In order to plan your social media strategy for the coming year, it’s important to keep an eye on social media trends and determine the most suitable marketing channels for your business. With so much going on across social networks right now, here are our predictions on the path of social media marketing in 2015 and beyond.
Social Content Will Continue to Thrive
It’s not easy to create high-quality content consistently, but it’s becoming increasingly necessary. In 2015, more marketers will realize that social media is the most effective way to publicize new content, and they will use the most relevant channels to publish or promote branded content. With all eyes on your brand, it may be more beneficial to publish links to content so that you only attract the most qualified leads but still encourage content shares.
Real-Time Marketing Will Become More Widespread
With more consumers spending more time on various social media channels, there will be more opportunities to capture the attention of your target audience at any time of the day. Take note of mainstream conversations and stories, but also focus on unique conversations that may be more aligned with your target audience.
More Ad Targeting
Facebook’s targeted ad services have been available for a while now, but understanding this way of marketing will be even more crucial in 2015. Social targeting tools will become more sophisticated across all social networks, so the brands that learn how to use these tools to precisely target the right people on the right networks will reap the rewards.
Mobile Will Become More Dominant
People are spending more time on mobiles and more time on bigger mobiles – around one-quarter of all sales are now larger-screen phones. Facebook recently reported that its mobile-only daily users has grown significantly. This is likely to happen across all social networks. Plan your marketing messages for mobile first – you can still expand the content for desktops. Concise messages will have more impact, but because of the mobile layout, include your call-to-actions early on in each message.
Facebook Ad Demand Will Grow
With Facebook limiting the number of posts fans can actually see, there will be a rise in promoted posts and ads. Because of this increase in demand, the prices will increase. Social advertising budgets have also steadily risen on Facebook. As other platforms release their ad services, ad spending on these will also rise. Organic reach is no longer good enough to outshine the competition, so brands need to stop thinking of social media as free advertising, and see it as a long-term marketing investment.
Twitter Ads Will Increase
As Twitter rolls out its new advertising products that feature a variety of fee structures, more small and medium sized business will spend time promoting on Twitter. Businesses will be able to pay for specific user actions connected to conversions, not just retweets or clicks.
Videos Will Feature on More Channels
YouTube is no longer the first choice for many video marketers. In 2015, Facebook will continue to challenge YouTube, and Twitter’s Vine channel will continue to be popular for short-form videos. The challenge for marketers will be to create low-budget videos that resonate with a large segment of their target audience.
Google+ Will Become Less Significant
After the demise of Google Authorship, the power of Google+ when it comes to social influence is dwindling. It is simply not unique enough to get consumers excited. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook already offer everything people need from a social network, so more businesses are likely to focus on these channels.
Instagram Marketing Will Increase
With 200 million monthly users, Instagram is now the social channel of choice for marketers using image-based content. Reports show an increase in marketing spending on this channel and this is likely to continue to rise. Marketers can now also target their 15-second videos to different segments of their Instagram audience.
The Power of LinkedIn Will Grow
As a B2B social network, no one can compete with LinkedIn. While there are less marketing opportunities for B2C marketers on this channel, it is still the most effective place to be for any B2B marketer. If you are in this industry sector, it could be time to invest more of your marketing budget with LinkedIn.
To get the most out of social networks, you need to listen to your target audience, spend more on targeted ads, and focus on the right channels. As long as you remember to respect your audience and join in the conversation, social media can help you understand the motivations of your target audience, improve your credibility, and support your brand’s long-term goals. Are your social media marketing strategies in place for 2015?