Upcoming Social Media trends

Ever since ‘All Things Digital’ came into the equation of marketing, its world has tumbled. Even after 7 years of ‘Big Data’ we still haven’t fully adapted ourselves to one thing i.e. ‘Virtual Reality is Real’.

As digital changed the world, it also changed the avenues where brand could speak about themselves. Magazines were replaced by the blogs, TV was outsmarted by YouTube & smartphones became the primary screen for advertisers. But that is not all. 2015 is coming to an end and with its end we brace ourselves for new trends that will drive digital from here on.

1. Digital Property- Website: –
Websites are the new assets of the brands. Its their very own ‘Real Estate’ in the virtual space. It is not controlled by Facebook, Twitter or Google. It is a very important tool to keep the audience interested in your websites by providing them with engaging content. Backed by a blog it should be a content hub for the visitors.

2. Social Media Properties: –
The social media profiles of a brand is another asset of a brand. If the site gives you content then your social media profile acts as channels to distribute that content. Social Media is an important tool, which grants you multiple exposure for same communication. It is important to invest in digital content assets and global distribution networks.

3. Crowd Sourced brand Content: –
What is more loved than a communication from a brand? A communication created by the audience about the brand. Crowd sourced brand content is the next trend in driving social media. It is always expensive & time consuming to create content on your own & even after that, audience might just dismiss it as just another advertisement in all the chatter. On YouTube alone, that brand’s fans were creating 99% of the content that mentioned the brand. On YouTube, there are 4 basic kind of videos: I-want-to-watch-what-I’m-into Videos, I want-to-know Videos, I-want-to-do Videos, I-want-to-buy Videos. Figure out where your brand might fit, compel your audience to create the content & let the crowd sourced content do its work.

4. Rise of Social Media Tools : –
Marketing is now amplified by technology & science. The art of marketing is being slowly enhanced by the data and with it came various marketing tools able to keep track of it. Marketing effectiveness is also able to be measured for impressions, engagement and clicks. We now have the ability to measure almost any data point. Measurement is the most important reason why brands are turning more & more towards it.

5. Mobile First: –
Mobile was called the second screen but that has been flipped. It is now the primary screen for most. As per google’s report in March 2015, mobile traffic has finally overtaken desktop traffic. This development will change many ongoing practices in digital world. Brand will need to have a responsive website to keep up with the google algorithms & guidelines. Many brands will remove the website support for desktop & transcend to the app-only class. The mobile platform will grant brands many opportunities for unskippable or extremely personalized mobile ads derived from the gathering of data from such devices. However, the consumers response to such developments at current trend will probably won’t be very amicable.

6. Paid social media marketing: –
There was a time when social media was a free tool for marketers. However scenario is quite different now. Facebook has reduced its organic reach for pages to almost zero. Now, if you want to reach your target audience, you have to pay for it. Not only Facebook but all the social media sites are in on this game. Targeted social media advertising has worked wonders for brands such as coca-cola. However it is extremely important to keep the track of your investment on social media & returns received.

7. Influencer marketing: –
Online Influencers and niche bloggers have become a big part in the science of digital marketing. They provide the brand with a boost by entwining their views with brand communication. This helps the brand in acquiring a greater share of consumers brand. Influencers provide this with global reach as well as credibility and trust garnered from their followers. Brands pay such individual who are suitable to brand image & maintain a complimentary relationship with each other.

8. Virtual Reality: –
Virtual reality evolved into virtual reality experience when Oculus rift came into the picture. This tool allowed the brand with the platform make the unreal, real. Even when VR was in it’s early days, the big investment from tech giants like google & Facebook set it in center stage for everyone to behold. It’s already being used by number of brands in the combination of digital & offline to leave a lasting experience on consumers. UME.net’s ‘Living With Lag’ is such an example of fabulous use of VR for creating successful brand recall.

9. Wearable Technology: –
After VR Next in line is the wearable technology. Apple watch has already begun to set the footwork for it. This will be another platform with which marketers will be able to reach consumers at any-point anywhere.

10. Communities Will Overtake Pages: –
As Facebook is already gearing more & more towards pay to play style, more people will start to divert towards groups & communities. On such platform, it is possible to have one on one conversations with others with the benefit of minimally filtered feed. On social media, that is turning more & more into a just another media channel groups & communities offer a rare chance to ‘Socialize’ with stories, conversations & experiences. It is an important step that results enjoyable interaction, builds trust and ultimately results in sales and revenue.

– Gaurav Modak

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