By now, it seems that everyone and their mother have at least one social media account. Now, before you go around saying that social media is so yesterday, hear me out. From the business perspective, the fact that almost everyone has a social media account means that there is great opportunity there to develop relationships with potential customers.
However, as social platforms constantly change, so must your strategy in order to capture the trust and business of your social customers.
Here are the most important social media marketing trends you need to know about and how you can use this data to inform your 2015 marketing strategy.
Organic Facebook reach drops to 2% for most pages (Source)
Shocked? We really shouldn’t be.
Facebook has been conducting and compiling research of its current user base in order to better determine what type of content users like to see and how they’re interacting with other people and pages on their News Feeds.
They’ve found that people don’t like posts that are overly promotional, which is why Facebook has been working on improving their News Feed algorithm to better understand each individual user and display content customized to their particular interests.
Before you get disenchanted and delete your business page altogether, think of this as a blessing in disguise. If your posts aren’t getting the reach or engagement you want, then it’s time to revisit your Facebook strategy by reevaluating exactly who your audience is and what type of content they want to see.
Ultimately though, Facebook is still a powerful player in the realm of social media marketing for the following reasons:
- It gives important insights on your target audience that will help inform your advertising and content marketing.
- It powers PR efforts.
- It establishes a base online brand presence.
Despite the drop in organic reach, Facebook marketing is still a great way to drive traffic and sales to your door, which leads me to my next point…
Social commerce sales are forecasted to represent 5% of all online retail revenue in 2015 (source)
Defined as the marriage between ecommerce and social media, social commerce (scommerce) is when social media provides either the engagement that persuades customers to convert, or in some cases, assists directly in the conversion.
Through organic or paid social media marketing, platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube – amongst others – can help brands not only get discovered by their customers but also generate real-world sales.
For example, Facebook has been gradually rolling out these free, call-to-action buttons at the top of business pages, which attempt to convert customers immediately upon landing on the business page.
Another simple example of social commerce is Pinterest’s rich pins, which pulls information from your site to enhance your pin’s appearance on boards. Rich pins can assist in the sale, because they provide the information consumers need to buy at the moment they’re interested in purchasing.
While social media leads consumers to purchase, they can’t buy directly on their News Feeds. Instead, they must be taken to an external site in order to complete the transaction. However, Twitter is currently testing a new feature that lets consumers buy products directly from their Twitter streams without being taken to another site.
“Friends Are Waiting” by Budweiser
Although Twitter is still testing this new scommerce functionality, this has huge ramifications for the future. I anticipate that it won’t be far off until more social platforms begin to build this into their systems.
Tumblr is still signing up 120,000 users… a day! (Source)
Tumblr is akin to the Wild Wild West of social media – people know it exists but very few actually venture in there to explore. However, those that are on Tumblr are absolute fanatics (I know – I used to be one!).
People on Tumblr tend to be more engaged and interact regularly with fellow bloggers, one reblog, heart, and comment at a time.
Not convinced? Let Tumblr persuade you.
Despite the platform’s high engagement rates, most marketers and advertisers don’t even touch Tumblr, making it one of the most under-utilized social platforms out there. However, it’s got huge social media marketing potential for one reason: it can help establish your brand.
Take a look at this Hunger Games promo on Tumblr:
It’s quite brilliant actually. Highly visual yet incredibly simple, this Tumblr microsite simultaneously adds to the brand and generates excitement for the movie.
While Tumblr doesn’t necessarily lead directly to a sale, it can still help brands gain exposure and increase buzz for their products, nurturing consumers down the sales funnel.
What’s your social media marketing strategy for 2015?
Social media marketing is so much more than posting updates and talking to your fans. It’s about figuring out how to use social media to complement your other online and offline marketing strategies.