Social Media has a wide variety of uses that have not been fully utilized, or as Professor Kane sometimes remarks, “we’re just scratching the surface.” There are a few ways that I can see digital marketing, product promotion, and collective interest being used to capitalize on the medium’s ability to reach individuals. But, for everything else, I would like to offer and comment on some of the predictions people suggest will come to fruition. My source material was compiled by Carlos Gill, who is a contributor for Social Media Today and penned (read: typed, I mean, does anyone really write anymore) an article offering 30 predictions for social media in 2015. Because it just turned February and it is still early in the year, I thought it would be interesting to review some of the predictions and comment on a few.
To begin with, there may be an uptick in employment applications through social media. Sure, Linkedin is at the top of the list for companies doing this well; However, I found it interesting that companies are finding utility in using Facebook to micro-target and hire talent:
@teedubya: “Social Media is evolving and factions of social media are localizing. Many teens and pre-teens aren’t getting on Facebook, as they are on Snapchat, Minecraft, Xbox Network, and more specialized non-traditional social platforms. They are socializing online, just not in the same ways as older demographics. I’d expect this trend to continue. Another thing that I’ve noticed is more human resources departments are utilizing social media to help them find ideal job candidates. One of my clients asked me to use social media to find them 3 hard-to-fill roles and I used Facebook ad micro-targeting and drove candidates to their current boring landing page to apply. We got 17 applicants resumes and made 3 hires. Their combined salaries were over $400,000, and the total ad spend cost me only $209.”
What is more, if you were thinking that social media in the work place would take a little more time to catch on, think again. Social Media is going to receive more attention and use by companies who merely opened accounts and tweeted infrequently. Glen Gilmore, a Forbes Top 20 Social Media influencer, notes:
@GlenGilmore: “Businesses will continue to invest more heavily not only in social media marketing, but also in social media training for employees. As enterprises deepen their understanding of social business, more employees will be tasked with plying social media skills for marketing, customer service, social selling and recruitment. This will take social media management out of the hands of the few and disperse it throughout organizations. This will create training and compliance curves that will put a premium on social media crisis management skills. Big data and the ‘IOT’ will take center stage and require social media marketers to sharpen their understanding of both.
And, the same is true for brands:
@SocialMediaSass: “For 2015, brands that used to believe Facebook was just for socializing with friends and family will change their mentality. They will see social media as the new media. Video is where it’s at, and more so, in 2015.”
While the aforementioned trends are poised to pick up, there is a strategy that social media marketers must unpack for their utilization of the medium to be effective. Keying in on the right topics, and ignoring the noise will serve social media marketers well. Chris Penn, a VP of Marketing Technology
@CSPenn: “Most social media marketers will still not get strategy right. Part of this is because so many people have entered marketing from non-traditional avenues (via social and digital) without formal training, and part of this is because strategy itself is so incredibly difficult to nail down. It’s made doubly worse by shiny object syndrome, as people flock to ever greater distractions in their marketing worlds, from simple things like Ello this past year to Big Idea things like Big Data. Without sensible social marketing strategy, the shiny objects will just make things worse, not better. For those social media marketers who have gotten strategy right, 2015 will be a more successful year than ever because they’ll be able to pick and choose what things are worth paying attention to and what things are just diversions.”
And, Kim Garst, a Forbes Top 10 social influencer, makes a great point:
@KimGarst: “In 2015, the terms “digital marketing” and “social selling” will converge into a more cohesive set of core strategies for business owners. Successful marketers are going to have to embrace a system to give their prospects information and content that educates and gives value around their products and services. Today’s consumer is savvy and time is extremely valuable to them. Those that can effectively give value in a way that is quick and easy to connect with and buy from are going to win.”
To be sure, I agree with KimGarst. For example, I don’t appreciate when companies market information in a piecemeal fashion–Teasers tend to annoy. Quick and direct marketing really does the trick for me. Does anyone actual like their marketing trickled out? Enjoy suspense?
Aside from these comments, there weren’t many that I flat out disagreed with. One of the predictions, from business strategist Jay Baer, I don’t think will come to fruition at all. His prediction is that:
@JayBaer: “Facebook will surpass YouTube as the most important video platform and Instagram will surpass Twitter as the second most-important social media platform.”
And, I just do not believe it will hold true. While Facebook has done a terrific job figuring out how to properly and seamlessly integrate video, I do not think it will surpass YouTube. There are a fair amount of people who make videos and live off of the checks that YouTube pays people. Are people going to abandon that and post on Facebook at a higher rate? Additionally, I do not see people leaving behind Twitter and Instagram taking its spot. But one thing is certain, when it comes these kind of speculative predictions you’re merely proven right or proven wrong.