Is your social media marketing strategy ready for 2015? While it may be difficult to believe, the end of the year is approaching. Now is the time to ensure that your marketing campaigns are prepared for the onslaught of changes that are likely to occur in the coming months.
Shopping Comes to Social Media
As we move into the coming year, it looks like shopping is finally going to make its appearance on the social media scene. Facebook and Twitter have been beta-testing purchase buttons that will appear alongside tweets and posts to give users the ability to make purchases without leaving the site. According to Time magazine, since Twitter and Facebook offer real-time media, they are ideal for showcasing short-term deals associated with quickly passing trends. When consumers are faced with time-sensitive offers streaming by on their feeds, they may be more inclined to make impulse purchases to ensure they do not miss out on the deal. This approach to marketing addresses one critical issue that merchants have continually faced with e-commerce, namely attracting customers to their website.
What You Can Do: Utilize a variety of useful social media. Try using content that answers consumers' questions. Make sure you are prepared when your customer is ready to buy with tailored landing pages.
Networks on the Rise
While it will still be important to ensure your marketing campaigns are focused on the big social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, make sure that you are not ignoring newcomers. Several social media networks have received an increase in popularity of late, including Secret, Snapchat, and Whisper. Additionally, several other new networks are emerging on the scene. Ello is among the newest additions. This social media site has promised to never sell data. Tsu has taken a somewhat revolutionary approach by promising to share ad revenue based on the popularity of user posts. Yik Yak gives users the ability to exchange posts anonymously with people who are in the vicinity. Exactly how these newcomers will prove to shape up remains to be seen, but it is important to keep an eye on the social media scene as a whole.
What You Can Do: Make sure you are represented across a diverse array of social media networks, including the up and coming.
Social Media Ad-Spend Will Increase
Forbes reported that social media ad spend is set to increase significantly as more brands realize the importance of social media marketing. During early 2014, Facebook reported a year-over-year increase in ad revenue of 10 percent. As businesses continue to see positive results from the investments they have made in social media marketing, ad spend will likely further increase. Twitter is already beta testing new advertising options that allow payments to be triggered based on specific actions such as app downloads, email opt-ins or website clicks.
What You Can Do: Review your social media advertising budget and plan accordingly for next year. Be prepared to increase your budget in order to ensure that you remain competitive.
The Humanization of Social Media
As social media continues to gain prominence, there will be an increased focus by brands on interacting with customers on a more personal level. Forbes reported that brands which are successful in achieving the goal of connecting with their customers in a more personal manner will be better positioned to take advantage of improved brand loyalty, higher conversion rates, and faster audience growth.
What You Can Do: Look for opportunities where you can bring out the human side in your social media content.
A Boost in Image-Based Social Media
The coming year may also see an increase in image-based social media. Both Instagram and Pinterest have performed quite well. In particular, Instagram has attracted users with the addition of a variety of features, including video editing capabilities. With the introduction of in-feed video advertising, Instagram is set to attract even more marketers going into next year. This feature gives marketers the option to pay the social media site for 15-second videos based on the gender, age, and demographics of users.
What You Can Do: If you do not already have a presence of image-based social media, including Pinterest and Instagram, make this a priority for the coming year.
A Marriage between Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing
In the past, social media marketing and content marketing have been viewed as somewhat disparate entities. That is all set to change in 2015, as more marketers will begin to recognize the importance of integrating content marketing with social media marketing. Social media actually provides the ideal platform for content marketing, especially when content is developed specifically for social media. This approach makes sense, given that interesting content is one of the leading reasons that consumers follow brands on social media.
What You Can Do: Begin planning your content marketing strategy for next year and look for opportunities where you can integrate your content marketing with your social media marketing campaign for more impactful results.
Social Media Marketing Becomes Even More Data Driven
Data driven marketing efforts are certainly not new to social media marketing, but going into the coming year, more marketers will begin to make data a priority. According to Ragan, ad spend on marketing analytics will increase by as much as 60 percent. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) now report putting 8 percent of their marketing budgets toward analytics. Such investments are set to increase over the next few years. Marketing automation technology is anticipated to increase by as much as 50 percent by next year.
What You Can Do: Make plans now to incorporate data even more in your marketing efforts next year. Review your budget to determine potential for ad spend increases based on data driven marketing.
As social media marketing continues to evolve, staying on top of trends will become even more important to remaining relevant and competitive.