The social media landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace.From mobile domination to the ever-increasing impact of visual marketing, 2014 was another year full of change.However, one thing remained the same. A stagnant, or worse yet, non-existent strategy left many at a huge disadvantage.So, how can you look to the future and determine what trends will impact your company? And how can you integrate new trends to improve your social media results in the coming year?I was thrilled to join Buffer last week on #BufferChat where we tackled this topic. We discussed social media trends, goal setting and 2015 predictions that will impact your social media strategy.If you're ready to hit the ground running in 2015, read below for the top trends that should dominate your social media strategy.
Dominate Your Social Media Strategy
QUESTION 1 - Why is a social media strategy important?
A1: A social media strategy allows you to be intentional and strategic, giving you focus and purpose.
A1: A social media strategy allows you to be intentional and strategic, giving you focus and purpose. #bufferchat— Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) December 17, 2014
A1: Strategy means you’re productive, not busy. You implement a daily plan that propels your business forward.
A1: Without strategy - you lack a roadmap, you lack purpose. #bufferchat — CBarrows (@CBarrows) December 17, 2014
A1: Strategy focuses on telling your story, encouraging deeper, more significant relationships.
A1 “If you don't know where you are going any road can take you there” - Alice in Wonderland #bufferchat— D. Scott Smith (@d_scott) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 2 - What are some key statistics to reflect on in the past year?
A2: There’s 80 million US millennial’s - 63% say they keep up with companies on social. How are you staying relevant?
A2: There’s 80 million US millennials - 63% say they keep up with companies on social. How are you staying relevant? #bufferchat — Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) December 17, 2014
A2: Pinterest is a mover and a shaker grabbing 41% of the Ecommerce traffic compared to Facebook’s 37%.
A2. (I don't have the stats) The figures on Pinterest traffic are phenomenal for most blogs. Don't ignore Pinterest next year. #BufferChat— Angela Alcorn (@AngelaAlcorn) December 17, 2014
A2: Content with images get 94% more views than those without. Consider this as you look to spread your message.
A2. Also reputation building - is your social strategy getting interviews for articles, backlinks, speaking opportunities? #bufferchat — Kathryn Hawkins (@kathrynhawkins) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 3 - What were some surprising social media trends of 2014?
A3: The resurgence of podcasting. Everyone is telling you that you need a podcast :) #bufferchat— Jeff Sieh (@jeffsieh) December 17, 2014
A3: Businesses learned to “show, not tell” as users continue to trend towards a visual marketing experience.
@robzie_ @RebekahRadice The more bizs learn to be storytellers, the better results they will continue to see. #bufferchat — Kalynn Amadio (@KalynnAmadio) December 17, 2014
A3: Companies finally realized that investing time and money into social media is a requirement, not a luxury.
@buffer A3: It was nice to see brands experiment visually with @vine and @Snapchat, and creating infographics #BufferChat— Syed Kashif Ali (@West_Syed) December 17, 2014
A3: Competition for attention is fierce and mobile is a driving force in capturing consumer attention.
A2. If content is king then context is god. And the only way to have good context now is to learn to cater to mobile users. #BufferChat — Dom Garrett (@DomGarrett) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 4 - Looking ahead, what are some trends for 2015 in social media marketing?
A4: Brands will be more available than ever to their audience, engaging in meaningful two-way conversations.
Brands striving to be more human and engaging is a happy trend I've witnessed! It's creating a more dynamic social environment! #Bufferchat— Madison Jones (@MadisonJonesHR) December 17, 2014
A4: Content marketing is no longer an outsourced concept, but moves in-house as a joint companywide effort.
A3: LinkedIn Publishing -- great trend that got traction late in 2014 & I think will be bigger in 2015 #BufferChat — Kristin Linde (@kristinlinde) December 17, 2014
A4: Mobile, mobile, mobile! Mobile departments will grow as app and ad development continues to expand.
A3 - The mobile revolution. Right now it's close to 80% of users engage in social media through a mobile device #bufferchat — Matt Banner (@BlastYourBlog) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 5 - What platforms might be more important to focus on in 2015?
A5: Depends on your goals/audience, but Facebook isn't going away. Twitter is still growing. Visual networks: IG & Pinterest #bufferchat — Kimberly Reynolds (@KimReynolds) December 17, 2014
A5: Instagram has emerged as exceptional opportunity, no matter the industry. It's time companies take a 2nd look.
A5: Depends on your business. FB/G+/Twitter/LI aren't going away, but might be time to look at Pinterest & Instagram in 2015! #bufferchat— Ian Anderson Gray (@iagdotme) December 17, 2014
A5: Snapchat, the little app that gained big exposure in 2014 will continue to become a brand fave.
A5: Visual and mobile platforms. @Pinterest, @Vine @Snapchat, @Twitter... probably something we haven't heard of yet #bufferchat — Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino) December 17, 2014
A5: Pinterest is a key social network and still overlooked by many. It has website traffic superpowers!
A5 LinkedIn/SlideShare, Pinterest and Instagram - 2015 social stars. @buffer #bufferchat— Peg Fitzpatrick (@PegFitzpatrick) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 6 - What is key in crafting attainable social media goals?
A6: Marathon thinking not sprint thinking - set a pace you can keep to for 5 years or 50 #bufferchat — Nick Kellet (@NickKellet) December 17, 2014
A6: Know what you want to get out of social media. You can’t set attainable goals without a destination in mind.
A6: Creating "SMART" goals is always a good approach, and make sure they're aligned with your business goals. #bufferchat— Mike Hale (@MikeHale) December 17, 2014
A6: Research your keywords and create a hashtag strategy around them. Get targeted in your conversations!
A6. Having an attainable goal is dependent upon your understanding of the behavior of the people on the platform. #bufferchat — Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) December 17, 2014
A6: Know your customer and create content they (not YOU) want to read and share.
A6: knowing your audience and being true to your brand. Numbers don't matter as much as the message. #bufferchat— Erin Gunter (@SourcingTech) December 17, 2014
QUESTION 7 - What are the top three blogs to follow in 2015?
A7: Enchanting Marketing from @HennekeD – her writing is educational, inspirational and always
A7: I love Enchanting Marketing from @HennekeD – her writing is educational and easy to digest. #bufferchat — Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) December 17, 2014
A7: Not a blog, but a podcast. The Chalene Show from @ChaleneJohnson - so good!
A7: Not a blog, but a podcast. The Chalene Show from @chalenejohnson - so good! http://t.co/F4grHsQV9s #bufferchat— Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) December 17, 2014
A7: Social Media Examiner, Hubspot, and Buffer via Kristin Linde
A7: Social Media Examiner, Hubspot, and Buffer (my personal favorites :-) ) #BufferChat — Kristin Linde (@kristinlinde) December 17, 2014
A7: Lots of goodies to choose from in this tweet from Michael Boyce!
#BufferChat A7. I read: @unbounce @buffer @AdobeDigMktg @copyblogger @HubSpot @KISSmetrics @Moz @SproutSocial @SMExaminer— Michael Boyce (@mjboyce) December 17, 2014
Social media is here to stay. Whether you decide to embrace it today or tomorrow, one thing is for sure. Without an effective strategy, you're doomed to repeat your past mistakes.It's time to adjust your thinking, adapt to upcoming trends and implement what makes sense for your business.As Max McKeown said,[clickToTweet tweet="Adaptability is the difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win. - Max McKeown via @rebekahradice" quote="Adaptability is the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win."]I don't know about you, but I'm here to win. How will you adapt to win?
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.