What should you be doing when it comes to effective social media marketing?
As you now, here at Locally we like to not just keep pace with developments, but outpace them too and so, once again, we have delved into the cupboard, consulted with our crystal ball and taken a look at what 2015 could offer in terms of social media marketing trends…
Why social media?
OK, let’s address the elephant in the room. You will see blogs and posts on our site that talk about social signals – the nods of approval your audience give you that may or may not be recognised by search engines.
Some people say that social signals are VERY important, some say they have NO BEARING WHAT-SO-EVER and some people say that, they COULD, MAYBE, POSSIBLY have some bearing but, maybe not a lot.
Here at Locally, we like the idea of people ‘voting’ or giving a nod of approval to content and so we like the idea of sharing our stuff across G+, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Whether you like it or not, ignoring social media could place you in a weaker position than your nearest online, local competitors.
BUT, before you all rush forth on our advice, and start creating competitions and statuses that bamboozle people into liking/sharing content, make sure you do not stray beyond the realms of acceptability (see previous posts, “Facebook is changing: an UPDATE”).
Social media – a trading platform?
At the end of summer 2014, we talked about Twitter acquiring CardSpring. This is an important development as quite soon, in the UK, consumers will be able to buy online, but support local businesses too. We love it when people support local business – it is, after all the cornerstone of our business – and so anything that merges the powerful world on online shopping and the local high street gets our vote.
Hence, we think that to ignore social media is ignoring a whopping proportion of potential customers.
But, your business needs to be in the right place in terms of social media platforms hence, gathering all the latest ideas and thoughts, this is what you need to be considering for 2015 when it comes to social media marketing…
If your website is not mobile-ready, then… oops!
It is not just us, here at Locally, saying this but all across Internet Land, experts and non-experts alike are telling you, imploring you, ordering you, that if your website cannot be easily read or used on a mobile device (phone, table etc.) then you are and will be missing a trick.
You only have to look at the figures of the upsurge in ownership and purchase of mobile devices to be utterly convinced.
So, for 2015…
Go from mobile ‘aware’ to mobile ‘first’. Make sure campaigns and content can be ‘scaled down’ for the mobile user but still delightfully ‘scaled up’ on the laptop or PC.
Priority level: RED – this is not something you can put off any longer!
Buying via the social world
Facebook – love it or hate it – leads the way in so many different facets of the online social world. And it seems that when it comes to people buying online, it is beginning to muscle in here too. America has the biggest and most encouraging figures; studies suggest that 6% of American adults spend their time on Facebook, with a spending rate of 10%.
These figures will send a shiver down your spine in that you will finally need to join the Facebook circus or you can up your game and start tapping in to this lucrative online market.
Priority level: AMBER (worth considering)
Content is STILL king
This should not be a surprise to anyone. We have been saying it for years, as have others. Customers like to read fun and informative stuff, and search engines like it too BUT, 2015 will ring some changes.
No longer will you just be blogging… think infographics, video, presentations etc. but, you can use the same kind of content. So blogging on changes in social media marketing in 2015 could also be produced as a Slide Share presentation…
Priority level : AMBER (although we think this will grow in stature throughout 2015)
Video – not just YouTube
The ‘traditional’ home of video and online clips has always been YouTube; other platforms have come close but not close enough… except for maybe Facebook. However, if you want to be really picky, the fact that videos auto-play in Facebook is probably why this platform can now say that they outshine YouTube in the playability stakes.
But, ignoring this trend will see you miles behind your competitors. So, don’t just make videos and plonk them on YouTube. Consider the vines that are becoming popular too.
Priority: GREEN (if you are looking for new creative ways, then this is the outlet; it may not be suitable for all businesses so do your market research before you spend your budget)
The right social place, for the right audience
If nothing else, keeping a hold on where your audience is at will be the essential driving change in 2015. What this means is that the traditional social platforms may not completely rule the roost by the end of 2015 although, where your audience will be at is not clear. And, as hard as we polish our crystal ball, we cannot see either.
Younger audiences are tipped to navigate away from Facebook to ‘younger’ platforms, whereas older audiences may navigate away too but who knows where? What this means, of course, is that you need to be on top of your game as your audience could splinter, making connecting with them could be more complex.
Priority: RED – be informed where your audience is at, and stay informed
What are your plans for social media marketing in 2015?