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Social Media Trends of 2015

Is your brand making the most of social media? As the digital and social space matures, it’s becoming more and more important to stay on top of how businesses – and crucially, customers – are using social media to interact.

Our Oxygen guide to the Top 3 social media trends of 2015 will help you stay ahead of the pack. Get in touch with our social media experts to learn more about how you can communicate your brand better through social media.

Social media trend #1: Visual content is taking over

The rise of visual content on social media now seems unstoppable.

In 2014, we’ve seen visual content become increasingly prevalent on Facebook and Twitter, while photo-based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have exploded in popularity. We’ve also helped clients make use of Twitter’s video-sharing site Vine, which allows users to share looped 6-second video clips – the video equivalent of the 140-character tweet.

The trend towards visual content has been rumbling for some time now, but we believe 2015 will be the year when enhancing your tweets and posts with engaging visuals becomes a ‘must-have’ rather than a stand-out advantage.

This may be challenging for businesses that have until now placed social media within the “PR” silo.

On the one hand, successful social media activity absolutely demands the media responsiveness, trend monitoring and narrative savvy that great PR minds provide. But in a world where words alone won’t cut it, you need more than a press office – you need to be able to create eye-catching infographics and short videos.

If you’re looking for an agency to help you with social media, make sure that they have an integrated creative and PR offering.

Social media trend #2: Choosing platforms carefully

In 2015, we believe that many businesses will have to make tough decisions about how and where to invest in social media platforms.

In the old days of “Web 1.0”, social media channels were often thought of as an added bonus – another way of sharing the press release, advertisement or announcement you’d already spent time developing for traditional channels.

Today, however, customers expect conversation, regular updates and channel-specific content. Social media is much bigger time commitment – at least if it’s done properly!

With firms devoting more resources to social media, it’s unsurprising that ROI and measurement metrics are becoming a more important part of the social media toolkit. Tracking your Facebook likes and Twitter follower count is just the tip of the iceberg: more sophisticated tools such as Klout and Tweetreach can give a clearer picture of the reach you are achieving with different platforms and types of activity (our social media experts can also help you design and evaluate your social media strategy).

These insights can help you decide which platforms to focus your limited resources on. While it’s always advisable to maintain some kind of presence on the key channels of Facebook, LinkedIn ,Twitter and Google Plus (underused, but with important SEO implications), it may make sense to keep a basic “boilerplate” presence on some channels while investing more heavily in others.

This will depend on the nature of your business – and we can help you discover the right channels – but as a first step, look online and go to where your customers are!

Social media trend #3: Service, not selling

In 2015, customers will ignore brands that use social media purely to sell, sell, sell.

The social media space is becoming increasingly crowded as more and more firms embrace content marketing.  Research firm Wisemetrics has found that the ‘half-life’ of a tweet is just 24 minutes – after that, its ability to influence wanes. This makes it harder and harder for brand content to ‘cut through’ and grab customers’ attention.

Increasingly, social media users are becoming adept at weeding out the sales messages and finding the content that matters to them personally. The most successful brands of 2015 will be the ones that use social media to excite, inform and empower their customers.

This is true engagement – seeking out the conversations where your brand can provide answers to customers’ questions, concerns and needs.

Social media can still drive sales, including online sales – but focusing on reputation and positioning will increase your brand’s credibility online and make it less likely that customers will scroll past or, worse, unfollow.

To learn more about how your brand can survive and thrive in social media in 2015, get in touch with Steve Lodge on 0117 2444 800.

Katie Sanders :Katie took a sales background into marketing, and holds chartered marketer status with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. A devotee of PR she heads up our publicity team.

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