Changing the way you network in 2015…
Social media is set to become one of the mainstays of content marketing in 2015. Up until now, many companies have simply ‘dabbled’ in social media, knowing that it is important, but not really embracing all its potential for their business. It is quite simply the best method of distributing your content and messages.
With hacking and confidentiality issues saturating the media this year, privacy will be a big thing. People seek the ability to be anonymous, or to at least not have all our private conversations being monitored or analysed for marketing or government security. Little surprise we have seen a rise in popularity of such apps as Snapchat, Whisper and Secret; all ‘anonymous’ social networks, although Snapchat has already been the target of hacking!
Ever thought of social media as a tool for making payments? There are many apps in the making for doing just that. Apple, Square and Stripe are all launching mobile payment apps. When the FaceBook Messenger app was hacked in October, it brought to light a hidden mobile payments service. It enables users to make friend-to-friend payments, as easily as sending a picture. FaceBook recently poached PayPal’s president to head up the Messenger app. Coincidence? We think not.
Year-on-year we see newcomers to the social media world and where some fail, others become the next big thing. Ello is one to keep an eye on. Dubbed the “hipster social network”, it markets itself as being ad-free forever and basically the antithesis of FaceBook. As privacy becomes more important to social networking users, Ello looks to fill the role of the ‘anti-FaceBook’.
Admission is by invitation only at the moment and invites are being flogged on eBay for $500 (although you can simply request to join). It will pay its way through special features offered for purchase to its users. One particular attribute of the site is the ability to classify acquaintances as “friends” or “noise”! The biggest challenge they face (as with all contenders to the FaceBook crown) is having enough early adopters to avoid it appearing like a ghost town compared to the 1.3 billion FaceBook users.
Others to watch in 2015 :
Now that it’s so easy to make online purchases, why not introduce the ability to buy anything you see on social media. FaceBook and Twitter have started testing just that. The most obvious ‘next-step’ for businesses using social media, we don’t know why it hasn’t happened sooner. Sharing and likes have often been cited as an indicator of potential sales, so why not convert them?
Guy Sterling, a researcher at Opus Research says, “Just putting a ‘buy’ button out there is not going to be effective. The challenge is building enough context around that ‘buy’ button.” Strategy is everything in using social media as part of the buying decision-making process. This method of buying lends itself well to time-limited special offers.
Facebook ads are more and more sophisticated, really targeting your consumer. Twitter are aligning with their new objective-based campaigns (rather than simply charging for retweets and clicks). This is currently undergoing beta-testing and is set to revolutionise the way we pay for ads on Twitter, paying only for the actions that matter to their company. This could be boosting followers, app installs or tweet engagement.
Smarter, more social…
Our devices are becoming smarter – fitness bracelets, thermostats, refrigerators; they all collect usable data which can be uploaded instantaneously. Harnessing this intelligence to improve our lives and make things easier is just a step away. One suggestion of how devices could team up with social media to our benefit is the fridge that tracks our FaceBook events to see when we have a party coming up, how many people have clicked ‘attending’ and tell you how many drinks to order (or just order them for you!).
The advice from the results of a study by Business Insider Intelligence is that businesses should embrace new social media apps immediately, with a view to being able to ‘pare down later if the platform fizzles’. Many business owners say that keeping on top of social media can be a drain on their time, but with so much to gain and so little to lose, it’s one area that shouldn’t be ignored.
To find out more about how Webheads can help your business stay on top of social media and to discuss its benefits for your company, click here.