What will 2015 hold for social media? Over the past few years, we’ve seen massive changes in social media. Working in social media, or using it successfully for your own business, means adapting well to change, and continuously looking ahead. Brands or businesses that are early adopters will reap the rewards of their initial hard work. Here are a few trends for the year ahead of us:
Wear your social media channels
As wearable devices such as Apple Watch Apps, Google Glass and Facebook Oculus Rift launch in 2015 we will find many other electronic companies looking to enter the marketplace. Designed to connect the activities of the real and virtual world, ‘wearables’ will facilitate user interaction and location-based applications and more, by providing innovate marketing applications for brands and businesses. And, for the social media marketer, wearable tech presented brand new opportunities to engage with communities. The future is here. We can now be connected to our social networks all the time. What’s next?
Content is still king
Whilst content creation is not a new phenomenon, it remains king. Entertaining visual and audio storytelling which focuses on the user and not the product will capture the attention of consumers on social media and digital. South Africa has been relatively slow in its prioritisation of content strategy in the marketing world, but this year every marketer needs to call themselves a content marketer, with a lesser focus on straight-up advertising. And, to stand out on social media, you need to have excellent content. Content creation will become more focused as companies create unique and valuable content for niche target audiences, to build a loyal following. In fact, social media marketing is synonymous with content marketing.
Brands become media houses
As content becomes an integral part of the digital and social marketing strategy so does the quality, volume and speed at which it is produced become more important. Brands and businesses are beginning to market themselves without the help of media companies, to keep up with these demands and to keep costs down. We will see a shift in contracting agencies for this kind of work, as bigger companies buy or create their own media houses to keep content creation in-house.
Mobile mobile mobile
In South Africa there is a mobile phone penetration percentage of over 100%, which means that there are more SIM cards than there are people. More South Africans access the Internet via mobile than via any other computer or device. Given the clear trend towards mobile usage in South Africa it will become more necessary to create content that’s accessible to mobile users. Users accessing the Internet via a mobile device have different needs from desktop users, thus requiring a very different user experience, especially when it comes to social media use. Businesses and brands in South Africa that don’t adapt in time could find themselves losing new and loyal customers to competitors who’ve already adapted to the mobile trend.
Brands and businesses will find that they need to invest more in social media advertising. Facebook recently made Newsfeed Algorithm updates which favour promoted posts. Twitter updated their advertising platform that takes on an “ ad objective’ model first launched by Facebook, making it easier for everyday users to set up campaigns. Pinterest introduced promoted pins, and Instagram launched sponsored ads which shows there is a clear trend towards paid for advertising to reach the right audience, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Ready to update and expand your social media skills to open doors for your own business or career this year? Find out more about the UCT Social Media online short course here.
Image Credits: www.techrepublic.com
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