Zap Trends 2015: What's Next in the Social Sphere?

  1. A lot more I’s than We’s: As humanization becomes more prevalent and necessary for brands, I think we’ll see a lot more brands using I’s and my’s than we’s and our’s. Behind-the-scenes, there may still be multiple people drafting content calendars, reviewing, scheduling and interacting, but brands will focus on re-branding from a singular person’s voice/character to humanize the brand and connect with their fans. I’m personally more of a “we” girl and like brands to come off as a team, but I see a lot of brands moving in this direction.
  1. Increased Corporate Leadership and Team Member Visibility: As brands and agencies continue to humanize brands, corporate leadership will insert themselves into conversations more and more. People want to connect with the brands they follow and feel like they know the inside scoop. By humanizing and showcasing leaders and expert team members, fans will not only see the humans behind the brand, but also feel a deeper connection. Who doesn’t love a little BTS, typos and cussing?! The more authentic, honest and human, the better!
  1. Instagram Analytics: This is more of a request than a trend prediction. Instagram, you made community managers and brands thrilled when you introduced ads, and verified accounts but please, please, please do us a favor and let us all see some data. I love comparing apples to apples when it comes to performance even if the numbers vary from channel to channel; however, it drives me absolutely nuts that we can’t see how many viewers vs. doers we have on Instagram. Even if you can just show us reach, that’s totally fine. We’ll do the dirty work – a little 3rd grade math never hurt anyone. Oh and while you’re add it, integrating RG’s into the native app and being able to post from our desktops would be nice too!
  1. More Mobile Commerce: Venmo, Snapchat, what’s next? Mobile money transfers cross banks (and even credit cards) are already happening, but I see it increasing and becoming a lot more popular in 2015 and beyond. For social media platforms, it’s absolutely genius. We already know Millennials love purchasing experiences over goods. And when I buy concert tickets or go to dinner, I’m not sitting alone. I’m going with a group of friends and transferring money all over the place. We know that fans hate ads, so social platforms with mobile commerce could replace ads with a commission on money transfers (what’s 2% anyway?); however, what we’ll probably see is the use of both. Ads aren’t going away even if social platforms are finding news ways to make the mullah.
  1. More Cohesive Branding: Again, another request more than a trend. Ok, so I might be a little OCD, but I hate messy anything (my bedroom floor when I’m getting ready for a Saturday night doesn’t count), but what I hate more than anything is messy branding. In a perfect world, websites, public relations, advertising, social media and campaigns are married. And if not married, at least teammates who know what each other are doing all the time and are working with each other instead of against each other. Maybe I’m biased, but I think social media is the glue that holds the team together; however, to really work, the communication needs to go both ways. Here’s to 2015!

- Sophia Bly, Senior Publicist