Social trends you need to know for 2015
7 January 2015, Blog
Happy new year, one and all. Now we have crossed over into the second half of the decade, digital communications will become ever more integrated into business communications. So you are ready for the year ahead we have come up with four social trends that you need to know for 2015.
Content publishing is a brand’s new arsenal
Brand publishing is the new content marketing. Businesses are adopting marketing strategies where brands treat themselves not as advertisers, but as content publishers. It’s more authentic, it’s more transparent and it keeps consumers engaged for longer periods of time by building relationships. Unlike content marketing, brand publishing requires a little more tending to.
Foolishly, some communications professionals believe content marketing exists solely to sell a product or a service. The PR industry knows that all content exists to tell a story, no matter the platform, be it a tweet or blog post and therefore deserves more time and effort. It is now certain that 2014’s content marketers will evolve into content publishers in 2015.
Shopping finally comes to social media
Earlier this year, both Twitter and Facebook began beta-testing “buy” buttons, which appear alongside certain tweets and posts and allows users to make purchases with just a click or two, without ever leaving the network. Expect e-commerce and social media integrations to deepen in 2015.
For starters, this approach eliminates one key dilemma all businesses face – how to get customers in the door or to your website. On Facebook and Twitter, you’ve already got a receptive audience browsing the latest trends, sharing photos and videos. Once their payment details are on file, purchases are a tap or two away.
Since Facebook and especially Twitter are real-time media, they are perfect for short-term deals and fleeting trends. With time-sensitive offers literally streaming by, consumers may well be inclined to act quickly and seal the deal, removing the obsessive comparison shopping that is synonymous with the majority of Internet transactions. It’s time to think about how your business is communicating its products and services.
The growth of Instagram and the dilemma of social ads
The forecast for paid social ads in 2015 is uncertain. If 2014 was anything to go by, organic reach for SMEs and businesses is reducing rapidly, meaning paid advertising will become ever more prominent. However, while many marketers put their money into paid social media ads, the return isn’t what many would expect.
According to Forrester, social media users do not engage with social content very often. Their findings were based on the study of 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven popular social networks. On six of those social networks, the brands that were studied achieved an engagement rate of less than 0.1 percent. This means that for every 1 million fans a brand has on Facebook, each post only has about 700 likes.
However, the future isn’t all that bleak for one growing social network: Instagram. Forrester has reported that Instagram posts generated 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement on Twitter, making it the most engaged network of all.
If your brand is not finding communications success on Facebook or Twitter, try Instagram in 2015. The social network is no longer reserved for youth-centric brands; companies including General Electric and Ford Motor Company have found great success on the image based platform.
Being strategic is vital in social communications, but so is getting your brand or company out there. Having your brand present on several social media channels allows you to connect with prospects and customers from all walks of life. It also gives your company the ability to target new and impressionable audiences who may not be aware of your products or services.
According to GlobalWebIndex, in 2014 an impressive 92 percent of internet users aged 16-64 said that they had an account on at least one of the 40 distinct social networks. People no longer limit themselves to one platform; on average, online adults now have accounts on 5 networks (rising to 6 among 16-24s).
Are you on board?
The social train has left the station and is gathering speed. It is vital for your company to recognise the exponential growth and evolution of digital communications by considering the best options for you. Building a brand’s position online has never been more important, and now you have the future insight to do just that.