2014 was wrought with emerging social networks, developments in paid social media placement, and enhanced personalized experiences using social data as a driving engine. As predicted, ephemeral networks (Snapchat), social CRM, and social listening resonated with booming chatter over the last 365 days, evolving in a way that will make them even more impactful in 2015.
At Rosetta, our approach to social media and our development of campaigns reflect the progression from generating “likes” and “friends,” or fans and followers, to generating tangible business results through new media channels. Social media is an integral part of the overall marketing mix and, in many cases, serves as the first point of entry and often the deepest point of contact for consumers.
Looking forward, Rosetta tapped some of its Paid, Owned, and Earned Media shining stars for their take on new trends happening in 2015:
Lindsey Julian—Associate, Social Media
As the younger teen market continues to decline on Facebook, marketers will need to refocus their strategies to incorporate video and photo-sharing networks like Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine. Teens are looking for a simple, “secret,” and fun social experience that offers the digital freedom they crave.
Casey Rogers—Associate, Social Media
Native video on Facebook is going to be big in 2015. In November, Facebook page owners uploaded more videos directly to Facebook than they did via sharing from YouTube videos. Advertisers are seeing benefits as well, a Heineken Exec Says Facebook Now Rivals YouTube for Video Ads, with a Heineken ad reaching 35 million users in 3 days!
Melissa Pardo—Manager, Social Media
Social networks are getting savvier about using data to enhance a user’s experience, as marketers are noticing that highly targeted messages drive more qualified engagement. With the smartphone becoming a more prominent point of access to social networks, and advances in wearable tech and proximity tech, the user has become a walking inventory of interests for savvy social marketers to tap into for personalized communications.
Kurt Krejny—Director, SEO
Facebook Places, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slideshare, and Flipboard all have high mobile app adoption and are amassing loads of great content to keep users engaged. Search users looking for the right/precise information are more and more likely to bypass traditional search engines like Google, and utilize social content channels directly, in a convenient mobile format. Optimizing social media content for search is still critical to be found on these channels to spark more natural engagement.
Erin Cannon—Associate, Social Media
Instagram will become essential for image-based social media marketing. Instagram currently has 200 million monthly users, and is the top network for image-based social media marketing. In 2015, 42% of marketers are planning to increase their use of this social platform. Instagram will continue to expand its video feature, and could potentially beat out Vine as the top video networking site. Marketers will be able to feature 15-second video advertisements to users based on age, gender, and country.
Matt Nguyen—Senior Associate, Social Media
Integrated marketing will be the standard. As the digital marketing world continues to mature, various media channels can no longer exist in silos. Savvy users are researching and consuming information through multiple channels, leveling out the referral traffic playing field. Businesses that are able to understand the concept of attribution and their customer’s conversion life cycle will see that digital marketing disciplines (social, content, SEO, paid media) need to co-exist and cross-pollinate in order to succeed. Specialty marketing will fall to the wayside and brands will go wherever the customer goes.
Jason Tabeling—Partner, Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
Metrics that incent total business impact (total web and business revenue) will trump tactical metrics. For too long brands have made decisions that focus on individual programs. With the rise of integrated marketing campaigns and the increasing value of social media and mobile tactics, which are harder to value individually, we will have to utilize higher-level metrics to ensure that the entire organization is incented. This will require marketers to work as a collective team across multiple disciplines.
Katelyn Stiver—Manager, Social Media
Brands will need to stop being lazy about content. In 2015, brands will be more focused on the quality of content rather than the quantity, making a point to resonate emotionally with their audiences. The real power of social media isn’t about generating revenue, it’s about building relationships that turn the passive consumer into a passionate brand loyalist, and people are loyal to the brands that they believe understand them best.
Bridget Barrett—Associate, Social Media
Brands will focus on expanding efforts beyond Facebook and Twitter. While Pinterest took its time to jump on the advertising bandwagon, promoted pins will now be open to all U.S.-based brands starting January 1, 2015—an even bigger reason for brands to invest more time and energy into Pinterest. The platform will be offering a program to train marketers on how to better advertise on their network. The “Pinstitute,” which will come in the form of quarterly workshops, will allow brands to learn what kind of Pins perform well, what Pinners care about, and how Pinterest is thinking about their products in the future.
Noelle Pennyman—Senior Associate, Social Media
Consumers will expect a more blended offline/online experience with brands. Brands are already seeing great results with cross-channel marketing, such as Marc Jacobs’ social currency campaign and Nordstrom’s in-store Pinterest displays, setting the bar even higher to develop more creative, thought-provoking tactics to drive engagement and blur the lines of how brands interact with their audiences. These tactics will go beyond the simple “follow us,” “let’s get social,” or “like us on Facebook” signs in order to stand above the saturated environment.
Ellen Curtis—Director, Social Media
Social media and content will become the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of marketing. Content marketing is rising in popularity as a way for brands to engage their audiences, while social media has become a staple to enable and amplify customer conversations. In 2015, we will see the coming together of these two disciplines. Social media teams on the customer front lines will act as the go-to content planners, editors, creators, and curators who know how to get fans and followers to click their like buttons. Together, social media and content will satisfy what marketers are craving—increased customer engagement.
Kara Clark—Manager, Social Media
A conversation with my best friend’s 13-year-old daughter revealed, “I don’t like TV, I just watch Bethany Mota on the Internet. Mom’s driving me 2 hours away to AERO so I can get her clothes.” Americans thrive on an idealistic view of success—our future generations don’t wish to be like Disney stars—they want to be like Mota. They don’t have to jump through hoops and sit through hundreds of auditions. All it takes is a camera and a YouTube account to get started. Brands are already co-creating with celebs and influencers, but 2015 will see a surge in co-creation with the average Joe.
Lauren Hauptman—Senior Associate, Paid Media
Paid advertising on social media platforms will grow immensely in 2015. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are expected to expand their paid advertising capabilities (including Twitter Offers). Other social media sites, including Pinterest and Instagram, are expected to have new advertising capabilities in 2015 as well (promoted pins become available in January!). Audience targeting gives advertisers great control over their ads and often leads to an efficient use of their paid media budget. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on an advertisers overall paid media strategy vs strategizing for each specific media tactic separately.
Sara Lyons—Associate, Social Media
Everyone is a journalist in real-time newsrooms. As brands struggle to cut through a flood of content, it will be crucial to present the most updated, real-time, relevant pieces to consumers. By blending storytelling with brand goals and proper content distribution, marketers have a chance to create a daily content hub for their target consumers and beyond.
View the Rosetta Consulting white papers “Customer Engagement from the Marketer’s Perspective” and “Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective.”