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facebook marketing

The Rise of Social Media Marketing For 2015

With the rapid evolution of the Internet of Things it is now easier than ever for businesses to promote brand reputation, boost sales and increase growth for a worldwide market. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin, are fast becoming the norm over other marketing strategies, as a device for brands to connect with their audiences and develop a more customer-centric approach to sales. Recent studies have found that 42% of the world’s population are active internet users, and over a quarter of the population engage with social media on a daily basis.

Research by Smart Insights asked marketers to rate different marketing channels for volume of leads or sales expected by the business. Only 4% didn’t use social media, compared with SEO at 5%, to display advertising at 16%. The need is more apparent now than ever for companies to stay updated with the latest, continually adapting social media trends, so that they can strategically invest in resources to formulate long-term business opportunities. But which networks are the most popular, and what industries will capitalise from them most?

Here we take a look at the dominant social media trends which have shaped the marketing efforts of businesses in 2015 and how marketers can best benefit from the social networks; plus we’ll consider some of the key upcoming trends for 2016.

Choosing the Right Social Media Network

Published in January 2015, research from the Global Web Index highlighted the most popular social networks by their percentage of internet users. Facebook dominated with 81%, followed by YouTube and Google +, both at 60%. Twitter came in at 53%, with Instagram at 29%, Pinterest at 27% and LinkedIn at 13%. These platforms are fast growing through adapting to mobile users and integrating new advertising strategies. Some of the new developments in the way these networks are increasing their marketing capability for businesses include:

– Facebook: has removed the charge for likes and has made changes to its Newsfeed visibility
– Twitter: introduced the ability to stream Periscope, for live broadcast and recording
– Instagram: there are new Carousel Ads featuring URLs and multiple photos. These can be swiped for users to find out more
– Pinterest: offer buyable pin buttons
– LinkedIn: introduced a Lead Accelerator to target and convert specific users

In an increasingly automated brand to consumer relationship, businesses will need to implement social media to enhance their relations, improve reputation and make their brand stand out from the crowd. But which networks and will allow businesses to be best seen by their target audience and how can their reach be widened?

starting your social media journey

Make Your Business Mobile

Worldwide social desktop traffic in Q2 of this year decreased, while the rise in dedicated mobile web apps and the number of users adopting them caused mobile web share to go up for all social networks aside from LinkedIn and Reddit. Social media sites are becoming more optimised with geo-targeted and real-time content, meaning that advertising on these mobile sites is now greatly poplar as a strategy for business reach and growth. Mobile devices can let you receive ads at every log in into your accounts, whether for a quick check of your Facebook newsfeed or sending a snap via Snapchat. Using these ads will track users’ behaviours, and offer tailored advertising based on their actions.

Finding out whether your target market are using sites on their desktop, or responsive websites or dedicated apps on their mobile devices is key to ensure your business anticipates the needs of customers in line with the evolving social trends.

A More Integrated Social Advertising

This trend looks to customise advertising based on behavioural data on the social media networks. Integrated social advertising has been on the rise in 2015, with the introduction of video ads on Instagram and auto-play ads on Facebook. Snapchat has also capitalised on fully integrated advertising by displaying brands’ ‘stories’, giving users real-time ads targeted to their behaviours.

In-messaging advertising, through a social network’s private messaging function, is also becoming a marketing tool which will shape the future of advertising. Popular social apps such as Whatsapp and Kik, are signing huge marketing deals to boost in-app advertising.

This Rise of Social Video

Videos are ever more popular this year for brands looking to attract consumers quickly and build up a relationship visually. Most social sites allow for companies to display videos and enable great storytelling opportunities for increased consumer trust. Vine, Snapchat and Instavid are some of the dedicated social video networks which can be used by businesses to promote products and pave a unique identity in a compelling way.

Video is set to increase further throughout the rest of 2015 and over next year, Facebook is hoping to overtake YouTube, as it already experiences one billion video views a day, according to the Independent.

Social Media and E-Commerce

A study by SimilarWeb shows the worldwide percentages for desktop social traffic for popular ecommerce industries:

– Wedding: 11.38%
– Clothing: 6.14%
– Antiques and Collectibles: 5.88%
– Publications: 4.17%

The importance of social media as a marketing tool for these industries is worth noting, though businesses should be aware of their target market when investing in boosting social traffic to increase sales; the study showed that a higher percentage of social traffic in India and France was generated from the Ethnic and Regional category, as opposed to the UK and US which saw Weddings take the higher percentage.

The extent businesses should expect to engage with users via social networking sites, will depend on the interest in the specific industry for social activity. Changing your marketing strategies to fit in with the latest social media trends may not necessarily improve business if they do not fit in with your industry and the needs of your customers.

If you feel your business would benefit from implementing a social media campaign, then get in touch with the SEO it Right team on 0121 308 0219.