As we come to the end of 2014 it’s time to start thinking about where we are going in 2015. Social media is an ever-changing beast and those who are on top, continually looking to adapt and embrace the changes are ultimately the winners in this area.
So as we head into the New Year, what should businesses be thinking about when planning their social media strategies?
One of the aspects that have changed a lot in the last year is the need for not just broadcasting to your community or fan base, but actually engaging with them – talking to them, listening and getting them involved. People are beginning to crave the human touch, `face time` and actual human contact. No longer do we want to buy from a faceless company, we want to buy from our friends, or people who we know are good and helpful people. Businesses should bear this in mind when conducting themselves on social media.
One of the beauties of social media is that it easily allows two-way conversation, so make the most of it, show you’re human and get to know your customers.
With the increase in companies using social media as a marketing tool, content is going to have to be of a much higher standard. Companies will need to concentrate much more on putting out good content, maybe paying more, and it is definitely recommended that businesses dedicate more of their marketing budget to social media. As a result of this, content that is released will need to be tactically better. Businesses should be clear about what their goal is, and will have to release content accordingly.
We are already seeing a huge rise in the use of video online. As connections get faster and devices get better, people are going to start to stop reading. Video means that people don’t need to bother reading- generally they much prefer to watch a video than to read.
Facebook have already changed their video settings to have a video already playing without the need to click `play`. They have also made it easier to both comment and share videos. If there’s one thing that you and your business definitely can’t ignore next year, it’s video.
If 2014 was the year of mobile, 2015 will be the year of more mobile. By the end of this year every business needs to have a website which is easy to use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Businesses should also be thinking about the content that they put out on social media, ensuring that they embrace mobile and the possibilities that it offers.
As social media platforms begin to understand more about their users through new technologies, they will be able to target advertising much better. Information such as location, hobbies and interests, as well as age and gender will become more important. These platforms will allow businesses to target specific groups of people who they believe to be their target audience. Social media will become increasingly personalised and this is a great opportunity for businesses to get to the right people.
As of the end of 2014, social media is only set to grow as we fulfil our craving for social contact (albeit via the internet). Platforms are increasingly paying importance to being helpful, useful and interesting to the consumer and by embracing this concept, you really can`t go wrong. Be prepared to spend more and try to keep in touch with developments in social media to really make the most of the opportunities which arise.
Head of Marketing
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub)