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Social Media Marketing Trends in 2015In my last post, I discussed two emerging marketing trends that will take center stage in 2015 – mobile marketing and content marketing. If you haven’t already included these two rising stars in your marketing plan, now is the time to consider how you can fit them in. They’re not the only marketing trends to be aware of, though. Here are a few more to consider in 2015.

Marketing trends will change your social media strategy

Social Media Marketing There’s a big change in the works among social media networks, and this is one of the marketing trends that is having a direct and obvious impact on businesses that rely on social media for marketing. In much the same way that changes to Google and Yahoo! search algorithms make news when they’re detected, big players in social media (like Facebook and LinkedIn) make the same kind of news when they make changes to their display algorithms. These social media sites use algorithms to determine which items they’ll feature on (and from) users’ news feeds. These featured items get more eyeball time than the non-featured items, and that can either be good news or bad news for marketers.

Sometimes users buy products or services, and they like them so well, they post about them on Facebook or Twitter or some other similar site. “I love my new iPhone!” isn’t really the thing that viral posts are made of, but a social media site will dutifully post the information to the poster’s friends and colleagues. Apple gets a plug from a satisfied user, and that plug goes out to 50 or 100 of the user’s friends and colleagues. This approach has been among the most successful of social media marketing trends in the past, but it’s passive and it relies on the user to pick up the ball and run with it.

Except that now, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites don’t feature those non-sponsored brand messages nearly as much as they used to. The posts are still there, but people may have to go looking for them to find them.

It’s not that Facebook and Company have anything against users posting unsolicited gushes about their favorite products and providers, except that it cuts them directly out of the advertising revenues that companies would pay them, if consumers weren’t randomly gushing for free.

Under the new algorithms, consumers can still gush all they want, but the social media networks have really cut down (by as much as half) the number of non-solicited, brand-related postings they feature in users’ feeds. This is as the heart of the newest of social media marketing trends.

Enter the paid placement. The major social media sites will gladly pass along your carefully crafted, brand-related, bought-and-paid-for advertising placements in lieu of the non-solicited valentines that consumers generate. For some businesses, that’s ok, because consumers sometimes do funny, but not-necessarily-welcome things with your brand. And these social media networks claim to know their users so well that they can determine exactly who wants to see your ads, and who will respond to them. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. If you haven’t at least considered paid placements on social media sites, maybe 2015 is the year you should take a careful look at the emerging social media marketing trends.

Social media is huge in small business marketing. If you’d like more information about social media marketing trends, and what changes you should be considering for your social media marketing plan, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

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