Social media trends continue to drive business decisions and change the marketplace. Early indications for 2015 are that this movement will continue to accelerate. Here are five of the burgeoning social media trends that may affect the way you and your company do business and the way in which you choose to use social media for marketing, customer service and even payment.
Customer Service via Social Media
The arrival of business on social media such as Facebook and Twitter flipped the traditional relationship between a business and its customers. Now, customers sometimes seem to have the upper hand in presenting the public face of a company to the world. As a result, customer service matters once handled in private now become broadcast to millions of people. The need to monitor your social media presence and respond instantly to praise and complaints is so vital that it may necessitate some rethinking regarding how your customer service department is structured.
Counting "likes" and retweets is simply not enough any longer. As businesses increasingly realize that their social media platforms are not necessarily reaching their customers, the demand for new analytic methods has grown. New analytics software is hitting the market to allow you to understand how clicks and follows translate into sales. The more you understand the actual monetary value of your social media efforts, the better you can plan the kind of targeted marketing that only social media can deliver.
Social Media as a Wallet
Mobile payments are poised to become one of the great social media trends. Already millions of people use their iPhones to make purchases via Apple Pay, and Square can turn any small entrepreneur into a credit card hub. Watch as Facebook, PayPal and other well-known websites move into the payment arena. Ease of payment via social media platform may easily become one of the key elements customers use when choosing where or how to shop.
Shopping via Social Media
While some businesses have found it frustrating that they can't translate their social media presence into direct sales, that's poised to change in 2015. Twitter and Facebook have both beta-tested the equivalent of eBay's "Buy It Now" button, allowing users to impulse-shop via their phones. This social media trend bodes well to allow retailers to see "likes" reflected on the bottom line.
New Technologies on the Horizon
While new technologies often seem to come and go at the speed of sound, it's crucial to keep an eye on large social media trends within tech, always remembering how quickly one device can change everything, as the iPhone did not too many years ago. Start planning your marketing strategies for wearable devices now. Pay attention to the tech that your younger employees are using so that you can take advantage of changes that percolate from the bottom up.
As social media trends continue to evolve more quickly than the typical pace of change in the business world, keeping up with the trends may seem difficult. However, if you keep your eye focused on where these new developments are leading, your company can move into the future well-prepared to handle the new era in marketing, customer service and sales.
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