09 Jan 2015 / by Ivan Serrano / in Marketing
Top Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2015
Love it or hate it, social media has moved from a simple time waster to the main way businesses engage with their customers. Even if you’ve been using social media as a marketing tool for years, you still need to stay on your toes as the social landscape is constantly evolving. Here are the top social media trends for 2015!
With over 1.35 billion active monthly users, Facebook is far and away the largest social network. Some studies suggest the social media giant will lose 80 percent of its users by 2017, but most businesses maintain a very strong presence on Facebook. Due to the huge user base though and Facebook’s new algorithm, it is becoming much harder for businesses to organically earn followers. Going forward, if you want new and even current fans to find your content, you will need to pay into Facebook’s advertising platform. Luckily, advertising on Facebook is affordable even for small businesses. The best part, however, is its ability to target your exact demographic. You can choose specific topics of interest, location, age range and even occupation. This ultimately leads to a much higher ROI and can eventually lead to good lead generation.
When posting to your business profile, try to include as many videos as possible as it is quickly becoming the most consumed form of content on the Internet. Your videos should be of high quality and can cover a range of topics like DIY, product information, interviews and so on.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the social media scene, Instagram has gained a lot of traction and now boasts 300 million monthly users with a majority of these users between the ages of 12 to 34. Its continued popularity among the younger generation is due to several reasons:
- It’s easy to use – There’s no complicated help page and using the Instagram app is fairly intuitive: take a picture, edit, caption, comment, like and share.
- It’s free – users can get the app and use all of the different filters completely free.
- It’s mobile – Instagram has embraced the world of smartphones as users can only upload images through their app. With 1.75 billion smartphones users worldwide and phone cameras improving every year, Instagram has a potentially huge market.
Many B2C companies have adopted Instagram in their marketing plan with retail, sports and restaurants seeing positive results. But even if you’re not a visual company, you can still leverage Instagram to your advantage. For example, you can show off the company culture by posting images of company events, workspace areas and awards. Make sure your images tell a story, whether it’s about an employee or your brand. And, of course, interact with other members by commenting on their images. In social media, you receive what you give so be an active part of the community.
Many might dub Google Plus a “ghost town” but its 540 million monthly active users would beg to differ as would numerous companies. Unlike Facebook where you connect with friends and family, Google Plus is all about meeting new people who share similar interests. The platform is set up so that you can easily find a community of like-minded thinkers and even target your posts to only go to specific “circles.” The more people follow you, the more prominent your Plus posts will appear when people are performing searches. After all, personalized searches now take into account who is in your circles and who you have interacted with on Google Plus.
To attract even more businesses and people, Google has also introduced +Post ads. This allows businesses with over 1,000 followers to advertise their Google Plus posts on third party sites via Google’s Display Ad Network.
Many people view LinkedIn as only for job seekers and HR departments, but it offers an excellent opportunity for you to improve your personal and company brand as well by positioning you as an expert in your industry. As with all social platforms, LinkedIn is about engaging your audience by providing thoughtful commentary and posting valuable content. If you want to fully take advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer you should first completely fill out your profile and provide examples of the work you have completed. Doing so will highlight your proficiencies. Make sure you post at least 20 updates a month that deal with your area of expertise. They don’t all need to be unique but you should mention the company or user whose content you shared.
Besides being the largest professional social network on the Internet, LinkedIn is also three times more effective at lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. If you position yourself properly, you will see a much higher conversion rate by using LinkedIn.
Choose the Right Platform for You
There are dozens of social media sites and more pop up every year. The important thing to keep in mind is to choose the one right for you. If you’re a small business you might not have time to be on all of them, so target two or three platforms that your ideal customers uses and then find a way to leverage these platforms. You’ll see better results and you won’t be stretching yourself thin.
Ivan Serrano is a social media and business journalist from San Jose, California.
Enplug digital signage software was co-founded by CEO Nanxi Liu and CTO Tina Denuit-Wojcik in 2012 to enable organizations to use customized real-time streaming content to create engaging external and internal communications.
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