Social Media: 4 Factors to Focus on in 2015


In 2014, we saw video apps take off (mobile video impressions grew 350%), new networks like Yik Yak and ello emerge, and a movement toward high quality images and “Images for Information” instead of plain text or standard images.

We also saw some epic social media wins and fails. Winners included NASA, the ALS Foundation, and Always. Brands that made missteps were American Apparel, the New England Patriots, and Union Street Guest House.
Lessons were learned, and it’s time to look forward to 2015 and what lies ahead. Here are 4 focus areas that we feel will be critical for social success in 2015:
1.     Paid Social Spend and Microtargeting
You’ve probably heard a statistic like this recently…
“U.S. social media advertising revenues will grow from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2018…This year represents the greatest year-over-year jump in social media ad revenues, growing to $8.4 billion in 2014, largely due to increases in mobile and native advertising.” via BIA Kelsey.
So, it’s time to EMBRACE the ad. Ads allow you to microtarget and reach the people that you need to get in front of the most. Start out by choosing an objective for your ads – what do you want your ad to do for you? Both Facebook and Twitter offer objectives as the first option when you begin to create an ad.
An example of microtargeting is Twitter’s TV Targeting. It lets you select shows or networks in order to target your ads to people who are engaging with those particular segments. Using Twitter TV Targeting, Quaker Oats was able to reach and engage busy moms. The promoted tweets saw:

  • -A 15.93% engagement rate, which is a 708% increase from the average rate for Consumer Packaged Goods
  • -A Cost Per Engagement of $0.16, an 84% decrease in CPE compared to the average for Consumer Packaged Goods

The trend of TV as a two-screen experience can work for brands who harness the power of microtargeting. Read the full case study here.
2.     Facebook’s New Algorithm
In November 2014, Facebook made this announcement:
“Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages. According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:

  • -Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • -Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • -Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads”

So, what’s the number one thing you can do to stay in the News Feed?
Post with personality, not promotion. Here are a few examples of brands that are already doing this:
Facebook-Visual-Content-ExamplesVisual-Content-on-FacebookTo post with personality, you need to have a firm grasp on what that personality is. Which brings us to…
3.     Brand Voice and Personality
Need help finding or tweaking brand voice? Here are some questions to consider:

  • -What is your company’s purpose? What are your values?
  • -What do you do better than anyone else in the field/industry?
  • -What are some key words that you find yourself and others around you using often to describe what you do?
  • -How does your audience speak to you? Can you develop a voice that matches their tone?

Need inspiration? Here are some brands that do a great job with brand voice on social:
Brand-Voice-On-Social-Media 4.     Niche Networks
All brands should not be on all social networks. However, if your audience is there and you’re confident that the network aligns with your brand voice, consider jumping into the conversation.
Social-Media-Niche-Network-IconsExamples of niche networks include Snapchat, reddit, Yo, and tumblr. Big brands like Nissan, Amazon, and Disney have all had success with niche networks. These networks can be valuable for brands, but be sure to research the platform(s) and have a game plan before diving in!
Key Takeaways for Social Media in 2015:

  • -Embrace the ad – on Facebook and beyond
  • -Use microtargeting to reach the right people
  • -Post with personality, not promotion
  • -Audit your brand voice to make sure it aligns with your values and your customers
  • -Research new networks and carefully evaluate whether they are right for you

Happy 2015, we wish you success on social (and beyond)!

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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