I was recently asked for my thoughts on what’s the latest in social media. There’s no easy answer, as new tools arrive every week and the focus constantly shifts, but as of this day in May, 2015, here’s my take:
Live Video – Two new apps are demonstrating the popularity and usefulness of allowing users to create and share live video broadcasts. From live press conferences, to scenes from an event or announcement, people are using Meerkat and Periscope to easily share video content from their mobile devices. People can also used the apps to watch other users’ live video broadcasts and interact in real-time through messaging or by sending positive signals (hearts) that appear on the screen. Each broadcast not only shares a live video feed, but also synced audio and a user’s location details (if enabled). You can follow other users and get in-app notifications when they start a new broadcast.
Podcasting – While around for years, marketers are calling this the “golden age of podcasting” and many are discovering this communications tool as a convenient way to share messages about a topic or organization. This popularity was helped by the podcast “Serial,” set in Baltimore, that received 3.4 million downloads of each of the 12 episodes. Podcasts will continue to grow with the coming smart car dashboards and head units that make it easy to listen to podcasts. According to Edison Research, 39 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month.
Native Video – Instead of linking to video content, uploading that same content directly to a platform such as Facebook generates much higher engagement. Brands recognize this change in the algorithm and are uploading more of their own videos directly to Facebook rather than linking to content that exists on YouTube.
Emphasis on Monitoring – As the media has established social media as a main source for news gathering, organizations are realizing that having a grasp on what people are saying n social media is critical to safety and the public’s perception about an event or organization. Sophisticated measuring tools are available and more and more organizations are recognizing the importance of a strong listening program that uses these tools.
Disappearing Chat – Making it even more difficult to reach younger audiences is the continued trend toward private chat. Platforms such as Yik-Yak do not even identify those who post, while the popular platform Snapchat only allows users to engage with those who have been invited, and their messages are set up to disappear in a matter of seconds. While this is a growing trend, brands and organizations are not able to easily engage with these private networks.