Marketing is not what it once was. In the past decade, social media has become a juggernaut in news, conversation, and business. Marketing is no exception; social media marketing is quickly becoming an integral factor in how content is presented and sold. Social media companies are becoming more than just networks. Think about it; what did you do this morning when you woke up? Did you go outside to get your morning paper, or did you check your Twitter feed to see what was trending? Did you check your Facebook newsfeed? The proof is in the pudding; social media is quickly becoming a pillar of life, and 2015 is going to be a HUGE year for social media marketing.
Let’s start with this basic idea: your consumers are increasingly embracing a “mobile-first” mentality. When smartphones and tablets first entered the mainstream consciousness, they were looked at as more of a second screen, which accompanied a television or computer. As apps were developed, tweaked, and more content became available for consumption, mobile devices wove their way into the fabric of our daily routine. Now, phones and tablets are firmly entrenched into our shopping habits, and are integrating themselves into our wallets. I walked into a coffee shop the other day, and not a single person was using cash! All of the customers were buying their beverages with the shop’s app. Gift cards are becoming more digital, and consumers are more than happy to leave the extra plastic at home.
Soon, social media and devices will make it so that you will not even need to carry around money in a wallet. Banks are incorporating money transfer services into their mobile apps, and more and more people are using apps like Venmo every day to transfer money to each other. If you have not already, your credit cards will likely be digitized into your phone, and cash will be more of an emergency item than a necessity. According to a Mashable article, the state of Iowa is making it so that your iPhone can digitally hold your driver’s license! Digital technology is looking to replace your billfold, and will be doing it sooner rather than later.
Most of the foundation of social media is text-based; however, 2015 should see a great increase in the way that companies market on a visual scale. If you have Instagram, you are no doubt seeing the “sponsored posts” that some companies are using to disrupt your news feed. This trend is more than likely to continue next year, as Instagram grows in popularity. A recent announcement from Instagram says that the photo-sharing service has reached 300 million followers, putting it above Twitter. Keeping this in mind, corporations are going to use Instagram as the leading source of image-based social media marketing.
You will also see Pinterest increase in follower numbers as well, because of how useful it is in niche communities. Pinterest helps people by providing pictures of food recipes and room decorating tips, among other functions. Pinterest is being used by a variety of people for a number of purposes, and that trend should continue well beyond 2015.
Finally, as social media increases, you will see networks establishing themselves as leaders in their fields. LinkedIn is taking steps to establish itself as “the” B2B platform for networking, Instagram is cementing its reputation as “the” social photography site. Every network is doing new things to make itself the go-to app.
Another trend that you will see in 2015 is the advent and rise of new networks. We are already seeing the effects that small networks like Ello are creating. People are always looking for the next new network to jump on, and you will have more than your fair share of those to choose from in 2015.
Marketing is in an exciting time. People are connecting more than ever before, and it is beneficial to your business to know the latest trends in social media. Get out there, interact, and start selling!