When social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter first came onto the scene, there wasn’t a huge reason to use them for internet marketing beyond ads and some promotion.
Throughout 2014, we saw the beginnings of some major changes and integrations of social media into other mediums of marketing and entertainment.
It was a polar shift that caused plenty of marketers to switch their tactics.
Of course, that’s something anyone with experience in that field is used to.
Let’s find out how major players like Facebook and Twitter will be shifting the playing field once again in 2015.
7 Ways Social Media is Evolving in 2015
The changes and trends we’ve seen from social media in recent years has been met with mixed reactions from the marketing community. Whether or not we agree with the decisions doesn’t matter though, what matters is how we adapt to the new conditions.
Keep these trends in mind as 2015 rolls in and you’ll be ahead of the curve. For more blogging tips and SEO strategies, be sure to check out On Blast Blog.
1. Mobile is Becoming a Priority
Technology has afforded us a wealth of new devices and mobile friendly methods of staying connected to social media.
With so many screen sizes the need for websites that could respond to various devices became a major focus.
This focus is now becoming a priority. Facebook’s mobile user base increased by 15% in 2014 and the number of mobile-only users increased by 34%.
What used to be a secondary means of using social media is now the first choice moving into the New Year.
Facebook isn’t alone in this trend, other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have been introducing and focusing on mobile branded apps for messaging and other services.
The reaction here should be to take mobile up from an afterthought to a priority.
2. Promoted Tweets and Posts
With social media becoming more competitive and crowded, organic posts on Facebook have dropped to 0.073% in 2014.
To combat this, and make some extra money on the side, the popular platform has been offering a “boost” feature to promote posts.
This paid option stretches the reach of posts.
Twitter has followed suit with their “promoted tweets.”
Social media will no longer be a place to promote and market for free.
The reaction here should be to find the platform with the strongest demographic and invest solely into that with these new monetized options.
3. The Rise of Social Commerce
While many of us probably think that shopping on Facebook or Twitter is a no-brainer, it wasn’t until 2014 that the idea began to take form.
With so many potential customers and potential for viral feedback, it just makes sense.
They introduced a “buy” button into tweets that makes shopping both fast and easy for the consumer.
Facebook and Tumblr are also entering into this space.
Right now all of them are in the testing phases but this has potential to become a major line of business and marketing.
4. The Rise of Vlogging
Video blogging or vlogging has become more popular with the rise of sites like YouTube garnering over a billion visitors each month.
User reviews and real, human created impressions have always been a great way to promote a product without the need for a flashy commercial or marketing campaign.
Short and concise videos are shared far more often than links and text every time which creates a growing trend and an opportunity for brands of all kinds.
The reaction here should be to create a vlogging channel or reach out to an established vlogger and offer them free products in exchange for a review.
5. Social Wallets
A Stanford student who was poking around in Facebook’s Messenger app in 2014 found and leaked a code in the programming that suggested there were plans for a payment and transfer service.
While it hasn’t been implemented yet, a system like this one would allow people to send money to friends and purchase items without ever leaving the platform.
This would be a huge change for social media as it would turn the platforms into one-stop solutions for customers and it would be a valuable means of reaching customers for all the brands and marketers out there.
6. More Focused Platforms
The demographic for Facebook and Twitter is huge and varied.
New platforms are emerging though that suggest more options are on the horizon.
Focusing on specific niches, these platforms are laser-focused and all the better for it.
So far we’ve seen sites like Instagram, Foodie, Fitocracy, and more, but the list is growing by the day.
These sites have a specific audience in mind and therefore make themselves perfect platforms for targeting specific niches of online users.
The reaction here is to understand that 2015 will see social networks targeting specific hobbies and interests.
7. A Growing Focus on Internet Privacy
Information leaks and hacked accounts have always been an issue among online users, but the problem has grown in scope which resulted in platforms promising additional security and privacy options for their users.
Promising not to sell user data is a common one for example.
New platforms have added private chat rooms and the option to keep identities private. Every successful hack results in another push for privacy and 2015 will make that demand higher than ever.
Managing Social Media in 2015
While marketers are going to be increasing focus on major platforms, it’s also highly possible that they will spread to more niche oriented platforms. It’s a lot to manage for an entire team of people, let alone a single social media expert.
A free online app called Buffer can help with that. This wonderful tool allows you to schedule and create posts up to a week in advance on multiple social media platforms. With a “set it and forget it” approach, you’ll be free to start planning the coming week’s posts.
Staying ahead of the curve is easier said than done, but looking at upcoming trends can make an social marketer’s job a little easier.
What trends have you seen? What do you think of the push to monetize social media? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments below!