What’s Trending in 2015?

Hello!

It’s the last day of the year 2014 and we hope it was a good year for you! It’s been an interesting year for us here at Social Pandora as we added more clients to our portfolio, added more team members and experimented with the technological trends of 2014. So as we say goodbye to another year and welcome 2015, our team collectively worked on this post to bring you our top trends for 2015 across various fields. Targeting various interests as we notice how big of a year 2015 will be!

2014 saw a boom of apps, health food trends and color schemes, so too will 2015 with some additions of course 😉

Web Trends for 2015:

  1. It’s all about the Mobile: According to Google’s survey, 48% of users said that if a site didn’t work well on their smart phone, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business enough and therefore they weren’t interested in shopping from them. Also 90% of people use multiple devices at once so it is wiser for you to get your website optimized for mobiles and tablets, and make them better than the desktop version.
  2. Get your Crawler Errors fixed! Google increases the rankings of your site if it is without any errors. Crawler errors will prevent users to get to your site and bring your traffic to an all-time low. So get those errors fixed and watch up to 5% increase in your traffic!
  3. Parallax Scrolling: Readers of your posts seem to enjoy parallax scrolling as it gives them the illusion of depth and movement, which increases user engagement. Parallax scrolling is difficult to pull off but if done right – you can add layers of images to get a 3D effect, think of products selling at its best!
  4. Infinite Scrolling: The more you use your touch screen devices, you do more scrolling than clicking! So incorporating this into your web design technique loads content little by little and keeps adding additional content as you read. Your readers will find that the page does not load as slowly anymore and users can read in small segments at a time!
  5. M-Learning- Mobile Learning makes use of the device to make payments, deliver content in bite sized chunks ensuring user’s recall ability. M-payments facilitate novel methods to share and split costs for both products and services. Also known as fair splitting– ‘Audi Unite’ in October 2014 enables customers in Sweden to share a car in private network of 5 users. The app allows users to view location and availability and can access it using a smart key fob. And as per the agreement, drivers are charged either a usage base fee or monthly fixed fee.
  6. Step into the fast lane! : More consumers are pressed for time and expect companies or brands they buy from to provide a fast lane to beat waiting times. While it can’t be done for all services or situations, it works in your favor as you get more customers to stop by; move from the ‘slow’ to the fast lane; finish up and go. Something like fast food restaurants getting quick table turnarounds. Notable example: Include Starbucks with their ‘Order Ahead’ function, Pizza hut and Taco bell.
  7. Internet of things: 4.9 billion connecting things will be in use in 2015 and businesses will need to spend time and money on designing, implementing and operating the internet of things. As more devises become connected, new ways of delivering value from them will be the big thing in the coming months.
  8. Gamification: Applying game mechanics and design techniques to engage and motivate your audience. Learners recall only 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. If visuals accompany any presentation or interactive content, users tend to remember them. Storytelling with more visuals than text increases the ability to communicate with your audience quicker.

Color Trends for 2015:

The next year is all about the cool blues and greens- shades of olive green, bright oranges and cobalt blues make for a colorful & chic palette. Grey is the perfect neutral backdrop and can be brightened up with a palette of Mediterranean blue and green with some orange. Renaissance inspired patterns and textures are the pick for the spring and summer of 2015. Choose from a range of olive and bottle greens to make your home feel warm, look earthy and organic and pair it with a gray neutral or go bold with pink and orange for a vivid outlook.

Fitness and Health Food trends for 2015:

As more people join the health foods bandwagon; it’s hard to keep up with the trends! From goji berry to acai berry to chia seeds and the more recent Garcinia cambogia it can be very confusing while shopping! From quinoa to millets, the attention has now moved to Teff- A grass cultivated in Ethiopia. It is high in calcium, iron, fiber and protein and has a sweet taste to it.Tastes great as a side dish or a baked main dish.

More greens like kale, Beet greens or beet spinach is the next big thing. Tastes good in smoothies, soups or as a salad. You can even bake them for a salty snack. Grass fed dairy and meat– Meat and dairy from livestock whose diets are limited to grass fed legumes. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and are great if you’re looking for a healthier alternative. Nut based butters and cheeses are a sure fire way to lower calories while keeping your taste buds in check. Made from almonds, macadamia nuts- milk, cheese and butters are made the traditional way and they taste great! They are the perfect snack while also boosting your vitamin E and B12 intake.

The fitness trends to look out for are:

  1. Aerial Hammock Yoga– made famous by Pink and Vanessa Hudgens and the cirque du soleil this workout is great to improve flexibility, stay active and get lots of cardio in.
  2. POUND: From Zumba , dance workouts have moved on to something called POUND which incorporates sticks called ripsticks to give a full body workout that is fun, and dynamic.
  3. PILOXING: Pilates and Boxing have joined forces to bring you a workout that is both fun and works on your stability and balance to give you a leaner, toned look.

Some great alternatives to HIIT and Tabata training eh!

Video trends for 2015

  1. Keep the content short: Maximum impact in minimum time.
  2. Make videos interactive: Like customizable story-lines, combining games, music with ads.
  3. Humanizing your brand: Videos are the best way to create deeper relationships with the audience. So creating 60 second videos with a strong message is the next hot thing in 2015.
  4. Use homepage videos, web chat to interact with your customers and increase conversation.
  5. Create video tutorials or how-to’s to educate and inform your audience.
  6. Incorporate some humor: Using humor and easy-to-digest information in formal presentations to target a wider audience.
  7. Make use of mobile video ads

Social Media and Digital Media trends in 2015:

  1. SEO will be for more focused on technical elements and be a valuable part of content marketing.
  2. Mobile ads: It is estimated that 40% of all paid traffic will come from mobile in 2015.
  3. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile SEO will fail: Google has been penalizing sites that generate errors for mobile users. So remove all the errors and optimize your mobile website.
  4. Using more long tail keyword searches for mobile as mobile users devour information differently from desktop users.
  5. Link Building: Google’s Penguin algorithm ensures good quality content and links are earned rather than being manipulated.
  6. Google’s Pigeon algorithm enables data to be more useful, relevant and local.
  7. Wearable Technology: This could change the web design and SEO industry completely and it is exciting to see what is in store!
  8. 8. Brand Mentions will be as powerful as links: With Google penalizing manipulated links, Google is placing more emphasis on brand mentions for achieving higher search rankings.
  9. 9. Move from G+: After Google Authorship was killed due to low user rates, people may not be using Google+ as much and Google may put more emphasis on Facebook and Twitter to gain social signals.
  10.  Instagram is best for image marketing
  11. Twitter’s new business model will provide better ROI: When compared to Facebook, Twitter promises to give better ROI on ads as Facebook is touted to increase their ad spending for consumers wanting to grow their business.
  12. 3D Printing: To create personalized brands and product offerings.

Design Trends:

  1. Flat Design: Flat design gives websites a clean and polished look, open space, crisp edges, works seamlessly with responsive design and has quicker load times.
  2. Typography: More flat fonts, billboard inspired fonts that are similar to handwriting and is clearer and sharper to read. The logo, titles, fonts and links should fit the company’s style and set the mood and tone for the website. It all brings the text to life!
  3. Use Bigger, richer images: Create eye catching blog graphics, beautiful photography that convey good information.
  4. Wearables: Wearable technology as we mentioned earlier will blend the smart phone and your watch to create a statement while also having data at your finger tips!

So there you have it, an exhaustive list of trends in the year 2015 across various categories!

Have we missed anything out? Have you used any or all? What do you think will be trending in the new year?

Let us know!

-Social Pandora

 

 

Make your business agile

Is Your Business Socially Agile?

Make your business agile

(Image Credit: tech-clarity.com)

Hello!

It’s almost the end of yet another year! As we reach the end of another year, businesses look back and see how they went the previous year. What worked, what didn’t and key takeaways from next year. We too are gearing up for a good 2015 and we have learnt a few lessons along the way.

Among other things; we have changed the way we work. Moving from time consuming, micromanaged, sequential projects to finding a more agile result oriented process.

Is your social media strategy agile? Are you spending too much time on your content marketing? Is SEO and SEM a distant possibility than an immediate task for your company?

Do you work an environment that values interactions and individuals over processes and tools? If you aren’t, it is time to rethink your strategy.

keep-calm-and-rethink-your-strategyMany businesses and entrepreneurs use different marketing and sales tactics to promote their business, gain customers and gain revenue. While social media and content marketing boost your company’s efforts; incorporating an agile marketing approach will take it to another level!

Agile-mindset-2 Time To adapt (Image credit:planit.net.au)

Don’t believe us?

Imagine this scenario- You come up with a concept for your business or you outsource it to an agency, after which work is initiated, consolidated, website design is complete, analysis is done and voila! Your project is signed, sealed and delivered! But after a year or so, you notice that it isn’t getting enough traction, your website has bugs and you need SEO, it’s too slow etc etc.

Sound familiar?

Now try this scenario- You, your team, outsourced agency or stakeholders sit together every morning for 15 minutes. No longer, and discuss these 3 questions.

  • What did we do yesterday?
  • What are we doing today?
  • What setbacks did we have?

Everyone has their say in regard to these questions and the day officially begins. It may sound like a wasteful exercise but really what you are doing is bridging the communication gap, addressing issues and creating a transparent work atmosphere. Who doesn’t’ like that?

You can make use of the SCRUM methodology which breaks down each project into smaller work modules, breaking the organization into smaller teams, break the time frame into shorter work cycles. Allowing room to revisit plans, rectify errors and optimize to deliver great results!

agile_development_value_proposition

(Image credit: empireone.com.au)

Make your social and content marketing agile:

Break the marketing team or social media team into smaller teams. If you already have a small team, simple assign roles and tasks differently.

  • One small team collects real time data about your company or various clients you work with social environment.
  • Another team of either 2 or more creates the content calendar , content across various platforms for your company or clients and deploys that content quickly
  • One more person then reacts to emerging conversations as they happen, tweet responses, or comment on the networks as they continue to happen
  • Collectively they all gather results and analyze at the end of the week
  • Next day- same 3 questions are addressed and issues are sorted, you stick to what is working and change what doesn’t.

Your manager will work as the Scrum master and ensure that everything happens seamlessly.

Scrum Technique Infographic(Image credit: Scruminc.com)

Why will this work for me?

Because your working cycle is not as long ensuring quick transition between phases or scrums, you are being responsive and approachable which is what social media is all about! All your team members are engaged and empowered to achieve results. Communication is happening every day between teams and stakeholders ensuring no gaps; issues are sorted then and there leading to high levels of productivity and results.

agile-marketing-cycle(Image credit: smashwords.com)

By incorporating an agile method; you understand your customers and the market as it keeps changing as well as you are relevant to your customer’s needs. Smaller , effective teams with distributed tasks or in this case product backlogs , testing can happen and you stick with what works and change what doesn’t before results get catastrophic.

Especially when it comes to testing your social media and content marketing strategy, you want to get your business up and running ASAP! Think of the time saved on implementing SEO or paid methods along with social and content marketing for various audiences.

Why don’t you try and incorporate an agile marketing structure for your business in the New Year!? Give it a burl for SEO and get your website noticed quickly!

Talk to an expert at Social Pandora to see how we can help you with your business today!

Have you tried an agile structure for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

-Social Pandora

 

Strategies to build your Social Media Audience

STRATEGIES FOR GROWING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE 

 Image

( Photo Credit- Dreamstime.com)

Have you used Social Media for your company before?  Has it worked so far?  Does Social media really matter for your company?

The answer will be a definite “yes”

Although Social Media changes on a daily basis, there are a few things that haven’t changed. One of them being, how Social Media is being used to build an audience or to improve the social media strategy.

For some companies, sending a few tweets, posting on Facebook or even writing a few blog posts have gotten them only so far. There is the obvious desire of achieving more and connecting with more people. Here are a few steps for creating positive and useful presences across Social Media channels for both your existing audience and acquiring new ones.

  1. Generating third party conversations: Apart from a few tweets, Facebook statuses and blog posts of your own, visit blogs, websites & fan pages of others and engage with them. Having conversations with them will eventually bring new traffic to your website and new followers.
  2. Engaging the right group of people and potential customers: This is essential if you want to build an audience. You need to ensure that the marketing and advertising content solves problems and meets the ‘unmet’ needs of the people you hope to connect with on Social Media.
  3. A good balance of content: It’s hard to keep people continually engaged with your content if it’s mostly about promoting or selling. Adding good, light and interesting content to the mix will go a long way in how your content is shared and how your audience increases.

We love this info-graphic that Digital Information World has created. It depicts how to develop mutually beneficial relationships with your audience.

Simple strategies for building audience on social media

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.