It was a great year for social media in 2014, but what are the biggest trends to expect in 2015? We’ve collated the leading contenders.
1. Video is bigger than ever
We will see video dominate social media channels in 2015 as it becomes the medium of choice.
- Last year Facebook surpassed YouTube on video views via a desktop, amassing one billion views a day -this was probably due to recent algorithms showing more videos on everyone’s Newsfeeds and its ‘autoplay’ feature.
- More and more brands are jumping on this bandwagon with subtly branded videos popping up everywhere, not just on YouTube but Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat. According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic in two years’ time.
2. Organic (free) Ad reach is dying out
Historically, a post from a Facebook page with thousands of likes would typically reach about 16% of fans.However in 2014, it declined to around 6% as a report from Ogilvy states, forcing brands and companies to embrace its paid social advertising.
- There’s more content than ever inundating users’ Newsfeeds, and recent algorithms mean organic reach might soon be a thing of the past. This doesn’t just apply to Facebook, but Twitter’s promoted tweets and Instagram’s sponsored ads, to name a few.
- However a recent study from Forrester found that Instagram offered the most reach out of seven social channels with a per follower engagement of 4.21%. This means that for brands to remain relevant in 2015 they will have to up their spending on social media and diversify their strategies – Facebook likes isn’t the main goal any more.
3. Social media goes niche
2015 will see the rise of smaller, niche social media trends with a focus on hobbies, passions and privacy/anonymity.
- Recently there has been a notable increase in focused social platforms becoming interest based and adapting to individual audiences such as; Fitocracy for fitness fans; Foodie for food lovers or Polyvore for shoppers.
- While Ello, which has labelled by some as ‘hipster’, promises users to never sell their information to third parties or monitor their posts as it’s “creepy and unethical”. It’s difficult to predict whether this millennial–marketed platform is a truly substantial contender for Facebook or a fad.
- These are also Facebook’s independent Rooms and Whisper to throw into the mix, which are heavily geared towards anonymity. It will be interesting to see how brands target users of this trend.
4. Shopping on social
The first tentative steps towards Scommerce happened last year; the concept was probably obvious looking back. There have been various efforts to integrate commerce across social media channels, from Twitter to Pinterest.
- Twitter created their Product Cards which feature an image, description and any key details – great way to highlight products and services to users.
- Nordstrom’s innovative use of integrating Pinterest included their most popular Pinterest products with labelled signage instore and the Nordstrom hahstag. Jeff Bullas states “the campaign was so successful that today every Nordstrom outlet across the US showcases its most popular items on Pinterest with a ‘Top Pinned’ section inside physical stores.”
- Twitter introduced the ‘Buy’ button to a segment of users in beta testing, with Facebook following suit. The ‘Buy’ button could potentially enable brands to increase sales though the simplified process (customers aren’t redirected to brand’s website).