It’s obvious that companies understand that some of their budget needs to be spent on social media, but about half of the marketers interviewed stated they have a hard time justifying that investment because it doesn’t show much value.
But, in 2015, we will see lots of new tools from major social networks like Facebook and Twitter – and other developers – that will make tracking of your social media presence easier.
To stay ahead of those changes, here are five key social media trends for 2015 that you should be aware of:
1. If you don’t advertise on Facebook, you don’t exist
In 2012, Facebook announced that posts you share on your Facebook business page reach 16% of your fans. Fast forward to 2014 and, without advertising, your posts now have on average a 6% reach and that reach is going down. To make it worse, Facebook changed its algorithm so that posts which are heavily geared towards selling receive less prominence. So should you abandon ship?
Don’t despair, there is hope, and that hope is creating quality content and an online story. The main rule here is to be visual (feel free to include videos, photos, infographics and any other media that fit your story). It’s no longer enough just to list bullet points enumerating why your product or service is great; you need to develop a story about your product or service that resonates. A well-written story about a certain feature of your product published on Facebook, with some budget invested in promoting it in 2015, will go a long way.
2.Likes are history, get ready for impact measuring on social media
In 2015, social media analytics is everything, but measuring likes is not that important anymore. Tools like Nimble, NeedTagger and VirallyApp can show you which social networks drive the most traffic that leads to sales, how many conversations were started on Twitter based on your hashtags and more. To track how well your conversations are going on Twitter, who is responding to your hashtags and to see who your influencers are, tools like Hashtagify and Radian6 are a great choice.
In 2015, we will see a deeper integration of e-commerce and social networks. If your Twitter account allows it, you can already test the ‘buy’ button inside your Twitter Ads dashboard. Besides Twitter and Facebook trying to integrate e-commerce in their own platform, solutions like Shopify give you the opportunity to integrate an online store inside your Facebook page already. So test it out and let us know how happy you are with it.
4. Wearable technology is here and it’s about to become a part of your life
Everything from smart refrigerators and thermostats to wearable devices like smart fitness bracelets and watches are now collecting lots of data and sending them to the Internet. The biggest challenge for 2015 will be how to intelligently integrate your smart devices with your social media profiles. Will we see a smart refrigerator noticing you are planning a party by checking your Facebook profile and letting you know you are out of beers? We hope so.
When someone says ‘social network’ today, they usually think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. But 2014 was a year where new players on the social media market appeared. We saw some very interesting ones, like Ello – often hyped as the Facebook killer by vowing to never sell user data – and tsu, which promised its users a share of their ad revenue. If a ‘new Mark Zuckerberg’ in 2015 wants to develop a new social network, he or she should focus on existing communities or interests – like EatMorsel for foodies and Care2 that for everyone into a green, healthy lifestyle.
In a nutshell, to succeed in 2015 companies and organisations need to create content – and that content needs to be interesting and shareable. They need to measure everything they do on social networks, explore new options like Twitter’s buy buttons and keep an eye on new social networks, as the focus moves from just Facebook and Twitter.