For three days last week, approximately 1800 digital marketers gathered in San Diego for Social Media Marketing World.
Social media thought leaders, entrepreneurs and strategists—leaders in this particular industry—presented 77 different educational sessions that addressed nearly every aspect of digital and social media for business. These folks shared their insights and made themselves available to attendees.
To say that there was a lot of information flying around would be an understatement. The sessions were rich with the newest and best tactics and strategies.
The one constant in this particular field is change, and educated speculation about what’s hot and what’s coming next are valuable nuggets for social marketers.
After returning home, I took a few days to look over my notes and created a list of the coming trends in social media, and some of the things to look for in the near future
- Facebook recently announced they are reducing the organic reach for businesses to just 2% of their audience. That means the site may no longer be the best investment. While having a presence there is still a must, and you should continue to post, marketers need to determine if paid reach on that site is right for them.
- With Facebook’s announcement, Facebook Ads give marketers the ability to reach not just their fans, but many more. They will become more important to brands that want to stay on that site.
- An alternative to Facebook is blogging and creating new content on a site you own. 58% of marketers say original content is the most important content. Marketers should consider focusing on gaining blog subscribers over Facebook LIKES. As you create content, keep in mind it should be Relevant, Interesting, Timely and Entertaining (RITE). Successful businesses are beginning to think of themselves as media companies, creating fresh content regularly.
- Google Plus will also become more important as brands de-emphasize Facebook and focus efforts there. 65% of marketers say they want to learn more about Google Plus.
- Podcasting is a wide-open medium. With approximately only about 250,000 podcasts out there, and a growing audience that consumes this content, podcasting is under-served and brands should consider moving there. Car manufacturers have also struck deals with Apple to allow iPhone functionality in their vehicles. So listening in cars will become bigger. Cliff Ravenscraft of the “Podcast Answer Man” podcast calls the practice, “The single, greatest thing anyone can do to increase their business.”
- Social Media sites continue to be great channels for increased exposure and traffic for brands. Social use was up 92% this year, compared to last year’s increase of 89%.
- Mobile continues to grow in importance and use. By 2015, more users will connect via mobile than any other device. Marketers should optimize their online content for mobile.
- Visual assets continue to be a major focus. 70% of marketers will increase their use of visuals this year.
- What does the future hold?
– Wearable tech.
– Widespread use of filtering apps that will allow only approved content to reach the user.
– Augmented Reality apps that will immerse users in online worlds of play.
– A digital layer that will surround the Earth and connect us all.
- In this environment, being more human than your competition will lead to success.
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