Social Networking in 2015
With the advent of the new year, everyone tends to reflect on the past, commit to resolutions and look towards the future. We also thought about the path that social media has taken and made some predictions for the upcoming twelve months, based on long-term trends.
Come on, Come all…
… to the Internet. An estimated 1.75 billion people are currently using smartphones after this past Christmas! This means that this huge mass of people have access to multiple social networks from almost everywhere and anywhere. When creating your content, you should consider the fact that many people will be viewing it on their mobiles, where they may be size and time constraints. A half hour video on YouTube probably is not the best way to reach a mass audience.
Strike a pose
Currently, the fastest growing social networks are Pinterest and Instagram. In the United States, particularly, Snapchat and Tinder, the dating network, are finding huge successes. This of course, correlates with the massive onset of smartphones, and the camera capabilities. Whether you are looking for design products or simply want to share a selfie with your friends, quick format photos are very attractive. We’re just waiting for the next developer with a good idea on how to use the mobile’s camera to take 2015 by storm.
There is a lot of discussion about Facebook and whether it’s tendency to capitalise, through ads, might be putting a damper on users. This year’s task for Facebook will be to balance the interests of advertisers and private users so that the environment for users can remain bearable — perhaps with the help of the price increase in advertising. Still, Mark Zuckerberg, the uncrowned king of social networking can sit back and relax as the user base on Instagram continues to rise (not to mention the 600 million users connected to WhatsApp).
Content, content, content
In this digital marketing era, having a social media Page is not enough. Without compelling content, your marketing efforts just won’t make the cut. More and more companies are utilising their own websites to share content through social media. 40% of American brands already use their marketing blogging platform. And with good reason! Nearly half of Internet users read several blogs every day. These figures prove that competition in this arena is tough, so it is necessary to invest in content distribution. As of now, only 26% of marketers are taking advantage of paid distribution, and as that continues to grow, targeting with become all that more important. We may, in fact, find that “micro-targeting” will be one of the hot topics of the year.
Say no to age discrimination…
… because social networks certainly do. Believing that social networks will only reach the 25 and under population can by quite problematic when targeting your audience. As the current trends have shown, young people tend to frequent visually-based networks, where as users who take the time to explore content, for whatever reason, on various platforms generally tend to be older. For example, only a quarter of Facebook users range from 13-17 years old. And given that the absolute number of accounts on Facebook has increased throughout last year, it can be inferred that the Facebook community is gradually getting older.
Let’s make friends
More and more customers want to interact with brands and social networks are the most affordable and convenient tool for this. A prime example would be airlines. Many carriers understand the importance of social media and are usually quick to respond to questions via Twitter from passengers, even in multiple languages. If other brands haven’t jumped on this bandwagon, they’ll have to bite the bullet and join in on responding to customers through these channels quickly and efficiently.