So 2015, what you got for us?

Here we are, three weeks into January already and I’m wondering how the festive season flew by so quickly. For most of us, fabulous summer holidays at the beach are but a distant memory. Perhaps, like me, you’ve stubbornly resisted the urge to wash the sand off your thongs in a vain attempt to deny reality, but on the whole, it’s all work work work.

Bugger! Never mind though, Scoot has been hovercrafting over that other tropical paradise – known as the web – on your behalf and has compiled this list of really cool social media and content marketing tips and trends to help skyrocket your business in 2015. No need to thank us, just share the article instead. And of course give us a shout if you need a hand with any of it. There’s a good poppet!

  1. Two words … video baby!

    Video is now the most shared medium on social media. ReelSEO reported that in 2014 there were 75% more videos uploaded to Facebook than in 2013. If that doesn’t impress you, this will. Facebook users watch a staggering 1 billion videos every day, 65% of them on mobile devices. According to IT giant Cisco, video will account for 70% of all internet traffic by 2017. Clearly then, if you’re not using video as part of your digital content offering, you are dudding yourself out of a vast bucket of potential followers, advocates and customers.

    Don’t panic. We’re not talking epics like Ben Hur. Short and sweet is definitely best. 15 seconds on Instagram, 6 seconds on Vine or up to a couple of minutes on other channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter. By all means make longer films, but if you want people to actually watch them you’ll need to put the effort into creating a slick and engaging production. Lights, camera, action!

  2. Pictures paint a thousand words.

    You’ve never heard that before, right? Well, cliché or not, a great photo will beat a great essay every time. Which isn’t to say don’t write and share essays and other wordy content, but be sure to include an eye-catching image or two to entice readers. Even Twitter’s truncated format responds to a bit of photo love, with posts containing an image statistically more likely to be retweeted than those without. Yes, you do sacrifice around 20 of your 140 characters by adding an image, but wouldn’t you rather your posts were shared? In a nutshell, society has become steadfastly image-driven, so make it easy on yourself and give the people what they want.

  3. Be as smart as your Smartphone. In fact, be smarter!

    Mind boggling as it may be, 1 billion people will access the Internet exclusively from mobile devices in 2015. That is a huge number of people to ignore, which is effectively what you are doing if you haven’t gotten around to making your website ‘responsive’ yet (which means it automatically detects whether visitors are using a desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet, and adjusts the layout accordingly). Put another way, if your website doesn’t work properly on Smartphones and tablets, you can kiss goodbye to 1 billion potential customers. So, if that isn’t 1 billion reasons to take action, I don’t know what is!

  4. Driftnet prospecting is out, targeted content marketing is in.

    Forget the old 10% rule of mass mailouts to your entire contact database in the hope of scoring a few hits through sheer weight of numbers. Aside from the obvious wasted effort, such ‘driftnet marketing’ methods can be irritating and spammy for recipients, and damaging to your brand. Thanks to social media, you can now identify people with some degree of interest in your brand, product or service, and market specifically to them. As an added bonus, analytics allows you to easily measure the success of digital campaigns so you know exactly what return on investment (ROI) you are getting every step of the way. Happy days!

  5. You get what you pay for.

    Yep, time to wave bye bye to unlimited free publicity across the social media universe. Facebook’s departure from allowing business pages to share content with followers for free was widely reported in 2014. By tweaking the site’s algorithms, content now reaches less than 1% of followers organically (ie for free). So if you want your posts to reach as many of your Facebook fans as possible (of course you do), you’ll need to allocate some budget towards paying to ‘boost’ posts. No need to boost every post, unless you’ve got deep pockets, because fans sharing your brilliant posts will do some of the grunt work for you (so make sure they are indeed brilliant!). But you’ll certainly want to boost the big stuff like product launches, sales, fundraising initiatives and events, to make sure people don’t miss them.

    The good news is it’s really easy to specify how much you’d like to spend, for how long, and on which posts etc. And it’s economical in the scheme of things. The bad news is, well, it used to be free and now it isn’t! Other channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are heading the same way, but for the time being at least, you can still reach up to 20% of those audiences without paying for advertising.