In 2014 – a year when MySpace tried to re-engage people and Foursquare repositioned itself – which elements of social media were most powerful?
Our lineup includes the seven new things brought to social media in 2014 that also have the most potential to continue helping organizations in 2015.
1. Facebook’s autoplay videos
Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? People who never considered creating a video did so (and for a great cause), in part because they saw their friends, celebrities and others getting iced in Facebook videos that autoplay. (This means videos automatically start playing as users scroll through their news feeds.) In fact, there were so many videos uploaded during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge period that Facebook autoplay was blamed for increased data charges.
As attention spans decrease, video is a great way to share interesting content and engage people. There are more than 1 billion video views on Facebook each day! In 2015, brands and organizations should consider creating short, interesting videos, or transforming current text-based content into videos.
2. More real-time marketing
This means using data analytics to place marketing messaging in real time (or near to it). Remember the Facebook Donate button to fight Ebola this fall?
Other examples include Google+ updates on World Cup Soccer scores and trends and Tweets promoting branded Super Bowl snacks leading up to the big game.
Here are the keys to real-time marketing from our friends at Convince and Convert:
- It’s a process, not a project (meaning there’s no start and stop date).
- It’s an ongoing newsroom, not an advertising campaign.
- The content has to be brand relevant and current, but not a buzz wedge (when something in the news is trending – “the buzz” – and a company tries to capitalize on it with a story or social post, even though the buzz is completely off brand – “the wedge”).
3. Twitter analytics
As a platform where people consume more content than they actually contribute, Twitter is worth measuring. Why do some Tweets perform better than others? Twitter analytics tracks metrics, such as the number of people that see your Tweet, how it was interacted with and its engagement rate. This can help brands and organizations plan – and shift – Twitter strategies and content.
4. More tuned-in social listening
Organizations are dedicating more time and investing in tools to truly hear and see what others are saying to them – and about them. They’re also sharing opinions and information as well as deepening relationships (for instance, asking a Facebook fan who leaves positive comments to write a guest post for the organization’s blog).
The key? Be helpful, not blatantly promotional. Treat it as a conversation and don’t try to sell – simply try to help. After all, no one appreciates the party guest who simply talks and doesn’t truly listen.
5. Promoted pins on Pinterest
Say that five times fast. Then, sign up on Pinterest for promoted pins. While you wait for your approval on this feature (usually just a few days), plan how to reach your ideal customers using promoted pins.
Similar to promoted posts on Facebook or promoted Tweets on Twitter, you can choose and target pins on Pinterest. You only pay when people click through to your website. Then, you can track the campaign to see what’s resonating with pinners. Keep in mind that even promoted pins can’t include promotional messaging, calls to action or prices. Maintain the Pinterest tone and simply pin (and promote) products and services with strong yet simple images, brief and accurate descriptions, and clear content.
6. More-visible Snapchat marketing
Individuals use the Snapchat app to send stories through photos and videos, which automatically delete after being viewed for a selected amount of time. Used casually and integrated with other social media channels, this application can help some brands distribute coupons, limited offers or even more complex messaging through brief videos.
There are several brands that successfully use Snapchat. For example, General Electric and astronaut Buzz Aldrin used Snapchat to introduce Mission sneakers. The National Basketball Association (NBA) used Snapchat to promote its games and teams to a younger audience, with exclusive behind-the-scenes clips of the NBA Draft and videos between NBA Finals games.
Speaking of Snapchat, the app also introduced its own peer-to-peer payments option called Snapcash. Users simply add a debit card, add “$” and the dollar amount in the text chat, and transfer the money to the friend’s Snapcash account.
This is a neat feature, but the real implication is that Snapchat could, in the future, provide users with ecommerce and payment options. We’re keeping an eye on opportunities for our clients to utilize Snapcash, and we’ll keep you informed of its best applications.
Stay tuned to our blog to stay up to date on the social media trends and tools in 2015.