Social marketing is an ever-evolving process; from keeping up with the latest trends to simply keeping up with the technology, staying cutting edge in this field is tough.
But what if we knew where it was going next? In order to get a jump start, we asked 11 startup founders for their most audacious predictions about how social marketing will change in the new year.
1) We’ll See More Video
Image-based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram ruled 2014, but 2015 will be the year of videos. I expect marketers to increase leveraging YouTube's large social network. With improvement of video reach on Facebook and rumors of video-based advertising coming, I expect more videos on Facebook as well. Videos will be huge in 2015.
As organic Facebook audience engagement continues to decline, Facebook will become less and less important in the overall social marketing strategy for brands. With ads reaching fewer than 2 percent of opt-in fans, in many cases, and sponsored ads being largely ignored, brands will increasingly turn to other channels to deliver their most compelling content.
3) Users Will Continue to Turn to Mobile for Brand Interaction
Social marketing is already extremely mobile, and the percentage of users interacting with brands on their phones is just going to continue to rise. Expect mobile messaging apps like LINE, Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp to become a more integral part of social marketing in 2015.
At some point, as a public company, Twitter will fall prey to the same problems Facebook did: having to please shareholders with integrating more ads into the stream. The early adopters will hate it, and they will voice their displeasure.
The rise of mobile is clearly changing the landscape of the online world, but I think next year will push marketers’ mobile strategies from important to essential. The landscape will continue to evolve to the point where companies simply can’t afford not to have defined and focused efforts on mobile devices.
Though Path failed to effectively grow and scale, Yo, Snapchat and WhatsApp have demonstrated how powerful private messaging is and how engaged users are when they know someone's actively thinking about them. Soon, I expect brands to create one-to-one experiences that average consumers will eagerly expect each and every day.
The best PR campaigns are those that are cohesively integrated between social media and public relations. In 2015, social media should be used to complement a PR campaign to drive continued media exposure and the interest of editors to your business. Utilize social media to share press placements, connect with bloggers and get on the radar of editors while executing multi-channel campaigns.
9) Social Media and Wearable Tech Will Begin to Merge
I think you'll see social media marketing and wearable tech begin to merge. For example, shooting a business video with Google Glass and posting it on Instagram, or getting your social updates via your smartwatch.
Consumers are already saturated with marketing on social networks, and it's a major reason why they leave. Brands will realize that paid social ads drive people away and will start to see that social marketing is worth less and less of their time. Instead, they will invest effort in developing a social media presence that passively attracts consumers instead of forcing that presence onto their social feeds.
These answers were provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Originally published Jan 2, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017