Social Media in 2015: Trends & Networks to Watch

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Ever since the launch of social networks, with each passing year, the average user’s attention span has become shorter and shorter. Many people just don’t have time to upload a ton of photos from their vacation to Facebook, and even more people don’t have the time or desire to scroll through them.

The new wave of social networks is perfect examples of the social media ADD that users today have. Smart marketers should keep the following in mind when creating their strategies this year:

  • Less is more: Why spend a ton of time, energy, and possibly money on a Facebook campaign when you could launch a well-planned, clever Snapchat or Vine campaign that will resonate more with your target audience and stand out?
  • Think visual: Whether it may be images or videos, the new social networks are very visual. Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and the new live streaming apps are all examples of this. Remember this, and don’t structure your campaigns the same you would as on Facebook.
  • Play the field: More than ever, cross-platform campaigns are working. Because eyeballs—and attention spans— have never had as many screen options, it can be wise to create marketing campaigns that reach across multiple platforms.For example, launch a “teaser” on Snapchat, a corresponding image campaign on Instagram, and related Facebook and Twitter campaigns.
  • Never stand still: If you become stagnant in your marketing strategy, you’ll miss the boat on the next best thing. A new app can have the same chances of being the new tech darling as it does to crash and burn. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the newest apps on the market.
  • Video is here to stay: As you can see by the list below, live streaming and video sharing is here to stay. Whereas in the past you may have been quick to bypass video as a marketing strategy for your brand, it may be time to re-think that.

Below are a few of the buzziest new social networks and what you should know about them.

MeerkatMeerkat is a live streaming app that is directly linked with Twitter. Users sign in with their Twitter credentials, and are able to Tweet real-time on whatever Meerkat feed they are viewing. The video disappears once the feed is over.

When a Meerkat user selects “stream” from the Meerkat home screen, a tweet is sent out from their Twitter handle. Streams can be scheduled in advance; a second reminder is not sent out, so most folks Tweet a reminder to get followers to tune in when their stream actually starts.

Viewers can see how many people are watching it, and can participate in the Twitter conversation happening. Commenters send an @ reply from their Twitter handle to their tweet that announced the stream. So, although the video is fleeting, the conversation happening around it isn’t.

Is it for you? For viewers, Meerkat is perfect for those who want to follow events and people in real-time; for example, sports events, celebrities and musicians. For brands, if it is a good match for them, they may be able to capture effectively users’ attention with behind-the-scene tours of events or interviews, or your company’s process. Think of strategies that scream “exclusive”.

PeriscopeLike Meerkat, which it often is compared to, Periscope is also a live streaming app. One of the key differences between the two is that Periscope’s video is saved and able to be viewed for up to 24 hours after the broadcast, while Meerkat’s ceases to exist after it’s over. In March 2015, Twitter acquired the app which is currently in beta.

Is it for you? Although beta-users describe Periscope as being more polished, becoming acquired so soon after Meerkat’s arrival on the scene—and all the buzz around it—may be to its detriment. We’ll have to see how it pans out in terms of which one influencers will pick to stream from.

SnapChatSnapchat is a video and photo sharing app that launched in 2011. Its premise is that these vids and pics’ lives are fleeting; now you see them, then you don’t. Snapchat’s environment is a casual one, comprised of users’ images and vids of vacations, nights out, daily activities, meals, etc. It’s casual and fun.

Is it for you? If your brand decides to add SnapChat to your marketing mix, it’s important to remember just how fleeting its content is and how to make that work for you, and also to make sure your content is fun and can connect to a broad audience. There are approximately 26 million users around the world, and around 400 snaps are sent out each day; with so much activity, integrating Snapchat into your marketing plan can be wise if done correctly.

Vine – A video-sharing app that allows users to film very short, separate videos so that they can be linked together for a total of 6 seconds. Then, the videos are viewable directly in the Twitter timeline, or can be embedded in a webpage.

Is it for you? Many creative brands have already been utilizing Vine. Smart strategies include using Vine as a way to post a “teaser” of sorts in order to build anticipation for a brand, event or product. Oreo has done a brilliant Vine series featuring magic tricks carrying the #oreomagic hashtag—it’s been so successful that other Viners have adopted the hashtag.

We’ve outlined just a few of the major new social players and a few of the recent trends. We hope this