2015: The Year of Digital Recalibration (and Déjà Vu)

social media trends 2015
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The Year of Digital Recalibration SlideShare is available here.

The digital recalibration slideshare presentationEvery year I’ve cobbled together a trends special outlining the big things to expect in the upcoming year.

Last year’s edition, Social Media Trends 2014 (#14for14) was one of my proudest pieces of work – I wrote 14 blog posts and then cut each one down to a few sentences for a Slideshare presentation which was really well received.

I’m not pointing this out in a boastful way, but rather to set up the challenge I faced developing a similar product for 2015.

Why?

1. I do not want to be another guest at the echo chamber hotel

2. The one trend that has really sticks out for me is that 2015 is set to be a year of recalibration – a collection of important questions and challenges that have been gathering momentum and can’t be ignored much longer

Before I jump into the meaty part of this post, I just want to quickly expand on the echo chamber thing.

Very early on in my blogging journey, I had the pleasure of e-meeting Arik Hanson. In the last few months, he has articulated some of the issues I’ve faced with my own blogging exploits of late. In fact, the very few times I’ve sat down to cobble a post together, he’d publish almost the same thing I had in mind. Given my ‘no echo chamber at all costs’ ethos, I wasn’t about to replicate his good stuff. Examples include this one and this one.

On top of that, I haven’t had anything THAT earth-shattering to share. I hate reading ‘5 ways to improve your personal brand’ blog posts. I am much more interested in helping my clients solve real problems as opposed to addressing theoretical ones. It’s not to say I’m not blogging at all – earlier this year, I was trying to find a post from someone who explained video seeding in a way that made sense. It didn’t exist, so I wrote one (check it out here).

Anyway, you’ll see some stuff from me over here in 2015, but it may take on a different look, especially in relation to leadership and mentoring (news on that coming soon) as opposed to strictly social and content-based stuff.

Enough about me (seriously, enough!!!), here is my 2015 trends special…which isn’t really a trends special…but it does cover trends…go figure.

2015: The Year of Digital Recalibration (Trends, Challenges and Questions)

Only the headlines are  featured in this post.

For the full presentation, visit SlideShare or The Kamber Blog.

1. ‘Always on’ vs. campaign spikes.

There is still too much focus on campaigns as opposed to long-term strategies that add value on a daily / semi-daily basis. Without an ‘always on’ strategy in place and being delivered solidly, the campaign stuff is less likely to succeed because it doesn’t have a base. This is not a new trend, but it MUST be addressed in 2015 for those who haven’t done so already.

2. ‘Borrowing’ an audience is like great sex, but what do you do once it’s over?

Influencer collaboration continues to be a hot topic, but evidence suggests long term partnerships are few and far between, and they are often adopted at the expense of making the less sexy investment in long term owned channel development.

Time for change in 2015? Maybe, maybe not.

3. How much budget should be allocated to content promotion?

Yes, yes, yes, paid is playing an increasingly more vital role in the social and content game (we know, we know!!). But, is there enough science behind your spend?

If the answer is a no or unsure, look into it as soon as possible.

4. So much uncertainty (still) about what ‘good’ social media looks like.

The quickest way to get to the bottom of this is by asking yourself the following question (and answering it honestly):

If you shut down your social media channels tomorrow, would anyone care?

It’ll be asked in 2015, a lot.

5. Every agency is a content agency, aren’t they?

As outlined in the SlideShare pack, this might sound a little snarky, but it isn’t intended to be.

The term ‘content’ is incredibly broad and often misunderstood. Making content work in the participatory media environment requires more than just ‘good ideas’. Understanding the role of promotion is vital. Being active in communities outside your own ones is a must.

As we saw in 2011 when everyone said they had social media capability, everyone will be saying the same thing about content marketing in 2015. The best agencies adapt to the landscape. The best agencies bring in the best talent. But it is a lot easier said than done.

6. Decision time has arrived. Seriously.

For a majority of businesses, social media has been part of their communication and marketing mix for a while now. But, has it made any discernible business impact?

This question MUST be asked in 2015 or money that could be better used elsewhere will be wasted.

7. Channel tunnel vision coming to an end?

This is another one that I thought would have been tackled in 2014 (or earlier) but it felt like the same mistake was still being made – channels first, content second. Uh uh, it’s the other way around.

The participatory media environment isn’t going anywhere, but the places where participation occurs might change. Be prepared by making content (specifically content strategy) the priority and then consider the channels second. Always.

8. Ready, fire, aim?

Yes, you read that correctly.

Given the rapid rate of change, some measured risks need to be taken in order to succeed and 2015 will be the year this becomes especially evident.

Wrapping things up

As mentioned at the start, my hope is that this isn’t another guest at the echo chamber hotel.

However, I do think that the all challenges addressed and the questions posed are important ones.

The fact that they aren’t especially earth-shattering potentially adds to their weight – common questions are common for a reason.

The digital recalibration has begun and could be THE key theme of 2015.

You might also want to add a dash of déjà vu to that too.

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