Top Social Media Trends Impacting Marketing Decisions for 2015

Social Media trends in 2015 for Marketers

Social Media trends impacting marketing in 2015

1. Social Media Marketing has become essential to content marketing

Marketing practitioners now understands that social media is key to content marketing since it is one of the best ways to amplify content. The two most important aspects of content marketing is publication and distribution with social media been recognized as the most effective method of expanding the reach and visibility of of published content.

2. Facebook ad pricing will  increase significantly increase

The reach of Facebook posts have been decreased significantly in 2014, which is a serious problem for business owners who are using this platform for marketing purposes. This steady decline in reach is what has been coined the Filtered Feed Problem.

As Facebook continues to limit the number of posts page fans actually see, the demand for promoted posts and ads will continue to increase. This increase in demand will drive up the pricing. According to an Ad Week article earlier this year, 2014 Q1 Facebook ad pricing was up 10% over 2013 Q4 pricing. This trend is likely to continue into 2015 as organic post reach continues to fall.

 3. There will sharp increase in users on Twitter’s new business advertising model. 

Twitter is now offering businesses more choices and flexibility in how they create their ads and what they pay for. The new fee structure allows businesses to pay for certain performance-based actions rather than just retweets or clicks. Check out Twitter’s advertsing platform here.

These objective-based campaigns, which are still currently in beta, will offer more flexibility including tweet engagements (retweets, replies, etc.), website clicks or conversions, app installs, new followers and leads. These campaigns will be particularly appealing to small business owners who want to pay for results, not just for brand visibility.

4. Google+ is changing to bring more value to marketers

With the failure of Google’s Authorship experiment, it was felt by some that Google + did not bring a unique value to the social landscape and after the highly publicized departure of Google+ chief evangelist Vic Gundotra earlier this year  Tech Crunch felt the platform was quickly making the descent into obscurity. Having read Google CEO Larry Page in his statement about Gundotra’s departure and the fact that there a number of newly release features convinced me Google will not kill off Google +. The social network and user data infrastructure of Google is not going away.

The Google+ team has released new features such as Google+ polls and Google My Business.  Google+ polls allows you to poll other people on Google+ and learn what they think about a particular product, service or topic . Google My Business connects you directly with your customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+. Google My Business also puts your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ so that your customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.

5. Instagram will become essential for image-based social media marketing

With over 200 million monthly users, Instagram is the network for image-based social media marketing.  According to the Social Media Marketing Industry report, 42% of marketers are planning to increase their use of the platform this year, compared to 38% in 2013. Instagram will also continue to grow in the micro-video space. With both Vine and Instagram vying for billing as the top video networking site, the platforms have continued to differentiate themselves from the other offering different features, video lengths and editing capabilities. However, I believe we’ll see Instagram begin to outpace Vine as we enter 2015.

And with the recent emergence of Instagram’s in-feed video advertising, marketers will now have the option of paying to target their 15-second videos to users based on age, gender and country. While some have called the new video ads incongruous, the new feature is a welcome addition for marketers looking to promote their wares to Instagram’s young, affluent user base.

6. LinkedIn will widen the gap as “the” B2B social network
LinkedIn has been the top network of choice for the B2B crowd for years already, and I believe we’ll see the gap between LinkedIn and other networks continue to widen in 2015. According to the 2014 Social Media Examiner survey, 88% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, compared to 89% for Facebook and 86% for Twitter. I believe 2015 is the year LinkedIn will surpass Facebook for B2B marketing.


As 2015 progresses, it will be rather interesting to see how marketing professionals take advantage of these trends to build brand awareness, increase customer loyalty and drive sales. Do tell us what is working for you or share with our readers what other trends you have identified for 2015.



7 Benefits To Increasing Your Facebook Page Likes or Fans

1) Facebook Users Spend Almost 150% More Money Online Than Non-Users

A well documented study by eMarketer found that the people who used Facebook spent almost two and a half times more money online than those that did not use Facebook.  The heavy users, who are the ones that hit the like button the most, spent an average of $67 online as opposed to $27 spent online by non-users. 

2) People Who Click the Like Button are the Most Engaged Facebook Users

According to Facebook…

“People who click the Facebook Like button are more engaged, active and connected than the average Facebook user. The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.  As publishers work to identify the best ways to reach a younger, always on audience, we’ve found that the average “liker” on a news site is 34.”

3) Showing Up First in Facebook Search Results

Facebook has more traffic than any other site in the world, including Google.  The two key components that determine Facebook search results are the number of likes a page has and the keywords used in the title of the page.

4) The Viral Syndication of Content

The more fans you have, the greater chance you have of your posts going viral.  Facebook reports that the average user has 130 friends.  This means if you have 10,000 fans, then you have a 1st level reach of 1.3 million Facebook users (10,000 fans multiplied by 130 friends each).  This is the power of Facebook.  One great post could lead to millions reading your message.

5) More Traffic to Your Website

Here are some impressive recent stats from Facebook integration with businesses…

  • The average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.
  • Users coming to the from Facebook spend 85% more time, read 90% more articles and watch 85% more videos than a non-connected user.
  • Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010 and has maintained those levels since.
  • When a Ticketmaster user posts a specific event they are attending, or may want to attend, to Facebook, it generates $5.30 of direct ticket sales.

6) The Higher Your Fan Count, The More People Will Like You

On Facebook  some people decide whether or not to become a fan based on the number of fans you already have.  Having over 200 Likes will effect on how many people choose to like your page.

7) The Facebook Fan Count is the New Better Business Bureau Stamp of Approval

If you place the Facebook widget in a prominent spot on your website, then it can dramatically influence the conversion ratio of your entire site.  By seeing that 100s of people have recommended or liked your page on Facebook, it gives your website visitors a perceived sense of trust that leads to more conversions.


Make Your Transition To Facebook New Business Page Easy

On March 30thall Facebook Business Page will look differently. If it has not been done, Facebook will automatically update all business pages to the Timeline format which personal pages now have. If you wish to see what your present business page will look like, select the preview option in the Facebook advisory message at the top of  page.

Preview the new format of your page and tweak it before publishing

You can choose to adopt this format now but here are eight important things to know that will help to make this transition as smooth as possible.

1. Cover Photo

The first page your fans will see will have a large image or cover photo. You can now use your own cover photos at the very top of your timeline to show a new, striking visual layer to your service or product offerings.

The image is quite large and it will be public, so choose something or have an image created that represents and enhances your company and brand. If you are into retail like Walmart you could use this image.

Walmart's cover photo reflects the brand

If you want a really memorable cover photo, there are third-party applications such as SiteCanvas, my and Cover Creator that can create jazzy cover images using your photos.

The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  •  Price or purchase information, such as “30 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  •  Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  •  References to user interface elements, such as ‘like’ or ‘share’, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

2.  A Smaller Profile Picture

The height of the profile picture has drastically changed and is now only 180 by 180 pixels. You could use your logo or another image that summarizes your brand so visitors will know immediately what you are about.

3. Changes To The About Section

The about section has long been a part of your Facebook page, but now it’s more predominately featured at the top of your timeline.

About section for companies with a physical location

It’s important that you update this section of your timeline, depending on  which of the two versions of the about section applies to your timeline.

i) Local businesses: If your timeline is associated with a physical location, then it will look like the image on the right.

About section for companies without a physical location

ii) No physical location: If your timeline features a brand without a single physical location, then it will look the  image on the right.

The section lets you add a description of up to to 255 characters. It’s important to be extremely clear and concise, giving first time visitors a clear understanding of what your company is about since this is on the fist page they will see.

4. Default Landing Tabs Will Be Things Of The Past

Facebook has removed the ability to create a default landing tab, so if you have one your customized welcome tab will not be the first page new visitors to your site will see. Instead they will see what will be your cover photo and Business Page time line. You can use your other customized tabs  and they can now be up to 760 pixels wide.

5. Photos, Likes, and Apps Are At The Top Of The Page

Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.

With 12 apps make sure to have your most important ones first


6. New Administrator Panel

The administrative panel is small, compact and track all  activities on your page. You can see at a glance your new ‘likes’ , who comments or share your post. The insights of post engagement and reach are displayed on a graph which is easy to understand.

7. Message Fans Directly

Now people can contact you privately using messages. Notifications about new messages will appear right in your admin panel.

8. You Can Change Your Business Page Name

Another great this that this change brings is the ability to change your Facebook Business name. If you did not make the best choice for your business page name, you can now request to change it by using this link .

As Facebook continues to grow, develop and change we can be certain that more changes will come so be on the look out. Do feel free to share with us any challenges you face, comments or questions you might have as you transition to this new Facebook format for Business Page.


4 Practical Ways To Get Your Satisfied Customers Talking About You

Satisfied customers leads to repeat business and referals

The key to turning your business into a social media marketing success is focusing on what is already making your business great, then enabling your customers to spread the word about your exceptional products or services.

Here are some practical ways for linking your customers’ experience to the power of their endorsement, which will, in turn, bring more customers to your business:

1. Start with exceptional service – Provide your customers with positive, memorable experiences which will help to set you company apart from your competition. When you’re customers are passionate about you they will spread the word about your business to their friends and colleagues. For any social media marketing campaign to take off, you need to have all-out fans willing to share their great experiences.

Eugene Wood, Licensed and Certified Massage Therapist

Recently I went to Eugene Wood for a massage and got such a tremendous relief from  tension in my neck, shoulders and back he did not have to ask me to speak about it. Everyone who I met heard about it.  I took the time to Tweet and Facebook about it. I felt so good after that massage, I found it very easy to share my experience and was able to use social media to reach more people. I am a convert. I recommend  my friends and family to him as well as going back time and time again for his special touch.

2. Engage your customers with interesting content through E-Mail Marketing – Great service is a first step in building a passionate fan base, but the next step involves extending the experience outside your four walls. E-mail marketing helps you reach your passionate customers when they are not in your store by sharing news, tips and other information through periodic communications.

The benefits of e-mail marketing go beyond simply keeping your customers informed. The basic act of asking for an e-mail address strengthens the bond between your business and your customers because they are entrusting you with a piece of their personal information. In addition, e-mail newsletters are easily (and often) forwarded to and shared with friends making this a simple first step towards leveraging your customers’ contacts, if they choose to forward along your messages.

James Erhlein of Extreme Wellness Spa runs an excellent email marketing campaign with the help of Skylark Networks and The Hispanic Network.  The weekly and monthly news letters, done by Robert Saunders of Skylark Networks, are well crafted and beautifully laid out  with offers you find hard to refuse. You feel compelled to forward them so your friends can benefit from these offers. Maria Morales-Prieto of The Hispanic Network distribute these newsletters through her extensive network of business owners and professionals.

3. Help your passionate customers spread the word– Forwarding an e-mail newsletter is still a great way for your customers to spread the word about your company, but social media marketing provides a lot of other ways, too. Make sure you put the top social media sharing button, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in your emails to make it easy for your emails to be shared. Put them at the very top of the newsletter so that it is very noticeable.

Relax, Refresh and Rejuvenate at Extreme Wellness Spa

4. Turn casual acquaintances into passionate customers through smart use of your Facebook Business Page – Sharing information with friends is essential to social media marketing and using Facebook Page to engage your most passionate customers will quickly increase awareness of your business among their contacts. This is why providing content to your most passionate customers is so important: Give them something worthwhile to talk about, and they will gladly share it with their friends. Some examples of items your business could post include:

  • Details on new products, or changes to existing offerings
  • Specials, deals, discounts and coupons
  • News on upcoming events
  • Information about community functions and charitable organizations your business may be participating in
  • Offers, prizes, rewards and contests

If the ultimate goal is to convert as many people into passionate customers as possible, then it all comes back to providing a great customer experience. Use social media marketing to lure customers into your business, where you can wow them with the kind of exceptional service they heard about from their contacts. And if these new customers heard about your business via social media, try to get them to sign up for your e-mail newsletter while they’re there. When they do, you will know you are on your way to another passionate customer, and your efforts will spin onward to their friends.

Do share with us how you  get your satisfied customers or clients to speak highly of what you do to their family, friends and business associates.


7 Social Media Techniques To Improve Your Events

Live tweeting at the Audience Conference 2010

Events are extremely useful to marketers because they allow face-to-face, direct contact with their potential and current customers. Furthermore, events are useful for developing stronger connections with target markets, getting immediate feedback on products and services as well as addressing customer concerns.

Social media and social networking can be used to help promote events in advance, as well as motivate attendees to engage more deeply with the event during and after it takes place. Here are some helpful techniques you can use to connect your events with your online activities.

Connecting Before an Event

1. Facebook Events

Making your target attendees aware of your event is clearly important and Facebook events application is a great tool for achieving this. Creating Facebook events makes it easy for your connections to know when the event will be, where the event will take place and what kind of activities they should expect.  Make sure you have as much information as necessary to clearly indicate the value of attending. If you don’t give your prospects and customers a good reason to be there and get in on the action, they probably won’t.

As your invitees accept your invitation to attend, it is automatically posted to their walls allowing their network to become aware of your event. This gives added exposure to your event and can help your event go viral. You have the option to display the number of persons who accept your invitation on the events page which can encourage others to accept your invitation. Another great feature is the comment section where you or anyone can post great things about the upcoming event. Long Island Entrepreneurs uses this to increase attendance to their monthly business networking event.

 2. Twitter Updates

Twitter is an amazing way for you to let your followers know about upcoming events taking place offline and to give them little reminders leading up to the event without being too intrusive. Use Twitter to share links to your sign-up page if attendees need to register for your event. Twitter can also serve as a great platform for people to quickly ask questions about the event and give people a reason to attend. It’s a great way to build momentum and anticipation for the event as the time comes closer. For example, today I am tweeting every 2 hrs about a free business networking event that I am hosting at Retro Lounge & Grill in Freeport. Included in my tweets is an offer of a free drink to anyone who re-tweets it 4 times.

 Connecting During an Event

3. Live Tweeting

Your prospects or customers who may not be able to attend your event does not have to miss out since live tweets can be used. Live tweeting during events allows companies to engage their audience and make them feel like they are a part of the live event. In addition, it offers an added level of engagement for those who are in attendance. Even if they are at the event, taking part in an online discussion where possible will allow you to interact with your target audience on multiple levels. It also shows them you care that they took the time to attend your even. Create a unique hashtag for each event you host and publicize it to both attendees and people following online so everyone can easily follow and take part in the action.

4. Live-Streaming

While of course it would be great if all your followers and customers were able to attend the event you have put so much time and effort into planning and hosting, as we know, that’s not always the reality. Just because your customers or prospects can’t make the trip across the country, doesn’t mean they should miss out on the experience. Consider live-streaming the various speaker presentations throughout your event. This is also a great tactic when you are expecting a lot of people or if there are a limited number of tickets available. It encourages people to still participate and can help to reach a larger audience of people who were unable to attend but may still be interested in the content.

Connecting After the Event

5. Photo Streams

Whether it’s through Facebook, or Flickr posting pictures from your event to photo sharing sites allows your attendees to relive the event and enables those who missed your event to get an inside look at all the amazing stuff that happened during the event. The goal is to make people feel like they missed out on an amazing event that, maybe next time around, they will attend. Encourage attendees to upload their own photos, too. Photos give people a chance to share their personal experiences with the event, creating an amazing connection between attendees, your event, and your brand. See photos taken at events I host as well attend at SM Business Solution Facebook page.

6. Blog Retrospectives

Writing blog post about your event not only gives you a chance to thank all of the people who took the time to attend your event, but it also gives you a chance to highlight what you accomplished by hosting the event. How successful was it? How many attendees did you attract? Describing what you learned by meeting prospects and customers face-to-face will convey how much these interactions actually mean to your company and how important they are you. Here is a post, “The Social media social“, by Robert Saunders that he posted to this site after we co-hosted a business networking and social media seminar. You will see from the comments that were made that we were able to successfully engage our audience even after the event.

7. Recorded Video Content

Use video recording to extend interest after the event

Create videos from the live stream for people to view or download from sites like YouTube. This enables you to reach those weren’t able to attend the live event or watch the live-stream. Hopefully, if you’ve generated enough buzz about the event and kept that buzz going afterward through creating a successful event and generating positive testimonials from attendees, people who felt like they missed out on an awesome event will want to access the content they missed.

Do share with us how you are able to use your online activities to generate interest and increase attendance to your events.