Social media is keeping its stronghold in the digital marketing arena. In fact, we’re pretty sure that social media marketing is getting a bigger budget this year in your marketing plan. To help execute your strategy better, we’re giving you a heads up on what to expect from the social media world this 2015. These trends will guide you in aligning your efforts on the next big thing and help you in veering away from what is losing ground. Let’s get started!

Mobile will soon become the first screen.

Mobile has been referred to as the second screen but it will soon become the first screen for social media access. Facebook reported a 15% increase in daily active mobile users and 34% increase for mobile-ONLY daily active users in 2014. Robert Katz of marketing site Clickz.com said that carriers’ shelf-space for mobile devices with 4.7-inch or larger displays have increased from a mere 4% to a third last year coupled with a spike in sales for large-screen handsets, which now accounts for one quarter of overall sales. That being said, marketers should shift their mindsets from being mobile-aware to mobile-first. Focus on mobile experience when it comes to social posts, emails, websites, and every digital channel you use.

Ello will make it big

Ello is a new social networking site that is forever ad-free. It’s currently by invite only but its growth in number of users has been unprecedented. Known as the “hipster social network,” it promises never to sell user data to other parties. Without naming names, their website boldly states, “Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.” There are a lot of Facebook-haters that would easily jump to the next big social network that will try to take Facebook down.  A lot of people are trying to get an invite but you have to wait in line because it’s currently on a first-come, first-served basis. Whether Ello can overtake Facebook still remains to be seen.

Paid advertising will rise

Marketers should stop thinking that social media is free media. Facebook’s growing Filtered Feed Problem results in the decline in organic posts’ reach and engagement. Forrester reported that organic Facebook post engagement is now a meager 0.07%. If you want to make it big in social media then you need to start paying. It’s time that you invest in audience segmentation and targeted advertising. Everybody follows what Facebook does so expect the decrease in organic reach to continue across all social networking sites and the increase in paid ads to dominate.

Google+ will soon be obsolete

We couldn’t believe it either but Google+ seems to be doing all the wrong things. For one, there’s the failed Google authorship and then the widely-publicized resignation of Google+ SVP for Social and “chief evangelist” Vic Gundotra. The article by Tech Crunch officially declaring the social networking site as The Walking Dead did not help either. Add them all together and you have the makings of a failed social media network. As of today, there’s nothing unique that Google+ has to offer that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn cannot provide. So it’s best not to waste your time on a zombie site and instead invest your resources in other lucrative social networks.

Content marketing will continue to gain traction

There’s no doubt content marketing is vital to any marketing plan but what marketers need to know is that users are being fed with millions of content across different platforms. What they’re looking for are content that MATTERS TO THEM. Quality and relevance are the keys to winning in the content marketing world. Try investing in expensive content, which involves extensive research and survey. You can distribute and repurpose it in multiple ways. You can have a white paper, a newsletter series, infographics and charts in social media, videos, and more. The Content Marketing Institute recently released its 2015 Trends, Budgets, and Benchmarks report, showing the increasing importance of investing in content marketing. It’s a trend that will never go away so it’s best not to get left behind.

Video will increase in dominance

This is primarily because YouTube is not the only video channel anymore. You have Vine and Instagram (now owned by Facebook) leading the micro-video scene. More importantly, Facebook has been challenging YouTube in the video arena, reporting a 50% growth in video views from May to July of 2014. Since Facebook rolled out the video on mobile first (another great thing they did), more than 65% of their video views are on mobile. And then there’s rampant vlogging, which is growing in demand because of its unpolished, personal, and consumer-centered nature. It’s also an easy way to communicate an otherwise lengthy, text-heavy content. Every marketer should definitely start exploring videos in social media this year. It’s inexpensive and easy to produce, too.

There you have it! The trends that will dictate the growth and movement of social media this 2015. Take a look again at your marketing plan and see if you need to make some tweaks in your strategy. We’re still in the first month of the year and it’s never too late to make any changes. Keep in mind that the social media world is an ever-evolving one and it will continue to adapt to its users’ preference, behavior, and lifestyle. Leave room for adjustments and for trends that can come up anytime within the year. Sometimes, a slight diversion from what is set in stone can make a difference in your projected results and overall marketing plan.

About Pepper Social Media

Pepper Social Media is an online marketing firm that specializes in social media management, content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, copywriting, and targeted blogging. Our creative team consists of experienced marketing strategists who can fortify your brand identity and amplify your reach.

 

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