I asked some of the most well known social media experts to tell our audience their prediction about the most important social media trends in 2015 from their point of view, and below you can read their answers.
In a couple of days I’ll publish 2 more articles with answers from these social media experts about 2 other important things for social media in 2015:
Which do you think will be the most important social media trends in 2015?
Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO Brand Innovators
Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers. ROR, #RonR, is the basis of his philosophy…It’s All About Relationships! His book, Return on Relationship was released January 29, 2013.
Answer: There is a struggle going on between automation and human interaction. Sustaining and growing any business (for profit, and especially non-profit) depends on human interaction. How you connect, collaborate, generate trust, create loyalty, keep promises and earn Return on Relationship is totally dependent on human-to-human interaction, and always will be.
I think this lesson has been brought home on the social media front, especially. Companies are finding out that yes, you can automate a lot of what you do on social platforms, but the critical element of engagement and interaction should never be automated.
Companies are finding out that automating replies, direct messages and other communications that should be one-on-one interactions just doesn’t work. People need to connect as individuals and shun the kind of automation that short-circuits that connection. We want our social connections to be human, and we want to converse with them in real time.
Marketing Consultant, Writer, Speaker
Honigman Media – http://www.brianhonigman.com
Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, freelance writer and speaker. He works with both hot startups like Sumall and big brands like Dell focused on their content marketing, social media and search engine optimization efforts. He’s spoken at NYU, UNICEF, Huffington Post Live and for other organizations and conferences. He is a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Huffington Post, the Next Web and others.
Answer: One thing we will begin to see more of in 2015 is an intensification of unique social media subcultures. These increasingly insular and inter-connected communities will have their own norms, slang and inside jokes.
This will also consolidate influence within these groups. Social media clout will not be about the amount of followers you have, but who those followers are and where they rank within these small groups.
Stephanie Frasco Clegg
Social Media Strategist, Community Management, Entrepreneur
VP Of Social Media – http://www.convertwithcontent.com/
Stephanie started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!
Answer: Everything will be visual and mobile. Think Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat as marketing powerhouses.
Chief Digital Strategist and Technology Evangelist at Broadsuite
Broadsuite – www.Broadsuite.com
Brian Fanzo is the Chief Digital Strategist and Partner at Broadsuite helping enterprise technology companies utilize new technology such as Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Computing to be more productive and become more involved in their communities as a social business! Brian is active across all social channels under the handle @iSocialFanz and was recently named as a top 25 Social Business Leader by IBM & the Economist
Answer: In 2015 Community will be the focus for businesses and leaders on social both for internal customers (employees) & external ones.
The concept of a social business is here to stay and with the emergence of social selling, employee advocacy and other social business initiatives, companies and leaders will begin to shift their focus from using social media for marketing or communication and start using it for connecting and growing communities which includes investing in employees personal brands and empowering customers to have a voice while talking with not at them.
Bestselling Author, Consultant and Keynote Speaker
The Brian Carter Group – http://BrianCarterGroup.com
With 15 years experience, Brian Carter is one of the leading authorities in the world on how to get organizations bigger online results. He is the #1 bestselling author of four social media books and has worked with and keynoted for companies that include NBC, Microsoft, Salesforce and many small businesses.
Answer: Efficient content marketing. Content marketing includes creation and distribution, so it pulls social media, PR and advertising underneath it. It’s not important just to understand your audience enough to create content that resonates with them, leading to engagement and sales- you also need to do so in a time-efficient and budget-sensitive manner. Although many companies are still learning how to be effective, efficiency is the name of the game in 2015.
Sue B. Zimmerman
Entrepreneur, Social Media Expert, Branding and Business Coach
Sue B. is the founder of the online Instagram course Insta-Results™, the author of Instagram Basics for your Business, a CreativeLive instructor, a speaker and business coach. She teaches entrepreneurs, business execs, and marketing professionals how to leverage the power of Instagram for real business results. As a serial entrepreneur, Sue B. has started over eighteen businesses, including SueB Do, Boxer Rebellion and Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise.
Answer: The idea of visual storytelling has been really popular for the last couple year and I believe we’re just going to see it become deeper and deeper. I think more businesses will strive to increase their sense of community with their audience through their story; giving people something deeper to connect to and fostering a genuine relationship. The companies that are doing this well are seeing huge results.
Some examples of my favorite Instagram accounts doing this well are as follows:
@thedrybar , amazing branding, posts a variety of content that MAKES SENSE
@ps.ny, simplicity, consistent posting, great engagement and giveaways
@freshfitandfearless, niche content with great graphics, great hashtag strategy
@canva, great graphic design tips
@videomeals, amazing value in 15 second cooking video tutorials
Blogging Wizard – http://www.bloggingwizard.com
Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard. Previously Operations Manager for a UK based marketing agency, Adam now helps others to become more successful online.
Answer: The battle for attention online will continue to intensify as more and more brands/individuals try to get cut through in their market place.
A select number of brands will continue to pump more cash into paid distribution like FB ads.
The real winners will be those who stop thinking about hard selling their products and focus on helping their customers/audience in a way that keeps them top of mind.
Founder of Soluma Productions LLC, Social Media Strategist
As a producer, writer and entrepreneur, Britt likes the excitement and creativity that comes with working on new projects. In addition to consulting for tech companies and television networks in the areas of social strategy and implementation, Britt has appeared on the red carpet as a social media correspondent for the Insider and Entertainment Tonight at events for Vanity Fair, the Daytime Emmys and the Billboard Awards.
Answer: User generated content campaigns are rising in popularity and will continue to do so in 2015. I think there will be a falling away from Facebook as users and brands become more and more disenchanted with their user policy and algorithm changes. Small businesses can’t afford to pay to boost every post and conversion just isn’t there to justify the expense.
Principal & Author
Kayakonline Marketing – www.kayakonlinemarketing.com
Entrepreneur, marketer, 2x author (3rd book coming soon), blogger of online marketing, SEO & social engagement topics. Stage IV Cancer Survivor. socialmediatoday.com Best Thinker and amateur photographer.
Answer: Authors will take their content to the reader.
Instead of teasing people with catchy link-bait headlines and “learn more” links to their own sites for “the rest of the story”, authors and wiser marketers will work to create “Social Destinations” within their core social tools.
For example, I began publishing my entire 100+ page Building a Better Business Website paperback book into Google Plus. The first chapter garnered over 70 shares (that’s a lot for one post), with each share generating a handful of re-shares for over 100 shares of a single post, plus extensive related commenting, Plusses, etc.
Side benefit: Google indexes Gplus posts immediately. All such activity is proof of popularity and value, foundational to search success. Of course, there’s still a call-to-action if someone does wish to visit my site.
Founder and Communications Strategist
Maggie Patterson is a communications strategist who works with entrepreneurs and corporations to help them craft intelligent communications strategies that boost the bottom line. With 15+ years experience, Maggie has worked with big brands and solopreneurs, and has run her own successful communications agency for nearly 10 years. She is the host of the Marketing Moxie Podcast and her work has appeared on leading websites including Virgin.com, The Huffington Post and Social Media Examiner.
Answer: People are going to diversify their efforts away from Facebook as they realize that to play on Facebook, they need to pay. More people will migrate to forums like Google+ and make efforts to make social more visual.
Social Media Strategist & Keynote Speaker
Antonio Calero is a Social Media strategist and coach specialized in user behaviour management. He helps businesses understand better their unique audiences to create effective social media content and campaigns.
Answer: I think users (people, but also companies) will start getting tired of Facebook and although very slowly, will shift towards other platforms that have been ‘second choice’ for some years now. This trend can be seen already in some third party applications like AgoraPulse, Shortstack or Antavo, that although traditionally have focused only on Facebook, have already started to offer solutions compatible with other platforms.
During 2014 many businesses have (finally) realized the importance of paid content, and thus probably many companies will focus on networks with the best advertising possibilities. I think businesses are becoming more aware of the importance of channel diversification.
Another important trend will be the predominance of visual content as a result of more effective technology, mainly: faster mobile networks, better cameras and displays. Facebook has started this already in 2014 with the launch of auto-play videos, and Twitter has also implemented important changes in this area. This trend will surely keep growing throughout 2015.
Adel de Meyer
Hootsuite Ambassador & Partner | Social Media and Digital Strategy Consultant
Adel is a Hootsuite Partner and helps companies develop and succeed in their digital strategies, Social Media presence and marketing campaigns which includes SEO, SEM, Social Media and Brand development.
Answer: Mobile and Wearables
The new cool kid on the block to watch in 2015 will be wearables. What makes Smartwatches alluring for social media? The fact that a Smartwatch is a device that is always with you. Snapchat already released a version of the app for the Galaxy Gear called the Snapchat Micro. It allows you to take photos, preview and draw on them, then send to friends. Another wearable to watch in 2015 is Google Glass.
Optimizing social media strategies and ads for mobile will be an absolute must in 2015. One Billion people will use mobile as their only form of internet access in 2015 according to Ovum. In Australia, 71% of social media users access social media via mobile according to research by Sensis. These figures clearly shows that your website, social media ads and strategies should be mobile friendly.
The .Com boom was huge for many years, the new big thing (in my opinion) will be the .TV domain. The .TV suffix represents two of the most recognizable letters in the world, and the .TV’s founders believe that .TV could be bigger than .Com because TV viewing would soon migrate to the web. Amazon was willing to pay $1,1 billion for a website that streams people playing video games – The website is called Twitch.TV
Video is continuing to rise in popularity and social media platforms that are based around video will become even more popular. Businesses should consider a YouTube channel or an independent channel on their own .TV website and strategies around incorporating video into their digital marketing campaigns.
A social network to watch in the new year is a platform called ‘Movy‘, they are a great example of social media with video.
New Social media platforms:
2015 we will see some new players on the social media field. Platforms like Tsu and Ello will grow in popularity as users seek new experiences on social media. Another platform that is growing in popularity is Empire Avenue. It is a platform where you buy shares in other users and your stock price is determined by your activity on social media and Empire Avenue itself.
It will be interesting to see if Tsu’s approach to paying you to be active on Social Media will take off with a big bang in 2015.
I’m a fifty year old living in Perth, Western Australia. Over the years I’ve been an actor, comedian, and freelance writer among other things. These days I’m heavily into blogging, Twitter and SEO. I teach locals in my city how to use social media for promotional purposes in private lessons.
Answer: I think the main trend will be the continued rise of social media usage in business. Across the globe businesses large and small are realizing that having a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and other big networks is no longer an option. They simply must be there, building their profiles and interacting with customers both present and potential.
A lot of this work is already being done by social media management companies. That’s because many people in business still don’t quite “get” social media. They see it mainly as a kind of advertising, not unlike e-mail marketing.
But really it’s about communication and community building, which is most effective when done in-house — not to mention cheaper! I believe that more and more businesses will come to this realization and decide to do it all themselves, ultimately making social media activity an integral part of their daily routine.
I think another trend will be social networks moving beyond the primary function of communication. They’ll start to become content hubs; great reservoirs of knowledge in their own right. Linkedin’s decision to roll out its publishing tool to all members is a good example of this.
The fusion of social and search will keep increasing also. This is already quite advanced in the case of Google Plus. But I think other networks will move in this direction as well. Completely new hybrid networks might even start to appear, too.
Jenerosity Marketing – www.jenerositymarketing.com
With 18+ years in the licensing, promotions and entertainment business, Jen Kramer has worked with some of the largest companies in the world. From Hearst Magazines to TibECo, she has worked in virtually every category from toys and publishing to housewares and grocery. Jen has a complete understanding of toy manufacturing due to many years at Avon and PPW developing innovative playthings for all ages. Most recently, Ms. Kramer honed her digital skills at social engagement company, SocialVibe (now true[X] media).
Answer: I think video and visual messaging will continue to become more and more important. Just look at the power of Instagram to drive a brand message home with consumers. Good content will continue to drive awareness and affinity and from that hopefully sales.
Steven J Wilson
High Powered SEO – http://highpoweredseo.com/
There are a lot of learning curves when it comes to blogging and social media growth. I focus on helping others achieve more with their online goals.
Answer: The most important trend will be an increase in ‘Visual Content’. Social media is already turned extremely visual. We can see a text based quote get not engagement but that quote with a simple background can get tons of engagement.
Moving away from text base shares will help many of us get more engagement for sure.
Marji J. Sherman
Senior Social Media Strategist
Marji J. Sherman extends her passion for genuine brand/consumer engagement on social media platforms to her blog, where she relates real-life experiences to the ever-changing landscape of social media.
Answer: Personalized responses will be expected more than ever. Companies will need to invest in more targeted software in order to create unique conversations with their consumers.
Social Media Tutorial Creator and Blogger
Jacob is a digital marketing strategist and avid video game player living in Portland, Oregon. An early adopter of digital media, Jacob has observed the evolution and adoption of social media in connecting people online. Working as a Director of Marketing he continues to hone his craft and creates social media tutorial videos in his free time.
Answer: More and more individuals will continue to grow their personal brand (digital networks) and take more of their conversations and business online. Companies will embrace social employees/advocacy and restructure their own company culture to be more transparent and employee retention focused. Customer service and social listening will differentiate competing companies and the hashtag will become more prevalent.
Entrepreneur, Consultant & Content Writer
WPChronicles – http://wpchronicles.com/
A freelance consultant focusing on content marketing, search and social media. Always thinking of Big Data and new marketing techniques.
Answer: For me, the biggest social media trends for 2015 would be a mixture between visual marketing and and content marketing. Visual marketing has already proved its worth in 2014 and it is going to explode in 2015. Just watch out for companies grasping for quick visual marketing solutions.
Another part is content marketing. Social media will be publication and distribution. Basically, marketers will tend to put more weight on using powerful updates on social media to drive more traffic / sales etc. With multiple Facebook updates, that’s just one of those proofs to show that content marketing need to be integrated into social media as a two-parts series.
Fearless Social Media Manager
Social Toppings: Web Presence Development – www.socialtoppings.com
As a Social Media Manager, I help individuals, businesses, and organizations build web presence through social media. I have taught hundreds of people how to use social media with a focus on fundamentals, application, theory, and productivity tools. I speak on the value of web presence and social media and currently serve as a mentor for veteran business owners seeking advice and guidance about social media.
Answer: Continued growth in visual apps like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc. Instagram has absolutely been crushing it this year with respect to engagement while Pinterest sees a mind-blowing 54 million pins added each day.
Founder / Creative Strategist
Jen Lew Marketing & Design – http://www.jenlew.com/
Small business today requires a new type of marketer; one that will help you navigate and manage your business message across niche groups and platforms – both online and off. Jen Lew is that girl. She specializes in providing innovative strategies and developing support services to manage marketing efforts with ease
Answer: Mobile Video!
If you need more help with your social media management, and not do it all yourself, check out our article on the best social media management tools, find out their advantages and see what are the right ones for your team.