How Will Businesses Use Social Media in 2015?

How Will Businesses Use Social Media in 2015?
By Bernard Perrine

 

As marketers have grown more and more comfortable with using social media, we’ve begun to notice some trends that have stuck when it comes to strategizing. I predict 2015 will be a great year for continuing successful old trends and even finding new ones that work for your business. For those businesses reluctant to embrace social media, consider this: a selfie of a dozen actors taken by Ellen DeGeneres at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony was retweeted more than three million times last March, creating an overload that caused Twitter to crash. That’s impact.

 

 

Overall, we see social media beginning to reach its potential as a marketing tool – businesses are finding they can use social media channels to sell their products or services while maintaining an authentic voice that social media is famous for. You probably won’t “break” Twitter or Instagram, but the point is that people are using these channels to communicate, and it’s a wise company that joins the conversation.

In 2014 we saw successful social media contests, customer service and the integration of multiple social media channels. Many of these will carry into 2015, and we predict several other emerging trends.

Targeting audiences. Instead of trying to reach the masses to find a handful of customers, the idea is to specifically target several small, tailored groups of people via the social media channel that you are most likely to reach them on. That way, companies are reaching more people who are relevant to their business and more likely to become customers.

Twitter fact: Businesses are finding that the @reply is a great way to engage customers one-on-one, or Tweet-to-Tweet, allowing a business to tailor its message, send a direct response and create better grounds for established customer relationships.

Blending paid and owned content. As marketers have perfected their social media strategies, they have found that blending their paid and owned media together lets them get their content out to more people while keeping costs down and still maintaining an authentic voice. Striving to find the perfect blend of paid and owned media will be the challenge in 2015.

Enlisting employees to help share. When employees are sharing their company’s social media content on their own channels, businesses cash in with a higher organic reach and engaged employees who feel passionately about the company. How should a business organize this effort? Simply ask!

Laughing it up! Social media marketers have found that one of the best ways to resonate with their followers, many of which are millennials, is to be silly and give them a good laugh. Businesses can achieve this through pictures, videos or even corny jokes. Humor has boundaries – make sure that jokes are within good taste, tied to the business and relevant.

These are some of the many social media marketing trends that we foresee in 2015. Remember, it’s helpful to keep these things in mind when creating your own strategy, but always use care when implementing trends and make sure that they make sense for your business. It’s all right to start slowly until you feel comfortable with social media. Don’t be afraid, and enjoy watching your business grow.

Bernard Perrine is CEO and cofounder of social marketing application SocialCentiv, patented software technology that helps businesses find new customers on Twitter.

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