Looks like I have a little history with the “prediction” posts. I wrote my first one in Dec. 2011 and posted it in Jan. 2012. It wasn’t much to read and was more of a curated list of other people’s work. The second prediction post was posted in Dec. 2012 and I tried to be a bit silly with saying I got it all from a psychic grandma. I guess I wasn’t feeling so bold that year… And then in Dec. of 2013 I got a little more professional about the whole process. I consider my 2014 prediction post my first real post about the future of online marketing. THIS year I think I want to make a small “prediction” and then tell you how I feel about a whole slew of topics.
This is what I predicted LAST year…
2014 WILL BE THE YEAR OF… REARRANGING.
Yeah, not so snappy, but I think people and businesses will be examining their time and attention — and MONEY — and rearrange where they spend those precious commodities.
Turns out this is exactly the current topic of countless conversations on the future of Facebook for businesses. I think it’s a mixed bag on Facebook right now. There are certainly things that work for promoting your good products and services and causes, but you’ll have to pay for that exposure now. I think Facebook is very clear on what they think about online marketers. Pay to Play baby. So, the topic of “rearranging” is certainly in the air at the end of 2014. Many businesses and managers are rearranging where they are putting their marketing time and attention. They are trying to find that holy grail of free advertising that Facebook provided for so many years – somewhere else.
My Prediction for 2015!
2015 will be the Year of… Exploring!
In many ways, this is just a continuation of last year’s prediction. I think leading-edge social media managers will be scouting new ways to provide exposure and connection in places other than Facebook in 2015. If you know me at all – you know I certainly have opinions about everything. I always try to stay educated and current on as many topics as possible, but I usually have some gut feeling about certain topics that just need to be expressed. And here are those gut feelings — in no particular order.
Everybody wants to know what everybody else thinks about Facebook. What do YOU think about it? What’s the first social site YOU look at all blurry eyed first thing in the morning? I was on a panel in a room of 500 women and when I asked that question — 90% said Facebook even though this was a conference about Pinterest! It’s an addiction we can’t seem to give up.
Those who have shed the Facebook addiction end up on G+ – proud and relieved. Even using all the tricks of the trade: Interest Lists, timers, only visiting Groups, and removing the app from my phone… it’s still the stickiest, most time-sucking social site on the planet. I hear the young people are leaving in droves. I wonder when the people of my generation will follow? Do they have the will to try something new? And I’m not talking about tsu and ello.
This is what I think will happen in 2015 with Facebook: Every 6 weeks something will change – something will “roll-out” and some people will be upset about it. That’s one of those “duh” predictions, as that’s Facebook’s pattern for the last two years. I do think Facebook will become many different things – continuing the trend it’s on with Messenger, and the Groups app. The ease of purchasing from within a post will be GOLD for marketers IF they can figure out how to get their posts in your newsfeed. I’m SURE marketers will be spending loads of money on newsfeed ads (just like they are right now). Start saving your advertising dollars now – you’re going to need it as the second wave of marketers take the guru’s advice and try their hand at Facebook ads. Which means vying for eyeballs will cost more money.
I don’t want you to think I completely dislike Facebook. I have said many times I have a love/hate relationship with the beast. The LOVE part is simple. The people I have met, the people I care about, the people I want to help, the people who care about me — that’s the soul of Facebook – and that bit I love. The hate part is how Facebook seems to gloss over the needs of the small business person in many of the changes they’ve brought on in the last few years. I used to jokingly say that Facebook didn’t have a real business person on their development team. I still think that. They seem out of touch. Prove me wrong Facebook.
Facebook Gut Feeling: Less posting, more advertising, demographic shift from young women (teens) to older women (boomers)
ello ello ello What can I say about ello? Of course I have a profile there, but do I ever actually GO there and hang out? Nope. And I just checked all my online marketing buddies who were so curious that they opened an account there, too. And guess what? Only ONE person is posting there (once a week) and that is Guy Kawasaki. Everyone else posted 2 or 3 months ago. I see no reason in going there unless Facebook completely disintegrates – and then – well a better choice would be to go to Instagram (more).
Ello Gut Feeling: they will try one more big launch and then fade away
I have found myself opening Instagram first thing every day. When you live in Iowa (and the last 30 days have been cold and grey) you have to find images from beautiful places all over the world just to maintain your sanity. Favorites are National Geographic, onderkoca, Sefa Yamak. And yes, I follow all the social experts there, too, but I prefer the show-me-your-real-life photos of which Chris Brogan is the KING. There are many brands and businesses on Instagram. The ones that show the behind-the-scenes real-life images are (in my opinion) doing Instagram marketing correctly. The ones that show a image of their product hanging on the beach with 30 non-focused hashtags – are not. There is an art to marketing on Instagram – it is NOT Facebook. Please don’t turn Instagram into a mirror of the Facebook newsfeed. Please.
Instagram Gut Feeling: more users, more active users, more terrible marketing by brands thinking this is Facebook, more in-stream ads, growth of users and growth of complaints
tsu tsu tsu — Gesundheit. I had an account. I asked them to delete it. I feel like there is too much potential for gaming the system with this site. If you don’t know what tsu is – think back many years to Squidoo. Do you remember Squidoo? You created a page on a topic and revenue would be shared from your traffic. Yep – sounds familiar. People worked really hard creating pages that would pull interest. Squidoo is now HubPages and you can still gain income from traffic to your HubPage. So, in so many ways, tsu is nothing new. But it is now styled after a Facebook newsfeed, so there you are – right back to Facebook.
tsu Gut Feeling: land of the network marketer, goes the way of hubpages, not viable for small businesses
I really like the POTENTIAL of MeWe. It really could be something cool, but it still has to overcome the invisibility cloak it has developed. This social site is Facebook without the creepy crawl. If you want a complete social site without being targeted for advertising – you now have a home. Or you can just continue to complain about Facebook. Funny how just complaining about Facebook will probably win. Sad.
MeWe Gut Feeling: will continue to get amazing press, will find some good niche markets that need small private group settings
Banana Farms in Costa Rica
This is where we all need to be. It’s my way of saying – LOCAL business is where to be. Think about it. I’ve been thinking about it a long time. Maybe 2015 is the year I put my feet directly in the ground and build something new. Join me?
Banana Farm Gut Feeling: more people will either invest in local markets to try to create a kind of urban utopia or start businesses themselves, functional local apps will skyrocket
My Thoughts about 2015 – In Summary
2015 seems to be setting itself up to be another interesting year for online marketing. Almost everyone I know is looking at every social site and seeing if they should move their time and attention there or not. I think there will be some experimenting and testing on YouTube, G+ and LinkedIn. I know businesses who don’t play on Facebook anymore and still have a profitable experience. I also think “Fusion Marketing” (using traditional marketing with your social media marketing mix) will continue to be explored and put into play.
And like I said at the top of the post…
My Prediction for 2015!
2015 will be the Year of… Exploring!
Click –> Here’s another GREAT LIST of Predictions for 2015
P.S. If you are looking for an easy way to organize your marketing ideas and thoughts around 2015 – you are invited to join me in an a 30-minute training webinar where I show you exactly HOW to get mighty productive in 2015. I’ll see you there?