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Social Media Online Video 2015

Four years ago, Cisco predicted that by 2015, over 90% of web traffic would be from Internet video.

2015 is here. Has Cicso’s prediction come to pass? Not quite. In mid-2014, 78% of web traffic was from video. Cisco now predicts that will rise to 84% by 2018.

Video hasn’t been quite as big a hit as Cisco expected. Other content types continue to be popular.

But video is still big. In fact, we expect 2015 to be the year of video. Here are three reasons why…

1. The Stats are on Video’s Side

Over 100 million people watch online video every day. Some 90% of online consumers say they find video helpful in making purchasing decisions. And according to Forbes, three quarters of executives watch at least one work-related video per week (Stats here).

Video is fast rising up the ranks of social marketing – so other content forms had better watch out.

2. SlideShare Has Embraced Video

Back in 2014, SlideShare allowed LinkedIn influencers to start sharing videos on the network.

This year, SlideShare will extend video publishing to all their users.

Dave Kerpen – who has already made several SlideShare videos expects that SlideShare will become the business version of YouTube.

He writes:

Instagram is to Facebook as SlideShare is to LinkedIn. In other words, look for SlideShare to emerge as the key social network for business professionals to find and share bite-sized pieces of content while on the go in 2015.

3. YouTube is So 2005

Okay, we’re kidding a bit here. We expect YouTube to continue doing really well in 2015. But it should take care to protect its place as video’s monarch.

YouTube’s problem? Young upstarts are contending the king of video’s throne. Or they’re setting up their own kingdoms, and ignoring YouTube altogether.

What’s happening, in real terms?

In August 2014, Facebook surpassed YouTube for desktop video views.

What’s more, Facebook and Twitter are giving priority to videos published on their own networks. Other social platforms are likely to follow this course.

YouTube is here to stay. But it can’t afford to get too comfortable.

Your Call

Do you agree that 2015 will be the year of video? What are your social predictions for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments section, below.

2015 Social Media

A new year, a fresh start. That’s the theory anyway. Why not make it real too – at least when it comes to social networking.

This is the ideal time of year to press “reset” on your social strategy. You can take a few moments to make sure you’re getting the best out of the time and money you invest in social marketing.

Even if you’re doing really well with social (great job if you are!), it’s still worth doing a raincheck. The landscape of social media is constantly changing, and there’s no right way of doing social. So it’s always good to make sure you’re on the right path.

Here’s how to make sure 2015 is the year you rock it on social media…

Find Out What’s Been Working Well

You’ve heard the phrase “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. That applies here. Just because you’re rethinking your social strategy doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch.

Look over what’s gone well for you on social media in the past year. For example, you might notice that you’ve:

  • Interacted with an influencer (or influencers) in your niche
  • Received lots of comments from your fans or followers
  • Had a good amount of clicks on the content you’ve shared
  • Performed particularly well on one or two social networks.

You can get some of this information by looking over your social interactions. But you’ll get better information (and be able to see if you’re improving) if you track your metrics. We’ll come to that in a moment.

For now, notice what’s working, and commit to doing more of it.

Throw Out What’s Not Working

Spring cleaning is when you tidy up your house, and it often includes throwing out broken stuff.

The concept of spring cleaning actually comes from the Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of spring. On New Year’s Eve, people in Persia clean everything in their home, as a way of having a fresh start.

So far, you’ve looked at what’s working on social media. Now, it’s time to consider what’s not going so well. This can be tough – because it could mean it’s time to trash projects you’ve spent a lot of time on, or that mean a great deal to you.

When you’re considering what’s not going so well, you might look at:

  • Types of content that doesn’t get shared or commented on
  • Networks where you don’t get much interaction
  • Influencer’s you’ve been targeting who continually ignore you

And so on…

Of course, it could be that you can’t see what’s worked (or failed) on social media, because you’ve been doing very little social networking. If that’s that case, then throw out your laziness, and get to work at making a social splash!

Replace the Broken With Sparkling New Things

You’ve seen what’s working in your social strategy, and you’ve thrown out what’s not.

What’s next? By getting rid of what’s not working, you’ve freed up time to try out some new things.

Remember, social media is an experiment. Not everything you try out will work. But some of it will. So, try out what you’re drawn to, and see how it goes.

Here are some ideas for what you could do.

Find “Influencers” to Connect With

You’ve probably heard that it’s good to connect with “influencers”. Typically, these are people with lots of followers. More followers, more influence, right?

This is only true to an extent. A better way of looking at influencers is to think of the people who can help you because of their position, and the influence they have. For example:

  • If you’re a start up company, then “influencers” could be potential investors
  • If you’re a freelance writer, then “influencers” are the editors who could commission an article from you.
  • If you’re an ecommerce store, then an “influencer” could be a potential supplier you want to get in touch with.

For advice on how to connect with influencers, check out our guides here, here, here, and here.

Try Out a New Network

Which networks should you be using? That all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For most businesses, we’d recommend you use Twitter and Facebook at minimum, but even those aren’t for everyone.

The right networks for you are the places you can best connect with your customers. For B2B businesses, this is likely to be LinkedIn. If you sell a highly niched product, then you might find the best place to connect with your customers is in an old-school forum. Selling interior design or craft products? Then you can’t ignore Pinterest.

So, take some time to investigate the niche networks that could be a good fit for your business. Then go join them!

Make Sure You’ve got the Basics Covered

The bread-and-butter of social media can seem boring, which is why we’ve saved it until last. But if you’ve not getting the basics right, then there’s little point in growing what you’re doing.

Two simple mistakes we often see are:

  • Not scheduling updates. Scheduling updates using a simple tool such as Buffer App will save you a ton of time if you’re not doing it already. It also has an added advantage: scheduling updates means you’ll be following the most basic role of social media – frequent updates.
  • Failing to track your metrics. Keeping on top of your stats is the only way you can discover what’s really working on social media. It also helps you see how you can improve. Tracking stats doesn’t have to be difficult – there are a ton of different apps that will do it for you.

Over to You

What are your New Year’s Resolutions when it comes to social media? What changes are you planning to make to your social strategy in 2015?

unusual business social media

Social networks is a great tool for promoting your brand.

But you can do way more than that with social media.

Here are five ways to use social media you might be overlooking

1. Make a Splash in the Newspapers (Public Relations)

Want to make a splash in the media? Getting your business featured in a news story no longer means writing press releases and pushing them out to journalists.

Instead, you can just share your news on social media.

As PR expert Maggie Patterson explains:

Journalists rely on Facebook to source stories and Facebook itself actively promotes the platform as a “Rolodex” with 1 billion contacts for reporters.

Where your company may have relied on a press release in the past, you can now share your story on Facebook. It provides a low-friction way to report the facts in the case of breaking news or to provide comment on emerging issues that will help get your story to the media and your public faster.

To give the news you share extra oomph!, it’s worth building up relationships with journalists on social media. That way, you can point them to your story when you’ve got something you want them to see. Here’s our primer on finding journalists.

2. Find Out What Your Customers Think (Market Research)

To be effective in business, you need to know your customers. You need to know their likes and dislikes, their wants and needs, their pressing problems.

You also need to know how people view your brand, and get opinions on what you could do to improve your products and develop new products.

Getting this information requires market research. Just a decade ago market research was an expensive endeavor. You had to set up online surveys, or send out researchers to interview your target customers.

Social media completely changes that. As long as you know who your customers are, you can tap into their thoughts and feelings using social media.

You can use social media to:

  • Monitor what your customers are talking about, so you know their everyday concerns and passions.
  • Ask questions directly to your customers.
  • Listen to what people are saying about your brand.
  • Learn the language of your customers, so you can write better copy.

3. Keep Your Customers Happy (Customer Service)

Did you know that nearly three quarters (72%) of customers who make a complaint to a business on Twitter expect to receive a response in under 60 minutes? That’s according to research by Lithium Technologies.

If you’re not monitoring what people are saying about your brand on social media – and responding to complaints – then you’re contributing to the negative image of your brand.

As Anthony Leaper explains over on Forbes:

Irritated Customers have supportive Friends. They may have a few; they may have thousands. The dangerous fact, though, is this: it almost does not matter how many friends they really have. A single Facebook post that describes a jaw-dropping failure on the part of your company may, if stupefying enough or if told in a funny or snarky manner, be repeated, retweeted, “liked,” and “shared” innumerable times.

For an example of this, check out Ryanair’s middle gimp debacle. That’s exactly what Leaper is talking about.

By contrast, if you’re willing to help your customers online, they’ll respond in kind by recommending your brand to their friends and family.

Leaper again:

If you can discover and address an Irritated Customer’s concerns quickly and effectively, then you have a singular opportunity to convert an Irritated Customer into a Delighted Customer. Their delight, particularly if seen by many in the social media world, may move thousands of people into the column of potential customers who are now predisposed to consider your services—when they may have been on the fence before.

4. Uncover Your Business Persona (Brand Development)

Social media is all about building relationships with your customers.

That means you’ve got to be relatable.

Social media isn’t the place for corporate stuffiness. Act standoffish to your followers, and they’ll give you the cold shoulder in return.

Jeff Mancini, director of digital strategy at Interbrand, says people see brands they love in the same way they see friends.

In a Forbes interview, Mancini said:

We feel for brands similarly to the way we feel for friends. The reason we advocate brands in our lives are the reasons we advocate friends in our lives. That is, we genuinely like them.

Making friends with your customers means you must develop a brand persona. Social media is the perfect opportunity to do this. Don’t worry if you’ve not got it all sorted when you start out on social networks. You’ll discover your voice through talking with your customers.

If you need a bit of extra help developing your brand’s person, check out our 72 questions to help you uncover your brand’s persona.

5. Create a Vision Board (Strategic Planning)

Do you yawn when you hear the words “strategic planning” or “business plan”?

Developing a business strategy can be an incredibly dry process. But it doesn’t have to be.

Why not start out by creating a vision board of where you’d like to take your business?

Pinterest is the perfect tool for this. It gives you access to millions of stunning images, and allows you to group them into pinboards.

You can even create several vision pinboards, covering whatever aspects of your business you want them to. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • What you want to do for your customers
  • The types of products you want to sell
  • The mission and vision of your business
  • Your business’s ethos and values
  • The lifestyle you want to have while running your business

Over to You

What are some of the more unusual ways you use social media in your business?