Social media changes a lot. Between Facebook updating its format, new platforms emerging and new lists of best practices being suggested, it can be hard to write anything that stays relevant or timely for long.
With that said, I did want to look at some of the biggest developments in the world of social media in 2014 – and what they may mean for social media marketing in 2015.
What happened in 2014: The FTC pushed for more transparency.
In late November, the FTC called out an agency for asking its employees to help build buzz by tweeting about one of its client’s new products. There was just one problem: Nobody disclosed his or her connection to the agency or the client.
While this is not a new rule, its sudden enforcement may have come as a surprise to many in the marketing and PR world.
A look ahead to 2015: “Influencer” will be redefined.
It’s important to remember that, while celebrities are great, your best influencers are often your brand’s best customers and, in some cases, employees.
According to Neilsen, brand advocates – the friends, family members or colleagues of the everyday consumer – are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them. Discovering ways to discover, encourage and leverage these influencers will be critical in 2015.
In Summary: An influencer marketing strategy can be a great way to build awareness for your product/service and potentially create content to be re-purposed in your social channels. Just don’t forget to follow FTC guidelines!
What happened in 2014: Facebook clicks don’t necessarily equal sales.
At its Preferred Marketing Developers Summit in October, Facebook provided even more proof that clicks don’t equal in-store sales. According to Facebook, only 10% of in-store purchases were from people who saw a Facebook ad and clicked on it. Said another way, 90% of purchasers that see your ads never click on them.
A look ahead to 2015: Video content will be king.
Rather than obsess over ‘Likes’ and clicks, brands should focus more on creating compelling content – especially video. Yes, video can be expensive to produce, but it can be done efficiently. When planning campaigns for the year, be sure to consider what content you can capture during filming. Consider creating behind-the-scenes videos or, during the editing, find ways to create shorter-form videos for your social channels.
In Summary: Consumers love video. During campaign planning, find ways to create additional video content for your social channels.
What happened in 2014: Quality beat Quantity.
While all of us at Full Contact already believed larger-than-life community sizes on Facebook were not accurate measures of brand loyalty, especially when consumers were forced to like a brand page to engage, Facebook made it official when they removed the Like-gate feature. Specifically, here’s what they had to say: We want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.
Brands will have to make their Facebook community genuinely like-worthy and one of the ways to do that is focus on great content.
A look ahead to 2015: Content will have to raise its game.
According to Gartner analyst Jennifer Polk, 2015 will be a year for content optimization. With more sophisticated metrics available, brands will spend less time investing in new platforms and more time looking at metrics to identify what’s working and what’s not.
In Summary: Leverage metrics to truly understand your audience and your most effective content. Optimize your strategy accordingly.