by Geoff Gillette
The end of the year is always a good time for lists. Lists of things that were the best of 2014, things we’re going to do in 2015 (usually stuff we didn’t end up doing in 2014) and predictions of what is to come. Social media has seen exponential growth in the last two years and more and more companies are jumping on board and pushing the evolution of this communications medium.
So what do we have to look forward to?
Social media is going to continue to grow and change, that much is certain. It is not something that is going to go away. But where can we expect to see some of these changes and what will they mean for companies?
WCG Social Strategy Head Michael Brito offered up his top 10 list of what to expect out of social media marketing in 2015 and there are a lot of good ideas in there. Rather than recount them all let’s take a look at a few that I would put as the most likely to occur.
1. Analytics will be key: As more and more companies have focused their time and effort on social media strategies, it's become equally important to determine just what the ROI on these investments are. As a result, expect to see more energy put toward analyzing trends in social media and how to market towards those trends. It will be less about click-through rates and more about how strong the engagement is on a post or marketing campaign.
2. More money will be spent on social: This one seems like a no-brainer. More and more companies are noticing the growth in social and how beneficial it can be to a brand or a company. This will lead to more dollars being budgeted for targeted advertising. This will be especially true on Facebook, where the algorithm does not allow for 100% of a company’s followers to see a post unless it is a paid post.
3. Brands will embrace social conversations: In the advent of social media, there was no dialogue, per se. It was a monologue with companies pushing their information out to consumers. But over the past year or so, it has become apparent that the companies that receive the greatest post engagement are the ones who seek an actual dialogue with their customers - actually engaging them, listening to them and responding. The psychology of it being that the more a person feels that they are having an actual conversation, the more likely they are to remain engaged. This develops positive brand identification and leads to greater retention of followers to the page and customers to the company.
How companies court followers on social media and how the medium itself evolves in response to the greater marketing efforts put in their direction will largely influence what consumers will be seeing in the year ahead. No matter which direction it goes, 2015 is going to be an interesting and dynamic year for social media marketers.
What’s your thought? Tell us in the comments section what areas of social media will flourish or perish in the year ahead.
IMAGE CREDIT: SEAN CREAMER