2015 is finally upon us, and that means more changes are in the works. Social media marketing best practices and approaches are written in pencil because nothing stays the same. Much of this is driven by how some of the top social platforms are evolving. Here are a few predictions of what we may see from them in 2015.
There was a time when a brand really wasn’t considered to be doing social media marketing unless Facebook was part of the mix (or at least that seemed to be the general consensus). Facebook’s an obvious choice. It’s the default. It’s the gateway drug to social media marketing. There usually isn’t a question as to whether or not a brand should or will have a Facebook presence. Instead, that’s where a brand starts to establish a social foothold and then expand from there.
That’s the way it has been and for good (mostly) reason. It’s where people are, and it’s where brands can create a presence fairly easily. Facebook isn’t getting weaker, but other platforms are getting stronger, giving reason for marketers to look beyond the default, the status quo, the Facebook.
Facebook is now working very hard to build deeper relationships with publishers, especially after making updates to its News Feed algorithm to feature high-quality timely content. Facebook's offering publishers a more optimal user experience, built for mobile with faster loading times, if they start publishing content that lives within Facebook's mobile app and is then hosted on Facebook's servers. Publishers would then be able to serve ads sold by Facebook with shared revenue. Instead of driving to their websites, they'd create content to keep users on Facebook.
That is quite the offer. Facebook has become the preeminent news source for millions of people. It brings 1.3 billion users to brands, publishers, celebrities and anyone else who wants to get a message out there. This paired with Facebook users' strong mobile usage and Facebook's mastery of user experience clearly make it an attractive platform for investing time, energy and, of course, dollars.
All of this raises questions for advertisers as well as publishers when they look at the role of any platform they use to reach their audiences be it Facebook, Twitter, a microsite, a blog or anything else. Who owns the relationship? What is the end game? Who ultimately has control of the data?
Over the last few days, we've seen the meteoric rise of Ello, and once again, shiny object syndrome has set in with marketers excitedly thinking through the possibilities and hopefully, exercising restraint. We are in an industry of constant flux with ever-evolving consumer behaviors and the rise and fall of new platforms.
As exciting as digital and social media marketing can be, the real success isn't found in flashy campaigns and new platforms. It's in the everyday, seemingly mundane interactions with customers and advocates. It's in those quiet, micro interactions that loyalty is nurtured and relationships are built.
There's always been more than one way to solve a problem, and today most businesses are equipped themselves or through their agencies to approach modern advertising challenges from two fronts: data and creative.
Too often the solution chosen is one or the other. We like to solve problems based on what we know and feel we're best at. Unfortunately, both solutions are likely to fail when challenged to stand on their own. Data won't save bad creative and ideas, and great creative and ideas can't save a poor use of data in a world where standing out amidst a deluge of content is seemingly impossible.
But when creative and technologically-driven data are combined, truly meaningful brand experiences that aren't only beautiful and emotional but are also experiences designed to maximize success and target the right people become possible.
Yo, an app created to allow users to easily send 'Yo' messages back-and-forth, essentially came out nowhere. Within one week it earned 500,000 users who sent 4 million 'Yos' to each other. It also became one of the top apps in the iTunes App Store, earning the attention of countless media outlets ranging from tech reporters to Stephen Colbert. Say what you will about Yo's long-term viability. It serves as just one example of the dizzying world of social media and digital marketing.
Marketers already have no shortage of options when it comes to selecting where their time, money and efforts will be devoted, but this becomes especially challenging in a landscape with new options emerging constantly.