Once again, Ideas in Motion Media carried on its annual tradition, asking active Northwest Indiana social media users what they see ahead in 2015 in the digital media world. What's going to stay? What's going to go? What's going to boom?
Thanks to all for their responses, which you can read below. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Nat Finn, Baked Finn | Facebook | Twitter
My guess is that you'll see the market continue to hedge towards immediacy and privacy. Platforms like Snapchat and their copycats show individuals desire to not have everything they do documented for prosperity. And now with this new one, Plague, folks don't even have to know anyone to converse with them.
There are other platforms like Ello that had a buzz, now a backlash, but it continues to pick up customers and innovate. With its enhanced user experience, there's a chance it nudges back in - especially with the release of its app.
Other Social Media networks continue to mature as well. LinkedIn's app no longer sucks. Pinterest continues to be a prime source of ideas. Twitter realized folks don't want to click to see images - and apps like Hootsuite, after 5 years - realized the same. It's become a more visual social media world.
Otherwise, SEO became more small-business friendly with Google's algorithm updates, with Panda becoming more sensitive and Penguin learning all over again that folks want local listings when they search local.
And email continues to mature. Marketing Automation with lead nurturing is becoming more applicable to businesses as companies compete to make UX interfaces folks understand to accompany the results they deserve.
Video will remain a hot source, but the game has been upped for quality with all the new editing apps out there.
Chris Mahlmann, Ideas in Motion Media | Facebook | Twitter
I forecast that this is the year that many major companies recognize they do not really understand online and social, and enlist real talent internally or externally to help. One where they learn the difference between agencies or media that say "we know digital" and the ones that actually do is vast and like anything worth doing in their company, done best by a human that knows what they are doing. I see more owners and managers realizing it and being more comfortable doing something about it and leading it rather than just doing what somebody told them they should. Auto dealers have the longest way to go as a category, though healthcare and banking are large industries where many organizations have the opportunity to go from dabbling to truly utilizing the power of their website, email, social, and mobile networks of communication. It is the year of authenticity in my mind where the traditional nature of a broadcast network of communicating where the audience is captive and your ad displays whether that be TV, print, or radio social network is recognized for it's common inherent limitation as one way communication efforts. Companies that succeed will talk with their audiences, not at them. 2015 is the year that smart organizations perform for real online and not just play at it.
Michelle Andres, Group 7even | Facebook | Twitter
I predict that this year, we will see people looking at social as an integral component of their marketing mix instead of an afterthought or stand-alone medium. As we work with clients, this concept is really starting to resonate. With all mediums, they can be good alone, but they work much better when utilized together. If social media is still a separate function in your company and is not as integral to your marketing mix as radio ads, SEO, and print ads, 2015 should be the year that you reevaluate and reap the positive ROI that will follow.
Darlene Cohn, D Cohn Communications | Facebook | Twitter
It's time to stop looking for the next Facebook or Twitter, that's for sure. No one will replace the behemoths, but specialized social networks with localized interest groups continue to grow. (More research for marketers? It's all good. We love it.) Video gets easier, snazzier, and cooler all the time with tools like GoPro and new apps so expect even more from YouTube.
Brett Fuller, Ideas in Motion Media | Facebook | Twitter
If I was a bettin' man, there's going to be another big "thing" out there that doesn't really exist yet. Don't see any of the LinkedIn/Google+ hitting it big, but something else is bound to.
John Marx, JM2 Web Designers | Facebook | Twitter
2015 will definitely be an interesting an exciting year for all of us that deal in the online world. In our December 22 Newsletter we came up with the following as some of the core items that will be happening. Being that digital marketing is more than just social media as it encompasses your website as well as search engine needs our list is quite broad but I believe all on target. These are in no order of priority either.
(1) Responsive Web Design (RWD),
(2) Structured Data,
(3) Digital Marketing on social media is not a more is better (people will start being social online and let their personas out),
(4) Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
(5) Local Search (part of SEO),
(6) Content (It's King after all!),
(7) User Interface (UI) and User Experience will become more important,
(8) Calls of Actions will become more important, and
(9) Security will continue to move forward in all of our minds (or rather should be)
Dave Woodson, Prime Real Estate | Facebook | Twitter
I just posted this on Twitter as a response to this question...I look for a return to blogging for many small businesses with enriched meaningful local content and even hyper local content and yes VIDEO.
Video is in everyone's hands and can be uploaded in just a few moments in many forms in as short as a Vine as snazzy as an Instagram to a long form SEO'd YouTube for the masses.
Brandon Vickrey, Valparaiso University | Facebook | Twitter
I predict that 2015 will be another year of change in the digital media world. I believe that the fall of Facebook is on the horizon. In the digital age, something can fade away as quickly as it reached prominence. Though it currently seems a long way from falling off the map, the first signs of Facebook’s demise are beginning to surface. Most teenagers have already moved away from Facebook, and middle-aged individuals are likely to do the same as soon as the right alternative network establishes itself.
Twitter will continue to thrive because of its organization and simplicity, as opposed to the cluttered nature of Facebook. The emergence of a second powerhouse will take place, as Twitter alone will not lead to the fade of Facebook.
The majority of businesses will continue to underutilize social networking, and the opportunity to expand a network and reach a social media audience will continue to be pearls before swine to most seasoned entrepreneurs. Those businesses that hire employees trained in social networking will thrive.
Stacey Schoof Harris, Morse & Harris Marketing | Facebook | Twitter
What I find intriguing is not the actual platforms that will continue to grow, but the manner in which we as a society use them. For example, how individuals utilized Facebook and Twitter in regard to the fallout from Ferguson.
Social Media in general continues to grow as a soapbox for people to stand upon and shout their views - sometimes without real discretion or attention to the repercussions. I believe we will see Social media as a whole continue to gain strength as a tool for freedom of speech for those who before may not have been heard.
Wade Breitzke, We Create Media | Facebook | Twitter
I'm seeing the pay for play market ready to make or break the business side of social media. Organic content is unfortunately harder and harder to be seen. Once businesses decide to invest in social media, I'm interested in seeing how much more attention they give it now that it's part of the monthly overhead.
Steve Dalton, Cender and Company | Facebook | Twitter
I see 2015 as the year that we stop differentiating between social and seo and other strategies and the whole lot of digital marketing becomes a niche. Why use social without a great web or mobile site? Why seo if no original content. Chris' point about agencies is great! During the recession a whole lot of so called experts cropped up in social and seo. Anyone and everyone was an expert. It's high time businesses start learning what an expert actually is and how to measure their efforts.