Forrester Predictions: What Should Be on Your 2015 Social Media “To-Do” List?

By: Sofie De Beule

December 3, 2014

With 2014 close to an end, brands are already making New Year’s resolutions for the coming year to make sure they can ace their performance.

What should be on your social media to-do list for 2015? According to Forrester, here are the 3 key elements you shouldn’t forget.

1. Focus More on Collecting Usable Insights Valuable to the Entire Organization

Social media is not just a department, it has to be embedded in the entire organization.

Although it’s a crucial first step to monitor your entire social media presence, according to Forrester, most brands fail to use that intelligence to collect usable insights that are valuable across the entire organization. Listening is not only for the purpose of PR and customer service. Determine the specific business questions you would like to answer by listening to social data.

Go beyond mentions and sentiment, and track how you can turn your efforts on social media into real business value. Tap into opportunities to dive deep into the insights of your social media presence to, for example, track social leads through conversion and report how marketing messages have been amplified by the voices of your brand advocates.

Visual social networks are key. Tap into insights from Instagram, Pinterest, and other visual social sites for a closer look into demographic information and customer behavior.

2. Prioritize on Branded Communities

Why exactly are branded communities so useful according to Forrester?

They’re a great way to drive reach. Instead of simply broadcasting information in the hopes your content will go viral, they can boost word-of-mouth. Invite your customers to join your exclusive community where you invite them to engage in meaningful activities related to your business.

According to Forrester, these are the opportunities you can tap into to create communities:

  • create communities where customers answers prospects’ questions
  • embed relevant community discussions in product pages on your website

3. Leverage Social As a Means to Close Sales Deals

In comparison to eCommerce within social networks, social will remain more effective to help close sales deals. Try out new social networks like Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. to give people ideas on what to buy instead of only focusing on Facebook or Twitter. Forrester encourages marketing leaders to experiment with these new social purchasing options.

Engaging at the right moment is key: use automated alerts that notify marketers and salespeople when and how they should act on posts from prospects when looking for specific products. This should help marketing leaders to better understand which social posts trigger a sales outreach.

What is the actual contribution of social media to your business? Reconcile marketing with sales. Get deeper insights and track whether people who saw a marketing message on social media actually made the purchase, either offline or online.