As part of our annual digital trends, we have collected thoughts on 2015 digital marketing trends from expert leaders and practitioners in their field.

Below are 7 Social Media Trends for 2015.

Ben Austin, CEO, Absolute Digital Media
ben I feel that it could be an interesting year for Twitter, with the ability to follow interests rather than people. Twitter has previously stated that it wants to make things easier for new users (presumably so they are not deterred from what could be seen as a complicated interface), and it appears to be already taking steps towards this aim by asking new sign ups to select their interests.

In theory this could have a big impact on the whole structure and use of the site, functioning more like an online magazine.

 

Patrick Salyer, CEO, Gigya
Patrick Salyer headshot 2014 Apple will become an identity provider.

While the introduction of Apple Pay in 2014 marked Apple’s first real foray into identity, 2015 will be the year that Tim Cook and crew stake their claim as a true third-party consumer Identity Provider (IdP). With over 200 million credit cards on file, deep relationships with financial institutions, knowledge of users’ on-device browsing behaviors, and insight into app downloads and usage, Apple has the ability to provide its millions of customers with unprecedented relevance and convenience as they move across the web.By making Apple ID usable outside of the brand’s own products and services, Apple has the potential to majorly disrupt the Identity landscape and position Apple ID as the new standard for consumer identity in 2015.

 

Richard Jones, CEO, EngageSciences
Richard Jones As FB becomes an aggregator of content from multiple different apps/networks, its implicit value declines as a destination for users to be social. In 2015 we will see it struggle to aggregate life information of users in a consumable format, balancing the real estate it has for ads and the content pressure on the newsfeed. The mass market breakthrough of wearables like the iWatch in 2015 and the growth of apps that run everything from our diets to our training programmes increases the content pressure on the Facebook newsfeed, decreasing its value as a place to connect with friends.

 

Elly Woolston, Chief Client Officer, Indicia
pic1113 - Elly Woolston FINAL In the last year Facebook acquired WhatsApp, Twitter launched a ‘buy it now button’ and Snapchat launch a money swap scheme. The social landscape has changed and is changing still – the rise of real time social marketing is a prime example.

Say someone tweets your organisation a charming tweet or comments wittily on your snazzy jazzy Facebook post. Within a couple of minutes you respond. Proper engagement, you think? If you carry the conversation on, (for that is what it is), then I guess you are encouraging them to engage with your brand. This is real-time.

The example of real-time is proof that in the new digital paradigm it’s no longer about just creating big one-off campaigns. This traditional approach relies on being interruptive, and then hoping its memorable enough before seeping out of consumers’ lives until the next spike of activity is planned.

These days, the brand-customer relationship has been redefined. Remember, conversations with your customers never end. You’re allowed to have a few comfortable silences, all the best relationships do, but it’s when they become uncomfortably long or when you become awkwardly intrusive that your customer starts talking to someone else. You need to connect to customers in their world, through social media channels and not expect them to come to your world.

 

Graham Allchurch, Head of Content, I-COM
 Graham1 Everyone in social media knows that the organic reach of Facebook posts from brand pages is declining. A combination of the way the platform’s EdgeRank algorithm works and the increase in the number of pages ‘liked’ by users means it has become harder and harder to appear in someone’s News Feed. That’s understandable. But the cynic in me would bet Facebook isn’t complaining – brands now have to pay for ads or boosted posts to guarantee a significant reach. Next year will see social media managers put more and more of their budget into paid advertising on Facebook.

 

Leah Pope, VP of Global Marketing, Synthesio
 Leah Pope Facebook may be ten years old but social media is still very much in its infancy. Therefore, 2015 will see a maturing of the way companies and brands use social media to interact with consumers. This will involve a greater understanding of your customers and their journey, as well as whom and where your social influencers are, and how you can best collaborate with them across various social media platforms.

Social influencers are of key importance to digital marketing. They have the ability to harm your company as well as to be your strongest and most vocal advocates. Make sure you have the programs and platforms in place to identify them, segment them and determine how to best work with them programmatically.

 

Rob Hurst, Senior Strategist at Omobono
Rob How can marketers be more strategic in their social activity?

Social media is not special; it’s just another place that your messaging should be available. For us the increasing saturation of channels creates a headache only in the sense that each new format requires that content is created. It shouldn’t be a struggle to get that content as all messaging should be filtering down (where possible) to major channels. The difficulty is in making sure that messaging get ‘translated’ for each audience. E.g. for Twitter a ‘message’ is usually a headline/call to action with a link.

For Facebook you’ve got more embedded images and a lot more space for text, plus the Open Graph pulls through descriptions, images and more, making for a richer experience. This ensures that each audience, wherever they choose to receive your content, gets the same message, in a way that makes sense to them.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama

Staff


Editor of Fourth Source and freelance SEO/Digital Marketer based in London.