Social media expert Rebekah Radice joined us for Bufferchat to look back at social media trends in 2014 and look ahead for the best tips for your 2015 strategy.

Check out the full Storify recap here!

new social media strategy

Why is a social media strategy important?

From Rebekah:

  • A social media strategy allows you to be intentional and strategic, giving you focus and purpose.
  • Strategy means you’re productive, not busy. You implement a daily plan that propels your business forward.
  • Strategy focuses on telling your story, encouraging deeper, more significant relationships.

Other great insights:

  • “Without strategy – you lack a roadmap, you lack purpose.” @CBarrows
  • “Strategy for ANYTHING is paramount to success. How can you achieve a goal if you don’t know how to get there?” @ThinkSEM
  • “Strategy is important because it focuses on the “why” you’re doing what you’re doing in the short-term or day-to-day” @BarbaraDiGangi
  • “It’s important to be working towards specific outcomes…and that our entire team & our clients are on board with those” @apartmentalist
  • “Here: Law & Order has no real story arch, but Breaking Bad had one from beginning to end. Later is considered the best ever.” @DomGarrett

What are some key statistics to reflect on in the past year?

From Rebekah:

  • There’s 80 million US millennials – 63% say they keep up with companies on social. How are you staying relevant?
  • Pinterest is a mover and a shaker grabbing 41% of the ecommerce traffic compared to Facebook’s 37%.
  • Content with images get 94% more views than those without. Consider this as you look to spread your message.

Other great insights:

What were some surprising social media trends of 2014?

From Rebekah:

  • Businesses learned to “show, not tell” as users continue to trend towards a visual marketing experience.
  • Companies finally realized that investing time and money into social media is a requirement, not a luxury.
  • Competition for attention is fierce and mobile is the driving force in capturing consumer attention.

Other great insights:

  • “Don’t know if it’s surprising but employee advocacy and personal branding have exploded” @TeriMKojetin
  • “The resurgence of podcasting. Everyone is telling you that you need a podcast :)” @jeffsieh
  • “Turning off comments on your blog was something I noticed as a big topic of discussion. Not sure it was a “trend” though.” @kristinlinde
  • “Failed hashtags, security leaks, privacy changes and mass success movements like ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!” @socialbaconorg
  • “I love how #twitterchats are the new chat rooms but with more focus!” @_MariaJuan
  • “Increase in power and transparency. SM can make or break businesses these days.” @MackSnapMatt

What are some trends for 2015 in social media marketing?

From Rebekah:

  • Brands will be more available than ever to their audience, engaging in meaningful two-way conversations.
  • Content marketing is no longer an outsourced concept, but moves in-house as a joint companywide/unified effort.
  • Mobile, mobile, mobile! Mobile departments will grow as app and ad development continues to expand.
  • Pinterest! It’s now the 2nd largest driver of social media traffic after Facebook.

Other great insights:

  • “The rise of “adaptive” content and more personalized marketing” @MikeHale
  • “With the #Instagram number news, I think we’ll see folks give it another/better chance for business purposes.” @gotweetsgo
  • “Deeper customization/integration for major social media platforms. More availability of specialized social media tools.” @morganandrewv
  • “Trend for 2015: Better integration of social and selling: social selling, native social commerce.” @KimReynolds
  • “Even @BuzzFeed is going into new territory w/ longer, more newsworthy articles. Content is about to get more sophisticated.” @Outsider_NYC

What platforms might be more important to focus on in 2015?

From Rebekah:

  • Instagram has emerged as exceptional opportunity, no matter the industry. It’s time companies take a 2nd look.
  • Snapchat, the little app that gained big exposure in 2014 will continue to become a brand fave.

Other great insights:

  • “LinkedIn/SlideShare, Pinterest and Instagram – 2015 social stars.” @PegFitzpatrick
  • “Depends on your business. FB/G+/Twitter/LI aren’t going away, but might be time to look at Pinterest & Instagram in 2015!” @iagdotme
  • “Never underestimate the power of Tumblr with millenials and teens.” @cadchica

What is key in crafting attainable social media goals?

From Rebekah:

  • Know what you want to get out of social media. You can’t set attainable goals without a destination in mind.
  • Research your keywords and create a hashtag strategy around them. Get targeted in your conversations!
  • Know your customer and create content they (not YOU) want to read and share.

Other great insights:

  • “Social goals should always be tied in with the intrinsic brand rather than current know-how of whatever’s happening” @bhaesa
  • “Being realistic and defining what achievement of goals looks like is key to setting goals in social media” @ceQuilibria
  • “Designing your social strategy with measurable goals/milestones & designing flex in the strategy …so when things change….” @CASUDI
  • “Making them after reviewing previous behaviors. Aim for the stars, yet make them realistic.” @NikkiFica
  • “Honesty. Honesty in yourself and in your product. Make ever follow count. Every like have meaning. Be ORGANIC.” @TheCodyVision

What are the top three blogs to follow in 2015?

From Rebekah:

Other great insights:

Thank you to everyone who participated! Catch #bufferchat each week on Twitter! Learn more about joining Twitter chats here!

Image sources: The Noun Project, Blurgrounds, Unsplash

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.