5 Social Media Trends Marketers Need To Know Now

There’s some pretty exciting stuff happening in the social media realm. The top networks are undergoing some hefty updates that will change your 2015 marketing strategy. Facebook weeds out pushy salesmen, Google+ dies as a social medium, and Twitter continues to impress us with significant changes to its interface and functionality, all while elaborate robots invade our personal Twitterspheres. Catch up with five of this week’s leading headlines for social media trends you need to know now.

1. Why 100,000 followers on Twitter isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Big brands and A-list celebrities have built their social media following fraudulently without even realizing it. Fake followers (read: @abcd123) with nonexistent profiles, which were created solely to increase the number of an account’s followers to the passing eye, are nothing new. Now, social media robots have fully developed face-to-name profiles with substantial followings, personality-driven posts and are programed to actively comment, “favorite” and share triggered posts.

These rule-breaking and forbidden bots are bringing in some serious cash. New York Times columnist Nick Bilton describes this phenomenon that has taken over some big names on Twitter. Learn more in his eye-opening story, “Social Media Bots Offer Phony Friends and Real Profit.”

2. Social posts aren’t interchangeable; create content for the right platform.

Quite a few social media marketers believe that after creating a piece of content, scheduling social posts and pushing to the masses is a piece of cake. Here’s where they’re wrong: A post that is appropriate for LinkedIn is not always appropriate for Facebook or Twitter, and vice versa. This goes beyond the piece of content you are pushing. The language you use in the post, the length of the content and even the punctuation you use varies from platform to platform.

HubSpot breaks out best practices for each social media channel in “How to Craft Perfect Posts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.”

3. Facebook will punish product pushers in 2015.

We’ve witnessed Facebook giving a “thumbs down” to many social media marketing tactics this past year and 2015 will be no exception. The platform is making serious strides in creating a space that produces only valuable information to the right people. One of the latest efforts involves banning overly promotional posts in news feeds.

The algorithm change stems from the idea that people go to Facebook for entertaining content. Companies that are pushing products or bribing users to enter social sweepstakes with no valuable information are undermining this spirit. Learn more about this movement from ClickZ’s article, “Facebook to Ban Overly Promotional Posts in News Feed.”

4. Post IPO pressure drives Twitter to make revenue-driving changes.

After the social network went public last year, we’ve seen significant updates in Twitter’s interface and functionality – for the better. Some anticipated changes in 2015 focus on the mobile app interface as well as launching stand-alone apps to compete with Facebook’s “Messenger” app and “Pages” app. Mashable recaps “The New Twitter” in their article this week, “Twitter: What to Expect in 2015.”

One of the most recent Twitter updates that marketers should be aware of is a mobile feature that allows users to tap a tweet in their feed and “Direct Message” it to a friend. As marketers, our goal on Twitter is to create sharable content. This new feature encourages readers to engage with that content in a whole new way. Check out TechCrunch’s post, “Twitter Now Lets You Share Public Tweets Via Direct Messages” for more details on how this feature works.

5. See who made 2015’s “Hot or Not” list, including Ello, Google+, Facebook and more.

Forbes’ much anticipated “Top 10 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” released this week by contributor Jayson DeMers. One prediction DeMers didn’t foresee this year was the rapid rise of Ello, and he doesn’t think it will be a short-lived fad.

Things don’t look as bright for Google+, however. The platform failed to provide any unique social network features that Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn don’t already have. The one major benefit of Google+ that DeMers did not mention is the fact that this platform drives SEO in a big way. So yes, it’s time to hang up the Google+ hat as a social media product, but don’t be so quick to quit your efforts in this space. Check out Skyword’s article, “Expert Says Google+ Is Still the Future of SEO.”

What are your social media goals for 2015? Please leave your comments below.

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