What Channels are most likely to increase in popularity?

  • Instagram: This is probably going to be the social media platform that gains the most popularity in 2015. The number one trend in all of social media for next year according to experts will be video and image content.  What better platform for both than Instagram. It already has recently updated a feature that makes is easier to find people or brands to follow through the discover tab, increasing chances that businesses relevant to a certain users’ interest will be discovered and followed. Along with this, they started rolling out ads on user’s feeds. Instagram was very selective in this process, only picking a handful of brands and making sure the ads were tailored to look like real user posts. The brands used for ads were picked based on how active they already were on Instagram and their location. For example, different brands were used on Australian user feeds than U.S. users. With more ad experimentation and implementation and the increasing video/image trend in social media to come, there is no doubt Instagram will gain a lot of popularity in 2015.
  • Snapchat: Another social media platform that uses pictures and videos – this one being exclusively for mobile. (Another trend to come for all of social media in 2015).  Snapchat will gain popularity, but probably not for businesses trying to use it for advertising. Snapchat is an interesting social media platform, mainly used for peer to peer photo and video sharing. Snapchat has done promotions for sporting events like college football on Saturdays, and music festivals. These promotions can be found in the “my story” section of someone’s Snapchat app and is a collection of user produced videos that people have submitted. The user-submitted videos are reviewed by someone to make sure they are appropriate, and then added to the events spot in “my story” . I personally enjoy these promotions a lot, and always watch the ones that are interesting to me. I think Snapchat could find a way to monetize this in through advertising for events.
  • Pinterest: This social media platform, like Instagram, should gain lots of popularity next year due to the video/image trend. More males are also starting to use the social media platform as it grows in popularity, and most of the major brands are already on Pinterest. More reasons to come as to why Pinterest will gain popularity are listed further in this blog!
  • Vine: Another social media platform that will capitalize on the video/image trend, Vine already has many of its most popular users doing “plugs” for products of certain companies. It is owned by Twitter and has introduced lots of useful and aesthetic updates to the app. I expect this app to see a lot more usage by big brands in 2015.
  • LinkedIn: Obviously this social media platform gains popularity every year, simply because as time goes on, it becomes more and more useful for people to market themselves professionally to other professionals and companies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told at college that I NEED a LinkedIn account and it NEEDS to have this and that included. I even had assignments given to me that were to make one that represented a large portion of my grade. This year, simply by making a connection with a guest speaker, I was emailed an opportunity to interview for an internship. Beyond that, LinkedIn is a great tool for B2B marketing and is growing every year in that area as well. For example, since I follow RedBull’s  page on LinkedIn, I received a   message stating, “now that you’re in the working world, what better way to stay productive then with RedBull! Follow these instructions to get complimentary RedBull sent to your company’s office and share the productivity!”
  • Twitter and Facebook: Of course these two powerhouses won’t slip in popularity this year, but I would say they won’t be making major jumps in popularity either. Both are introducing new features to increase revenue from advertising, and to help companies using their platform make money and advertise as well.

How will Pinterest and Twitter change for business?

  • Twitter: Twitter is constantly trying to improve the way businesses can use their social media platform, from introducing a free analytics feature, to their Twitter ad service which lets companies preview posts before publishing. Recently Twitter began testing out new features and announcing some others. They now have a Buy Now button capability making it as simple as one click from a post to where a consumer can purchase a product. New features include seeing what people you follow have “favorited” on your timeline, allowing your post the chance to be seen on someone’s timeline who currently doesn’t follow you. They are working on continued improvement of their Twitter search tool; I doubted the true impact of this, so I tested it out and within 30 seconds of me submitting a search, I found a post that led me to an expert’s blog reviewing a Bluetooth speaker and offering a giveaway promotion for it, which I signed up for. The new audio card feature which allows a user to tap on a song shared in a post and play it as they continue to scroll down their timeline. (I HAVE WAITED SO LONG FOR THIS FEATURE!) It should really be a helpful feature for up and coming artists or music blog accounts. Music is the main reason that MTV was recently called the most loved brand on Twitter, according to Hootsuite research.  Instant Timeline is expecting to roll out next year as well, which is an easier way of constructing what shows up on a timeline and who to follow if you are a new user. More apps that increase Twitter’s usability (besides just Vine for businesses) are expected in the coming year and two new ad features, quick promote – similar to Facebook’s boost post option – and also quick to call which is an option to call a phone number right from a post via a button.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest has potential to change a lot for businesses in 2015. Hopefully the social media platform continues to improve their sponsored ad content, analytics tools, and other basic features. The way Pinterest will change for business next year is that for some of them it will be a must! Obviously the basis of Pinterest as a social media platform will fit the trend that will be one of the biggest next year, image and video. Pinterest has already proven to be a good social media platform to use for growing a business; companies like Nordstrom’s have up to 4.4 million followers on Pinterest. Any company that is a good fit and can tell their brand story through images and videos should be on Pinterest.  I also expect Pinterest’s male users to grow in 2015, mostly because of  increasing popularity in clothing companies such as Urban Outfitters. I have male peers who use the site for business casual and professional wardrobe ideas for their work image already. One last thing to keep in mind with the image trend on the rise, is that anything that’s associated with an image on Pinterest will be coming up more often when that brand or product is searched because of theses pins and post, drawing more attention to your brand or product and Pinterest itself as well.

How can businesses create better content on social media?

  • Be unique! A perfect way to explain this is this example. THE FUN NUT (@TheFunNut) has over 8,000 more followers then the brand that it is associated with, Skippy Peanut Butter. Of their tweets, 79% have been Replies, so engagement is the key for this profile.  Some of their best tweets get over 100 retweets, boosting its awareness and replies. This character – The Fun Nut – is also a part of a television campaign for Skippy and it is a great example of media integration.
  • Image and Video. If you did not pick up on this yet, IMAGE AND VIDEO is the most biggest trend that will increase in 2015. It will help all marketing numbers grow for businesses in the coming year. There are many social media sites, many of them extremely popular, that companies can start using right now. Pick what works for your brand and see what the new year of social media will bring!