Brett Sadler

Social Media 2015

Future-of-social-media

In early 2013 I wrote a blog post titled ‘Has Twitter Seen its Best Days’. OK, so the title wasn’t the best I’ve ever come up with, but funnily enough I have been asking myself the same question again – is Twitter on the decline?

Now I warn anyone reading this post that I haven’t got any real statistical basis for raising this question, but I have got some evidence of sorts:

  • Over the course of this year I’ve found less and less engagement on Twitter;
  • With the introduction of Twitter adverts in anyone’s timeline, regardless of whether you want them, it’s watered down the essence of Twitter;
  • Competition from the other plethora of social media platforms out there – too many choices?
  • I often feel like I am posting to the virtual world on the hope that someone (anyone?) will comment on my tweet;
  • Often the best tweets go unanswered and, seemingly at random, some of the worst get the most traffic.

Alright, so they are hardly damning, but I can honestly say that recently has been the first time in over two years I’ve really questioned the use of Twitter in my daily work life. Before that I was a several tweets a day kind-of-guy. I was pretty active on Twitter, being recognised as a digital engager and even featuring in the top 50 Digital Power Players for 2014 (and to answer your question, yes, it has gone on my CV).

As far as forecasting goes, my track record is patchy at best. I forecast that in 2014 Google+ would rise to the top in the world of Housing and although it started out OK, the announcement that Google were going to drop it from their development programme pretty much knocked this on the head. Don’t get me wrong, Google+ still has an awful lot to offer, but I’m not sure I can stretch to saying that 2014 was the year of Google+.

That said, I for one will be watching closely in 2015 to see what happens with Twitter, along with other social media platforms.

So what are everyone else’s Social Media predictions for 2015? Twitter up or down? Facebook up or down? Another social media platform (as yet relatively unknown) to make it big in 2015? Or maybe 2015 is the year that social media slows down as a whole? Leave your thoughts below……..

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7 thoughts on “Social Media 2015

  1. I think of Twitter as a raging torrent of expression. If you follow a lot of people, scrolling through your timeline may only give you a picture of what’s happened in the last couple of hours. Unless you’re a frequent Tweeter, it’s quite likely you’re getting drowned out.

    Twitter are working on this of course by trying to introduce algorithmic timelines to surface the best/most relevant content. Problem is that it interferes with the core concept of Twitter being that simple, chronologically listed, 140 character updates.

    They’re actually a bit stuffed because they’re caught between keeping the people who like the service as it is (me) and trying to make it appeal to a whole new audience.

    Personally, I use an extensive amount of Twitter Lists to keep track of people and specific subjects. This way, I’ve got half a chance of spotting interesting tweets and engaging with them.

    More generally, I think social media is evolving into a more visual (less text based) beast. Instagram surpassed Twitter’s user count within the last week. This is now the popular form for expression (see also Vine, Snapchat etc.). You see the same trend on Twitter too (and they’re altering their look to capitalise on this). Attach a picture to a tweet and witness how much more likely people are to engage with it.

    The grumpy old git in me thinks we might be losing something valuable if we’re going to boil social interaction into a series of pictures and emoji. But maybe this is just the half step on to a whole new of talking to each other.

    • Thanks for the comment Neil.

      Funnily enough I’ve never used lists on Twitter. I prefer just to scroll through my feed and see what catches my eye. I’m sure I regularly miss some good content, but for me a lot depends on how often I’m able to check my feed. If I’m very busy (like at the moment!), I’m not checking it nearly enough for me to catch everything that’s relevant.

      I have to agree – I liked the old Twitter!

  2. Melanie Dirom on said:

    Like the comment above regarding being drowned out, I find that unless something is tweeted when I just happen to be on Twitter, it may get lost though making sure the people I follow are relevant to me does help that.

    As a positive, I have found that I have had conversations with people on Twitter who I probably wouldn’t have had. It is aways a great way to strike up a conversation with someone where you can say “I follow you on Twitter and XYZ”. In a non-stalkerish way of course! As a lawyer in a specialist sector, it is a great way to pick up and share information. Court decisions are often tweeted immediately after judgement as where historically, they could take weeks if not months to be covered in traditional press and it’s also a great way for me to keep my clients informed of what we are doing. It’s great for the “here and now” and even if there is not a response to a Tweet, I am certain the information is being looked at and digested. I’ve frequently been contacted by sector Journalists for opinion pieces and quotes on issues which I have tweeted about and contact lists has significantly increased through Twitter. All this from a mere 400 followers – what would it be like at 4000 followers?!

    I do find some lawyers are nervous about using Twitter and haven’t yet embraced it as much as other sectors and that could be because the information sharing is instant, can be viewed by anyone and there could be some lack of control over what is being posted and the “risk factor”. In my view, all of this can be counteracted and controlled by trusting those who post . For example my firm are rolling out social media training to all staff via a well known Twitter expert (who I won’t name on here but who I got to know through Twitter for his love of superheros and donuts!) who caught my eye through his tweets and who got my interest. So for my prediction, I can only see Twitter growing in use and my view is that it’s a great thing.

    As for Facebook, I continue to despise it (no reason – I’m just grumpy!) and Linkedin I use less and less. I get bombarded with Linkedin requests from recruitment agents and sales types who then send me e-mails addressed to the wrong name but it does have its uses. I picked up Brett’s link to the blog on Linkedin and not on twitter, so there’s one example. I wish I knew how to use Pintrest (fashion bloggers and trendy types it seems) and I am trying to get to grips with Prezzi (one day!) so I am open to adding to my list as after all, we can’t ignore the digital age and it’s here to stay so we need to embrace it and use it well.

    • Thanks for the reply Melanie.

      I’ve found Twitter a really useful tool to link up with people I never would have otherwise. I use LinkedIn a fair bit, but this is a bit hit and miss.

      It’s really interesting that you are rolling out social media training to all staff. If you are willing and able to do this as a law firm, I have to wonder why other orgs (including HA’s) don’t follow suit!

  3. Totally agree with the sentiment about LinkedIn. So much so, that I deleted my account about six months ago. There’s some value in the group discussions and networks but it’s really not worth it for the deluge of cold callers and people endorsing me for things I’ve never heard of.

  4. Brett hi, I think you’re right. The social media landscape has changed dramatically over the last 12 months, driven in part by a shift towards ‘pay to play’ tactics from all the main social networks, as well as the automation of key interactions. No longer is a ‘like’ an opportunity to have a conversation, it’s a button clicked, for example. A ‘favourite’ is there as a bookmark rather than to build a relationship.

    Al this has a big effect on who engages, why and how. It also now matters more how brands – in housing and beyond – help and encourage their users to engage in the first place.

    I wonder if housing is considering how it may adapt to the evolution of social media as part of its own communications strategies, where utility and engagement have to be finely balanced.

    We shall see over 2015!

    • Thanks Anne. It really does feel like a changed landscape from where I see it. The danger is that housing thinks Twitter is ‘new’ when in reality it has already passed us by! Roll on 2015….

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