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At the end of March, I took part in the Social Media Marketing World Conference in San Diego, United States. I learned a lot of great things that I can use when working with our brands and media channels as a social media specialist at Alma Media. However, these are the points that I intend to promote myself, so I picked up these seven trends in social media.
It was made quite clear that Facebook rules the roost. Yes, Pinterest is good for someone blogging about crafts, Instagram for a fitness brand and Twitter for a charity to promote their brand, but Facebook walks over everything with its sheer weight.
There can't be many industries where Facebook would not be the biggest generator of social media traffic. And even if it's all about 'pay to play', a combination of a big organic reach and a few euros cleverly spent will take you much further than any other social media channel.
Facebook changed its news feed on 25 March 2015 so that you can now embed videos directly from Facebook to a website. This means that Facebook is now also a video publishing platform.
At the same time, the changes to the algorithm ensure that these native videos, i.e. videos uploaded directly to Facebook, reach larger audiences. Native videos are now also on Twitter (max. 30 seconds) and Instagram (max. 15 seconds). Is your brand making native videos yet?
Live television is the latest TV trend, while live video is 'the new black' on social media. Twitter's Periscope and the start-up app Meerkat are hot at the moment.
Some media, such as the Washington Post, Mashable and People, joined in immediately and now stream live videos of interviews, press conferences and small news bulletins about the topics they'll be publishing in tomorrow's online or printed paper.
Nobody browsing the internet this winter could avoid seeing the term 'employee advocacy'. A couple of companies who had tested employee advocacy programme described their experiences:
None of us wanted this, but it just turned out to be one. Twitter is still the fastest feedback channel, but by far the greatest number of feedback comments are posted on Facebook. Each message must to be addressed, on every channel, every time.
Research shows that, by 2020, online customer feedback about a product or service may be a more important factor in decision-making than its price.
At the moment, the perpetual debate about the return on investment seems to focus on the value per dollar spent.
Only a couple of years ago the seminars in America were all about soft objectives, brand value and engagement rate - now it's all about the clicks and money coming in.
Don't think that you could call yourself a social media marketer if you don't constantly analyse your actions. Always include UTM codes for links (and don't accept the comment that including UTM would be 'difficult' or that it 'complicates the process'. It doesn't.), use tracking pixels everywhere (shocking but true: 90% of Fortune 500 companies don't use tracking pixels yet!), and social media must be included in basic marketing reports in as much detail as everything else is.
Which do you think is the most interesting trend? Comment below!
Business manager and social media specialist, Alma Diverso
LinkedIn: Heli Ruotsalainen |Twitter/Periscope/Meerkat: @heliruots| Skype: helialma | Instagram @ruotsalainenhm | Snapchat: ruotsalainenh | Pinterest: helir | Tumblr: TotuusHQ | WhatsApp/Telegram: +358 50 438 28547