In the world of social media, the only constant is change. When it first came into the limelight, it was seen as a way for people to connect with old and new friends. Today, it has become a key part in many businesses’ marketing and customer service strategy. With over 25 percent of the world’s population on at least one social platform and dozens of new social media platforms popping up yearly, brands need to stay up-to-date with the latest developments if they intend to stay ahead of the competition. While the social media landscape is constantly evolving, there are several trends that stand out for 2015.
Video is quickly becoming the most popular form of content on the Internet with the rise of Vine and Instagram video. For brands, there are a couple benefits of incorporating video into your strategy:
- More so than text or photos, video evoke strong emotional responses. If you have a powerful story, your videos can create a strong connection with the audience in a matter of seconds. This can help build trust and ultimately brand loyalty.
- Videos are naturally engaging thanks to its audio and visual components so it’s no surprise that they are shared 12 times more than links and text combined. The more shares and likes you have on a branded video, the more potential customers will view your company in a positive light.
Mobile now accounts for 60 percent of total Internet usage. What are people doing on their phones? Well, 71 percent are accessing their social media profile. As the numbers show, mobile isn’t just a fad, it’s here to stay. If you want to make the most out of your social campaigns, you need to go in with a mobile-first mindset. Create campaigns that will work on mobile devices and then scale-up for desktop users. By doing so, you ensure that everyone has an equally pleasant user experience whether they are accessing your site or your social posts.
More Social Sites
While Facebook remains the undisputed social media giant with over 2 billionusers, many other social platforms are popping up in response to serve more niche demographics. For example, Ello has positioned itself as the anti-Facebook and promises never to sell their users’ personal information or place any ads. Other platforms like Whisper promise complete anonymity where you post thoughts, memes, etc. all without posting under any name, real or otherwise. Will all of these social media platforms survive? It’s hard to tell but it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for the next big thing.
The idea of social commerce might seem obvious, but it wasn’t until much later that social media sites started integrating a “Buy” call to action that shopping and social media finally converged into a seamless experience. Not only does it make it easier for users to purchases, it also provides brands with important metrics to see how much of their revenue is coming from these campaigns. Still, there are some pitfalls with this as social media is more about customer engagement and building relationships, not pushing a hard sale.
Keep an Eye Out for Trends
By definition, trends are fleeting. With social media, they are often fickle as well. What might have worked one month won’t work the next. The most important piece of advice is to stay alert and keep an eye out on your campaigns to see what is working and what is not. Perhaps the only thing you can count on is the growing importance of social media in your marketing strategy. No other channel provides the same reach, engagement and connections that these platforms can.
Ivan Serrano is a social media, marketing and small business journalist living in the Bay Area of California.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com