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Five Social Media Marketing Trends In 2015

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As 2014 will be over very soon, it would be good to look at what 2015 hold for social media marketing.

Social media is developing at a rapid rate, so it’s worth taking a look at what direction it will be taking in 2015. We’ll begin our first prophecy with:

1. The Booming of Video Content

While video has become so popular across social media, this trend will be likely to gain a lot more traction in 2015. With the rise of video bloggers that have millions of YouTube subscribers, it won’t be surprising to see brands jumping on the video approach as well.

2. The Demise of Google+

2015 might be the time that Google says goodbye to its own social network for good. The prediction is supported with the fact that Vic Gundotra – Google’s Senior Vice President of Social – announced he was leaving the company back in April and Google killed Authorship back in August.

A lot of people spent time building their Google+ profiles in hopes that their content would appear higher in search results, yet now that Authorship’s been scrapped, it wouldn’t be surprising to see people migrating away from the network. It just a matter of time before Google ultimately opt to close the project.

3. More Premium Social

Anyone who manages a company’s social media will know that Facebook has been dramatically decreasing organic page reach in a bid to promote their paid advertising offering. This way, unless you’re a huge brand with a significant following, the only way to reach all of your fans is to get the premium service.

Following Facebook’s step, Pinterest released its Promoted Pins feature to more businesses in August and Twitter expanding their advertising offerings to include more specific mobile targeting. Businesses will more than likely boost their social media advertising efforts, as well as explore the possibility of hiring paid social media experts (we covered this in our digital job trends blog here).

4. The Year of Mobile

While this seems pretty obvious, there are many reasons to suggest that 2015 will see an even more dramatic increase in focus on mobile-first in terms of social media marketing and advertising. With Twitter developing its advertising platform and giving businesses the chance to target users by mobile network and users with new mobile devices, as well as buying mobile ad firm Tap Commerce back in July, it’s clear that social is leaning heavily towards mobile. With this in mind, it won’t be surprising to see teams in larger companies purely focused on mobile social media advertising.

5. More Data/Analytics

Several social media platforms have really upped their game when it comes to analytics and data on offer in 2014, so I would expect to see even smaller companies making more use of the information on offer to them in 2015. This comes after Pinterest released its incredibly detailed analytics dashboard back in June and Twitter announced that they’re experimenting with inbuilt analytics within tweets last month, so it’s clear that social media platforms are keen to share their data with their customers. This will have a knock-on effect on businesses who will use this information for more intelligent social media marketing.

Instagram Has Added Five New Filters Into Its App

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Here is a good news for all Instagram users: the app is getting a set of new filters for the first time in two years.

The photo sharing app company has launched a major update to its iOS and Android version on Tuesday. It adds five new filters and the ability to rearrange how filters appear within the app. The new filters (Crema, Slumber, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua) will now available in the filter tray of the updated app.

The update also allows users to reorder the app’s filters or hide the ones they don’t use. They can scroll to the end of the filter tray to find the new “Manage” setting, which enables them to quickly personalise which favorite filters that would appear in the app.

Moreover, Instagram states that the new filters were inspired by camera improvements on smartphones and the creativity of its users.

“Photography trends have evolved, and the capabilities of the camera on your phone have vastly improved” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’ve seen tremendous creativity within the community, not only in the moments they share, but in the time spent carefully composing and editing photos and videos to bring out emotions and make them beautiful.”

Facebook Has Released Auto-Enhance Photo Feature For iOS Users

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It looks like Facebook is adapting Google+’s feature by automatically editing photos posted to the social network from mobile devices.

Now, when users upload a photo on Facebook using their iOS devices, it is automatically “enhanced” for clarity, lighting and shadow. They don’t need to decide between individual filters like Instagram. The update has been enabled for iOS since Tuesday and is coming to Android soon.

“We want to make it easy, and as few taps as possible to make your photo memories beautiful. Before, the auto-enhance option was available, but it was under the menu where you could also choose filters for your photos on Facebook,” said Facebook officials.

However, if you are not fond of Facebook’s edits, there’s also manual option that users can play with to toggle photo lighting. Sliding the bar all the way to the rightcan make the photo a lot brighter and more defined.

Since the popularity of Instagram’s photo filters, image-enhancement options have been adapted all over social media. Google+ started automatically enhancing photos last year, while other social platforms are adding a distinctive feature to improve user’s photo quality as well. Twitter, for example, has added photo filters way back on 2013.

How To Make Your Social Media Campaign Flourish (Infographic)

At certain times, social media marketing can be frustrating.

Running a successful social media campaign is very challenging, especially when the pressure lies in a single resource only. The challenge will be doubled if the company urges to capitalise on the simplest way to build a brand, establish a global reputation and connect more intimately with their audiences. However, worry no more. In the following infographic, you will find some necessary steps that you should take in order to maximise the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

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Five Great Ways To Build A Personalised Brand With Social Media

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In today’s digital era, having an excellent service is not enough. You need to establish a trustworthy, personalised brand for your business.

Internet and social media have given numerous businesses the chance to promote themselves beyond the traditional way.  They can be the perfect place to showcase your products, skills and attitude to millions of people all over the world.

A personal brand is very important for every serious business, especially those in the digital industry. The question is, how to do it? Here are five ways you can utilise Internet and social media to pump up your personal brand.

1. Clarify Yourself

One of the worst things you can do on social media is to have half-completed, dormant profiles lingering around on the Internet. It makes an impression that you’re not taking your personal brand seriously.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with your most recent work history or upcoming projects and that your other profiles such as Google+, Instagram and Twitter are up-to-date, relevant and full.

2. Show Off Your Skills

Whether you’re a designer, social media manager or video editor, there are plenty of platforms to showcase what you can do on without the need for a website to host your portfolio. LinkedIn Publishing is a great way of showing off your writing skills, YouTube is useful for show reels for animators and video editors, and the likes of Pinterest and Instagram are handy tools for graphic designers to promote their work. Pick the right social media platform and showcase your business.

3. Be Active In Discussion

The great thing about social media lies on its social ability. Engage yourself in discussions within your particular sector can be a great way of getting yourself out there and promote yourself. For example, if you’re a budding SEO Manager, taking part in chats about SEO techniques will raise your profile. Search for LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities or Twitter chats that are relevant to your industry and take part in or start your own discussions with fellow professionals. This will increase your authority and build your audience at the same time.

4. Provide Useful Content

Once you’ve got more followers on social media, how do you keep them interested and place yourself as an influencer/authority?

The answer is simple: you need to find useful content related to your industry and skill set, then share it with your followers. Being useful for others is essential. Check out industry blogs, YouTube channels or publications for great content. However, only share content you’ve read it yourself and think it of high-quality.

5. Have A Distinctive Characteristic

During the process of utilising Internet and social media to build your brand, it can be very easy to become stuffy and dull. To avoid this, include some funny content or posts as well. It would be better if you can share some personal, light-hearted content on your social media profiles. However, always make sure the content you’ve shared is appropriate in both prospects and customers’ point of view.

Foursquare Has Rolled Out An iPad Version Of Its App

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At last, Foursquare has released its official app on iPad.

The local search and discovery service mobile app company launched its service for iPad. The tablet version of the app includes some new features, such as travel planning and local recommendation features.

The overall design of the app is a lot like the newly redesigned Foursquare iPhone app, which focuses on local discovery and recommendations. However, the update also includes various features to help users plan trips outside of their city or neighborhood. You can choose your city and get a personalised list of all the great places there. Now, with a single tap, you can easily save anything you like to your future travelling plan.

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The update also brings a new section that displays recommendations of the top-rated venues in your neighborhood. The recommendations are divided into “newly popular, up-and-coming, and local mainstays” categories. For larger cities that are popular among tourists, the app also recommends popular attractions as well as attractive places that seldom visited by people.

This is really a good news, especially for iPad users who have waited for a tablet version of the app since long before the Foursquare and Swarm split few months ago.

How To Grow Your Google+ Following (Infographic)

Are you looking for an effective way to grow your Google+ audience?

As the “official” social media platform that’s run by one of the largest Internet corporate in the world, Google+ is the real deal for marketers who want to score high on search engine optimisation. Unfortunately, as the newcomer in social media battlefield, Google+ is not as popular as other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. That’s why Google+ audience basis is very difficult to grow. The following infographic proposes 14 tips that will help you build your audience on Google+ and get real results from it.

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The Evolution Of Social Media In 2004 – 2014 (Infographic)

Social media in the past is often looked as a vain activity in the past. However, it becomes a great hit these days.

Social media has come a long way from its original concept of connecting real world friends. The platforms have evolved into a number of sophisticated sections, transformed the way we communicate with strangers and friends alike, and provided a whole new marketing channel for brands to communicate with their audience. In the following infographic, you will find a brief history of social media in the last decade.

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Facebook Has Updated Some Of Its Tools And One Of Them Resembles Twitter’s Interface

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Facebook’s Trending news section is getting a revamp that will make it easier for users to find information and see different perspectives of the day’s most popular stories. The change, however, including a Twitter-alike live feed with user mentions.

The section is also coming to mobile devices for the first time. If we looked back, Facebook introduced its Trending feature in January this year to give its users a look at the top stories of the day. Now the handy feature, which calls out about the top 10 most-shared news headlines at a given time, is making its way to mobile devices. By accessing the search bar on Android devices, users will be able to see a drop-down menu of the hot topics and stories circulating the site. The feature will be available on iOS as well.

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The addition of the Trending section to mobile is a great move, yet the company is also releasing more ways to stay on top of news.

Here is how the new Trending works: After clicking on a link, a topic page dedicated to the news appears and highlights related articles. Facebook will now divide each topic page into five different sections, which will display pictures and messages from the people you know (and the people you don’t) all in one hub. In addition to articles, the topics pages will include the following sections: In the story, Friends and Groups, Near the Scene, and Live Feed.

In the Story highlights posts from people who are part of the story, Facebook might pull the mention and feature it here. Meanwhile, Friends and Groups show what the people you know are saying and Live Feed displays reactions from beyond your network (anyone with a public profile; not just celebrities and well-known figures). Near the Scene shows posts from people near where the story is happening.

While a small Facebook team will handpick the status updates for the In the Story section, it will continue to rely on algorithms and share activity to draw attention to what’s trending on the site. The tools may sound simple, but building these topic pages could add a great deal of depth to how news stories are digested. Trending stories will continue to be a blend of what’s popular in each user’s region and a snapshot of major conversations happening across the country.

Does Facebook Need A Dislike Button?

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It looks like Facebook is considering other ways users can express their feelings beyond the Like button.

Zuckerberg said that he is thinking about it when he was asked whether the social network would ever add the long-requested dislike button. However, he quickly clarified that such a button likely wouldn’t say “dislike” on it. Instead, people often want to react to posts they see on Facebook with sentiments other than “like.”

“Everyone feels like they they can just push the Like button, and that’s an important way to sympathize or empathize with someone,” Zuckerberg told the audience. “However, there are times when you may want the simplicity of a one-click response but a “like” doesn’t feel appropriate. Facebook is thinking about ‘dislike’, but maybe not through a dislike button, ” he added. “We need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad, since a “dislike” or other negative sentiment could easily be used for the wrong reasons.

Zuckerberg also defended Facebook’s latest controversial real names policy, which requires Facebook users to identify themselves by their legal names, saying it encourages accountability among users.

“It’s part of building a safe community,” he said. “On Facebook, most people refer to themselves by their real name and that’s a very important part of our culture.”

The goal is to make the social network a “reflection of real world relationships” and that the real name policy “grounds everyone in that reality” said Zuckerberg. He also addressed another recent controversy: Facebook’s experiments. Specifically, the highly cited emotional manipulation study that experimented with hiding various posts on users’ news feeds to see whether it would affect their mood. ”Testing is a really important part of how Facebook works overall,” Zukerberg explained.

He initially defended the test saying the company thought it “had a responsibility to the community” to investigate issues that could affect the “emotional or psychological wellbeing” of users. “We could have done it a lot better,” he said.