Since the emergence of social media, we’ve been fascinated by the ways in which we interact on social media and the way it has been constantly changing. Each year, innovations in technology have been ever-improving approaches to social media marketing. 2015 will be no exception. Here are some of my predictions for key new trends and changes for social media in 2015.
Social Media Integrates with eCommerce
One of the biggest changes in social media over the past few years is the opportunity for businesses to sell directly through their network. The introduction of the Facebook Store is evidence of the growing possibilities of buying within Facebook Pages without having to leave the site. As the demand for social media integrated eCommerce technology increases, we may see other platforms entering the game. It will be worth watching how Twitter and YouTube react to the trend in 2015.
Social Networks Enter the Online Payment Sphere
An exciting area of development for social media is the increased interest for networking to dive into the online payment sphere. Where Paypal has dominated for quite some time now, new innovations in the industry are appearing. Whilst Apple is launching Apple Pay app, Facebook has been seriously exploring the online payment scene and developing technologies that will enable payment within its messenger app. This could result in more and more social networks looking for a slice in the pie in the growing market.
Content Forms Will Diversify
In our information-rich age, gaining attention is becoming increasingly difficult. This is why we have seen ongoing developments in theories, strategies and technologies that help businesses and marketers to reach out and be heard. For this reason, not only is content king, more and more marketers are learning how important the form of their content is. It is understood that visual content is better received and can help to increase social sharing and interaction. New technologies may therefore pave the way for more effective content forms. We may see the rise in interactive video for social media content marketing.
SlideShare Becomes Big for Business
Content repurposing isn’t a new content marketing strategy. Marketers have understood for several years now that efficient content marketing crucially involves gaining as much reach and mileage from each piece of content.
With the development of content forms, SlideShare comes into its own where content repurposing is concerned. After the LinkedIn buyout of Slideshare, Linkedin now enables easy sharing of content created using SlideShare. As a result, SlideShare will become more and more important for businesses and professional, B2B marketing.
The Emergence of Video Streaming and Hosting
Hosted video within the ever changing social media is hot in 2015. Whilst YouTube led the way in creating marketing content in video form, Snapchat also upped their game and introduced video uploading on their platform.
As video is being used more and more successfully by businesses to reach their audiences, video hosting has become more important. Twitter is now leading the way with social-integrated video hosting with their own built-in widget.
Apps like Meerkat, which has become ever more popular since its very recent launch, will help to make video sharing more instantaneous. As a result, social media users will start to use video in the same way they interact with images and photos on Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Paid Ads Become Prominent
Facebook has been changing its algorithms to encourage and favour paid advertising for a few years now. It has become more and more difficult to gain a wide enough reach and engagement with posts from Facebook pages. Their solution is for an increased need for sponsored posts. Twitter may look to grow in the same direction, potentially adopting similar algorithms as Facebook. So would other social media platforms.
Cross-Network Social Media Marketing Is Key
Whilst a few years ago, most social media users would only use one or two different platforms, they now use over three or four different networks. With the growing popularity of networks such as Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat and other mobile apps, cross-network sharing will be important to successfully reach audiences on social media in 2015. This may result in businesses and marketers moving away from network-specific social media campaigns. Tools such as Hootsuite, Sendible and Buffer will facilitate cross-network, bulk publishing.
Personal Interaction and Personality Will Become More Important
Some of the most successful brands marketing on social media in the past year have been those that know the importance of personality and personal interaction. Push advertising is out, and 2015 will be about authentic connections and relationship capital between the people behind the brand and their community. Content will therefore need to be engaging and personable, with key personalities becoming the brand. Gary Vaynerchuk is one example of a successful marketing campaign that uses personality to give greater authenticity and approachability to the campaign. As social media users become wary and tired of traditional push marketing, the successful social media marketing campaigns of 2015 will involve pull-marketing and storytelling. They will be the brands that stand out in the noise of constant information.