While change is inevitable in business, social media marketing often displays an especially high speed of change due to rapidly evolving technology and consumer behavior. Research Optimus wants you and your business to be well-prepared for these changes. With that in mind, here are seven social media marketing trends that will impact your business during 2015 and beyond — start planning now about how to position your company to profit from these changes.
1) Twitter to Evolve as a Powerful Marketing Channel
Social media marketers have taken notice about the benefits of using Twitter compared to Facebook. Twitter has introduced a no-nonsense, pay-only-for-results marketing strategy. Businesses will now have more flexibility and choice in terms of advertising on Twitter — this should especially appeal to small and medium-sized businesses. Twitter’s use of “real-time trends” and organic timelines can provide increased visibility for business brands. For many users, Twitter feels like a more professional way than Facebook to implement social media marketing.
2) Ello and Other Newer Social Media Networks Will Emerge
New social media networks will provide what many people find lacking in the “traditional” social media sites: more privacy, less advertising and less collection of personal data. For example, Ello launched in 2014 and pledges to never sell user data while also promising not to sell ads. Larger social media sites are effectively run by advertisers, and the use of pervasive advertising is an increasingly ineffective way to reach many potential customers.
3) Facebook Company Pages to Become More Organic
A 2014 Facebook survey concluded what many users were already painfully aware of — posts in Pages are often seen as too promotional (even more so than the ads). An immediate response from Facebook is to change permissible contents on posts in Pages. Since these editorial policy changes will limit brand visibility on Facebook, you should expect more brand managers to prioritize Twitter ahead of Facebook in their marketing playbook for 2015.
4) LinkedIn to Remain as “King of B2B Recruiting and Advertising”
Businesses using LinkedIn continue to report impressive results in recruiting and advertising messages that are directed toward other businesses. Since finding top talent for your business will never go out of style, LinkedIn stands to become an even more important force to be reckoned with in social media marketing. The affluent demographics found on LinkedIn make it an ideal candidate to include in marketing plans involving luxury brands.
5) Videos Will Continue to Be a “Pulling Force”
Videos are increasingly important for effective marketing — engaging and informative videos are almost mandatory for some products and services. For example, in January 2015 the Dover, Delaware police department masterfully used video content to defuse the inhuman image of police officers by distributing a staged version of a police officer lip synching to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” while he was driving his patrol car. Within two days, millions of people saw the video — and changed how they think about police officers. This is truly creative marketing in action, and it could not have been achieved without using video.
6) Instagram Will Inspire More Users
Image-based social marketing has a happy home on Instagram — over 300 million active users and still counting. According to Forrester, Instagram generates more “engagement” than either Facebook (58 times more) or Twitter (120 times more). If you are disappointed with business results on Facebook and haven’t tried Instagram, 2015 is the time to try doing something differently for your social media marketing.
7) SlideShare to Surge While Google+ Declines
SlideShare has long been considered as a “marketing and educational winner” because of the ability to artfully display PowerPoint presentations online. However, SlideShare’s capabilities have gone undiscovered by many — this is gradually changing, due in large part to the 2012 acquisition of SlideShare by LinkedIn. If you haven’t tried SlideShare, you should introduce yourself to this winning platform in 2015.
At the same time, the decline and fall of Google+ cannot be far from happening. As much as Google wanted to create the “next Facebook” when they launched Google+, there appear to be far too many business distractions inside Google’s empire to make Google+ a social media marketing success. You can easily do better than Google+ in 2015.
Do you agree or disagree with these predictions? For your company, what do you think the “Next Big Thing” is for social media marketing? Research Optimus, an expert enabler in social media marketing, wishes you every success in all your social channels. Please share your opinions by leaving a comment below and using the social media buttons.
– Research Optimus