aim, focus and shoot.
This absolutely makes sense. Even before Google Glass is available for general public, there are lots of apps being developed for many interesting use cases. And some of these use cases will undoubtedly impact our behavior on social media.
Making creative uses of such smart devices in your social media campaigns can definitely grab a lot of eyeballs for you in 2015.
Desktop has already made way for mobile devices as the largest source of internet traffic. The primary reason behind this is the use of mobile devices as a primary device to stay connected on social networks.
In 2015, social media marketers need to think mobile first when designing the marketing campaigns and the visual content. And they shouldn’t stop at that. Marketing funnels have to be equally optimized for mobile devices to get better conversions.
Social media has taken a bigger share of marketing budgets in 2014 and this will continue in 2015 as well. According to Statista, U.S. businesses spent $7.52 billion on social media marketing which will jump by 25% in 2015 to $9.74 billion.
Image credit: Statista
This can be attributed to Facebook’s and Twitter’s growing focus on increasing ad revenue ,which is directly pushing down the organic reach to make way for ads. Other networks are following the footsteps of these big players. But given the role social media plays in reaching customers, businesses don’t seem to mind it. Also the massive reach social networks provide as compared to traditional channels still makes social networks a viable options.
Well, that’s all from us. Hope this article helps you to plan your social media marketing efforts in 2015.
Over to you
Which trends according to you will play a key role in social media marketing 2015? We would love to hear your thoughts.