Social Media Grows Up: The Road Ahead For 2015

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At the beginning of the new year, it’s good to look towards the future. That’s why Forrester recently released its social media predictions for 2015: the year that ‘Social Media Grows Up’.

According to Forrester, the social media landscape of 2015 will be marked with evolutions instead of revolutions, and marketers will exploit the benefits of establishing a good social media presence. Here’s what 2015 has in store:

To learn what 2015 has in store, we asked Cameron Joye, Marketing Manager for Engagor, to discuss social advertising, privacy concerns, media regulations, and to find out the best ways to connect with consumers in 2015.

How can you evaluate how important social tools are in your customers’ life cycle?

Our customers are digitally minded, so using our tool is most likely a pretty essential part of what makes their lives easier. The best way for us to really determine how valuable our services are to our clients is by keeping a close eye on their individual usage. How do we evaluable usage? We drill down deeper and look at how often they log in, how many hours are spent daily within Engagor, what sorts of features do they get the most value and use out of, which social networks they integrate, what CRM integrations do they utilize, how they analyze the data they retrieve, and so on. This all gives us a very valuable insight into the way our customers think and how we can continue to improve Engagor.

How critical is social advertising? For brands with limited budgets, where should they focus their marketing spend?

As any successful company knows, it’s essential to identify who your customers are and how to reach them through their channel of choice. People are more digitally connected than ever and are increasingly online whenever and however they want via their mobile devices. Brands who aware of current consumer trends already know by now the important role social advertising plays in reaching their target audience. Social media also offers a great way for companies who are looking to reach new potential clients who may have otherwise never heard of their product or services. Companies now have a more approachable platform from which to reach out to new and existing customers, establish and nurture relationships, and show a more personal side.

With a limited budget, it’s most important to first consider which social network is going to help you reach the most people. What is your demographic and where do they spend their time, connect with friends and family, and express their interests? Use your budget wisely by identifying a primary social channel where you know you have the best chance of reaching that target audience.

What impact will privacy issues, such as Snapchat’s social data breach, have on social engagement?

Thus far, we haven’t seen any major change in engagement in terms of Snapchat’s user base. Quite the contrary, engagement rates are steady and continuing to climb. In the words of TechCrunch, “Snapchat has grown a big enough, stable enough and engaged enough user base that any one bad PR incident won’t be the company’s downfall.” However, it seems inevitable that we could be approaching a tipping point where we could begin to see more issues similar to this begin to crop up more often. It will be interesting to see how attitudes develop towards privacy issues in the digital landscape, how this will affect social engagement, and how brands intend on protecting themselves and their users in the future. We are, after all, making up the rules as we go and pioneering.

In 2015, are consumers looking to connect with brands, or are they most interesting in connecting to other consumers?

Most definitely both but towards different goals. Customers will continue to reach out to brands increasingly in the next year for their customer service needs. This will only be accelerated by the fact that more and more brands will also be handling more customer service needs with a digital mindset. On the other hand, consumers will always reach out to one another when it comes to getting true advice and insights when purchasing products and services.

From a brand perspective, when analyzing your target consumers, how do you determine who is most likely to engage with your social content?

Typically the people that you also talk to via other channels: live, on the phone, via email. Not only the ones that really love your brand, but also those that frequently reach out for customer support. We have a tool that is continually being optimized with changes and new features. Obviously people have questions and sometimes issues pop up but that doesn’t mean they will no longer support your brand. If you are able to help them out and offer outstanding support, they will show their appreciation on social media. It’s all about offering an integrated customer experience.

How will stricter social media regulations impact a brand’s ability to connect with their audiences on social?

While stricter social media regulations will mostly help industries like banking, insurance, etc., this will only force brands to continue to be creative and innovate the digital and social space. We’ll continue to see companies experimenting with uncharted territory trying their luck with outlying social networks and perhaps even creating platforms of their own. We certainly won’t see brands being pushed out of social any time soon.

About Engagor

Engagor helps companies to efficiently monitor and analyze all online activity around their brand, competitors and industry. Brands can effectively manage and engage across all major social networks, millions of blogs, forums and news sites. Engagor works with leading companies, such as McDonalds, Ikea, Volvo, Weight Watchers, and the European Parliament. Learn more about Engagor here.

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