Social Media Predictions for 2015
The year is wrapping up and planning meetings for 2015’s strategy and engagement tactics are already in full steam.
Next year will be, I’m sure, as fast-moving as the last. We’ll see changes to our beloved networks to benefit the consumers, and goalpost-moving to infuriate the Social Media Managers.
In 2014, we saw the end of the ‘Like-Gate’ on Facebook, where users would have to like a brand’s page to progress to specified content, usually a contest. This forced brands to stop seeing their online users as an acquisition, but as a community there to be engaged.
So, in 2015:
Trimming the fat
January is a great time to take stock, in our personal lives, diet, exercise regime and how we spend our time. 2015 will give us the opportunity to get rid of networks we don’t use and apps we rarely open and concentrate on doing a few things well.
Vine is dead. Since it’s release, I didn’t like it, and I still can’t see a real use for it as part of a brand marketing perspective (or even a personal one). The short, usually low-production value clips could only ever be a novelty, and as it was often tricky to share the videos onto other networks, they would often go unseen. As it was a completely separate app, tying it in to a Facebook or Twitter campaign wasn’t the most cohesive.
Google+ is another to go. The opportunity was there to do great things, but since Authorship was canned, and the way updates were served to users, it just can’t be upheld. Right now, I use it as a top drawer. I put all the things I think I should put somewhere, but can’t be bothered to sort. Does anybody spend real time on G+ anymore?
Google still runs the show
Google search is still the be-all and end-all of where people go to find everything. Bing has some great features, but nobody replies “just Bing-it” to an unanswerable question.
As content-creators continue to bend to Google’s every new rule, duplication continues to be a big issue. There will be penalties against sending out the same article to other sites. Aiming to give users a unique experience on each site, users can expect the top search results to all be different, though of a high (SEO) quality, including full articles, not spammy link farms and having a selection of multimedia to engage with.
The end of clickbait
As we scroll through our Facebook feeds, we are constantly served up articles from the likes of Buzzfeed, which start with “You’ll never believe with this guy did with a some string” or the articles (Huff Post I’m looking at you) which require you to click through a list of photos, each one on a separate page.
These types of content usually end up in annoying the user and do harm to the website which hosts them. People are getting wise to the fact that they’re being dragged around the houses to find a simple answer to a question they weren’t really asking in the first place.
Everything is video
Visual content is the most engaging. It’s a fact. Which is why video will be such a strong tool for brands in 2015. People aren’t satisfied with looking through a series of photographs, and don’t have time to read an event round-up. They want everything served up for them with some nice background music. Facebook already allows video to be uploaded natively and hopefully Twitter will do the same. Instagram allows 15 seconds of video, but the engagement still doesn’t seem to be as high on those as the photos. Perhaps if it’s not a super-quick-win, the users will scroll past.
According to an article published on CNET, by the end of 2015, 65% of Americans (200 million people) will have a smartphone. In fact, can you even by a non-smart phone anymore? Why would you want to?
Websites will be judged harshly if they aren’t compatible with mobile devices, and Google will surely be punishing links to the non-adapters. We need our information, services and time-wasters on the move and there really isn’t an excuse for not making your site work for the people wanting to use them.
What are your predictions for 2015? I’m sure I missed plenty so please add yours in the comments below. Thanks!