A common mistake brands make is settling on a permanent social media strategy. The medium is ever-changing, which means your social presence needs to remain flexible.
We've crafted some predictions of changes you might see in 2015, based on Likeable Media's regular contact with social media network representatives, data from the past year, and growing user-behavior that we've observed.
1. Video, Video, Video
Last January, video was barely a part of the Facebook News Feed. Now, it's increasingly more common. Plus, 82% of Millennials have a YouTube account, up 69% from 2013. In order to stand out, brands are definitely going to need to include video within content strategies.
2. Regramming on Instagram
Instagram has yet to add noticeable updates since it launched video capabilities in 2013. But since Instagram responded to Twitter's Vine launch with video, it's time the platform rolled out a feature to rival the retweet. Regramming, featuring another user's photo as your own, is likely to come to the platform in 2015.
3. Hyper-Targeting = the New "Viral"
Marketers, we beg of you, stop asking your agencies to make something "go viral." You're basically throwing out a message and hoping the right people will see it. Instead of crossing their virtual fingers, savvy marketers will shift their energies to hyper-targeting with Facebook ads.
Because of its relationship with third parties, Facebook can find the most specific audience. Need to talk to a woman with two kids who owns a Mazda? Facebook can find her. Want to reach people who make over $60,000 per year and buy pet food? Facebook can find them too.
4. Absurdist Humor
Brands are seeing success with an approach called "absurdist humor." The creative concepts are ridiculous, yet posts get more attention and engagement than subtle humor. This GoToMeeting video that Likeable Media produced captures the concept.
5. The Slow Death of Chronological News Feeds
As networks like Twitter and Instagram grow, the ordering of stories by time published will become overwhelming. Networks could possibly follow Facebook's lead and order stories based on how likely you are to engage with a post, not by when it was published.
6. Links on Instagram
Let's face it, brands are on social to ultimately make a profit. And e-commerce brands will find a huge advantage (and will be willing to pay for more ads) if Instagram allows links directly in the captions of posts.
7. Snapchat Growth
The platform has come a long way from being associated with teen sexting. Snapchat has grown from 30 million active monthly users in 2013 to over 100 million in 2014. This growth has motivated big name brands like McDonald's, and the NFL to pay for Snapchat ads. It's clear—you'll only see the network become more popular in 2015.
8. Mobile Demands for Better Analytics
The growth of mobile is something marketers have known about for years. However, some brands still don't seem to prepare for cross device attribution and mobile insights. Our advice is to always be thinking about both the desktop and the mobile user. Plan on investing in tracking and optimizing this mobile experience.
9. Rethinking Google+
Google has kind of given up thinking of the platform as a social network, according to a former developer who helped build it. However, there are still benefits of having a presence on it (e.g., SEO. integration with Google's other products. In 2015, instead of thinking of Google+ as a Facebook rival, start thinking of it as a helpful tool that increases presence, not social chatter.
10. Facebook Continued Dominance
Snapchat and Instagram may be making more news, yet when it comes to daily use, adults on the internet prefer Facebook.
Did we leave anything out? Comment below with your 2015 predictions.