More businesses than ever have joined the ever-increasing amount of social networks. With advertising, shopping tools, lists, hashtags and every type of sharing platform you can imagine, there are a number of reasons why businesses want to jump on the double-decker bus that is social media marketing. Hashtags are showing up everywhere today. From TV commercials to Sunday paper coupons, it’s clear that social networks are also infiltrating almost every type of advertising medium. In 2015, social networks will have a greater influence on the way that businesses communicate to consumers and to other businesses. There are also many indications that social media currently plays a huge factor in the way sites are ranked in search engines as well.
1. The Growth of Social Paid Advertising
Every major social network has some kind of paid advertising platform. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all offer ways to help businesses reach consumers and even get sales through their social media ads. Advertising through social media will increase and even become more targeted in 2015. Here’s some facts:
- Businesses using ads in Facebook users’ newsfeeds receive 49 times the clicks than those ads just in the sidebar.
- Brands using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates find 45 percent more engagement than those posts on Twitter or Facebook.
- Businesses can actually pick from three different types of paid ads on Twitter including tweets, trends and promoted accounts.
2. The Rise of Specialized Social Networks
Some popular social networks already have a particular audience such as LinkedIn or Pinterest. However, businesses should expect other social media platforms to become popular this year like ThirdAge, Meet Pips, Untappd, Ravelry and Gentlemint. These niche social networks have very specific audiences, but they are gathering a lot of members.
3. Google+ to Play Major Role in Social Media
Google has made it impossible to overlook Google+ as it looks to integrate with YouTube and make its presence even more essential to businesses trying to rank higher in the Google search engine. Google has reported that more than 300 million people use Google+ each month. Businesses that use Google+ are rewarded when they use Google Authorship, which means that writers of blogs and articles online must now have a profile in Google+ in order for a rich snippet to be shown in search engines. VR Business Marketing own blog uses Google Authorship. It’s also a great way to increase your authority and add another egg in the SEO basket to rank higher, at least in Google.
4. Businesses Become Publishers
High quality content is all the rage when it comes to social media. It’s not simply about pushing products and promotions anymore. Businesses have to be able to engage with their fans and customers by publishing photos, entertaining blogs, interesting articles and funny videos. A good team of writers, analysts, designers and marketers can make any business into a celebrity online. Content strategies have to focus on social media as a way to drive traffic and build up a site’s notoriety on the web.
5. Social Media for Everything Business
Businesses are also turning to social media networks more than ever. They’re looking for new people to hire, drive leads and service customers with better information and products. Social media profiles for businesses also create brand awareness and make it easier for people to find what you’re selling whether it’s online or in-store. Most people live half of their lives online, so it’s important for business owners to look for employees, partners and customers where they are living every day.
6. Go, Hashtag, You’re Free!
While the hashtag used to just a Twitter thing, hashtags can now be seen everywhere. They’re on television, in advertisements, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Businesses have to learn about hashtags and increase their awareness of ways to use these for marketing purposes. It’s a great way to promote keywords and also get the attention of customers.
You may not have read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck, but it’s essentially all about trendjacking or how to write content that gets people engaged with your brand. The basic premise is to scour social media content for the day and find some trend that relates to your brand in some way, even in a creative “who’d have thought” way, and write a content piece to quickly release on your blog. Many businesses do live tweeting during big events like Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” which happened during the 2013 Super Bowl Blackout.
8. Focus on Quality
People are looking for newsworthy content that matters to them. In social media especially, it can be difficult to find something unique or a brand new perspective to take a twist on something, but that’s why it is so valuable to readers. If you focus on high quality content for your readers, you’re golden.
9. Always Be Relevant
The right social platform, keywords and hashtags for your business will make all the difference when you have relevant content. You have to produce compelling and engaging content in order to make your visitors pay attention, but it also means engaging with what your audience likes to do. If you are trying to cater to a very active type of person with a fitness brand, you could create a photo contest about wearing your products while “in action.”
10. Go Mobile
Social media also offers more benefits to users because you can be accessed easily from any device. Even if you don’t have a mobile main site, if you have a social profile on Facebook or Twitter, people using a mobile device to look up an address or find information about your products can still go to your social media site. It’s important to always update your profile and keep it fresh for this aspect alone.