While Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, struggles to define a compelling vision for his social network, social networking itself continues to evolve at a relentlessly accelerating pace. This means Twitter can’t wait for Mr. Costolo to sort things out; instead, it must keep innovating. Twitter’s engineers will have to teach the platform new tricks just to stay in the game. These same new features will be expected to alter the behavior of millions of users in directions not even deemed imaginable just a few years ago.
Peeling back the covers of a generic Twitter feed, let’s take a look at some of the trends small and mid-sized businesses can expect to see in 2015. Business marketers and leaders should be looking for ways to use these emerging trends to increase revenues, improve sales and expand brand awareness. With mobile now dominating online traffic and even purchasing, leveraging social networks has never been more important.
Once the hidden payment feature in Facebook’s Messenger app was revealed, the handwriting on the wall should have been clear to everyone–your social network wants to help you pay for stuff. And, in the process not only learn more about you than you know about yourself, but collect a percentage of every transaction.
Facebook, Apple, Square, Stripe and Paypal are already moving into this space, and you can expect Twitter to make a play as well. Twitter Product Cards may provide a hint at the direction Twitter is heading with this yet to be publicized initiative.
Speaking of payments, expect to see more “Buy Buttons” on your Twitter feed in 2015. In 2014, both Twitter and Facebook began beta-testing “Buy Buttons” and just a few months later, social commerce had become a word in social media circles. Allowing users to make purchases without ever leaving their social media feed is extremely attractive to the Zuckerbergs and Costolos of the world. In fact, it is so attractive, one might be tempted to wonder why it is taking so long to happen.
Push Notification Bracelets
Smart phones have given way to smart devices that are currently mostly prominently showing up on people’s wrists, but in the near future, you expect them on any appendage that has unused real estate. Many of these devices are already pushing notifications to various social networks, including Twitter. This is likely to become a trend in 2015.
Perhaps more importantly, since these devices are connected to the internet, mostly through local wireless networks, they could soon have the capacity to monitor feeds from social networks and perform functions like issuing alerts to their owners.
The Visual Element
You’ve probably already noticed a lot more photos and even videos in your Twitter feed. This trend is likely to become very mainstream in 2015. At the present time, the visual entries in your Twitter feed stand out from the text, but the trend is apparent.
At some point in the near future, images will dominate words, and then the images will all blur together. Designers will keep looking for clever ways to stand out in a visual twitter feed and the 140 characters will be a hodgepodge of hashtags.
This may be one of the major problems Twitter will have to overcome in order to stay relevant to its core audience.
Yes, expect to see more ads. Twitter still isn’t making a profit, but it is regularly reporting QoQ revenue growth, so it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out that they are selling more ads.
Social media, Twitter and Facebook especially, has an advantage over traditional media in being able to target advertising with laser-like precision, so don’t expect advertising to become overwhelming. If your target market is on Twitter, experimenting with promoted Tweets should be on your plan for 2015.
More and more companies are using Twitter creatively. It has become an excellent platform to demonstrate excellence in customer service for companies willing to handle their customer service in a Twitter feed. Chances are, there is an opportunity for you business to capitalize on at least one of these emerging Twitter trends and distinguish your brand. All it takes is a little imagination and a Twitter account. Need some help with this? Be sure to learn how SocialCentiv can help with your Twitter marketing atwww.SocialCentiv.com or Tweet: @SocialCentiv.