Hello holiday marketers, I’m Katherine Griwert and in this week’s Content & Coffee, let’s talk about some of the year’s biggest social marketing trends you can’t afford to miss. Play the video to find out how you can create a social strategy that drives results, or read the text version below.  

Social marketing budgets will double by 2020 – but one of the most common questions we hear is, how can I determine social ROI? It’s important to take some risks in your social marketing because trailblazers are the ones who reap rewards, but which trends can really drive results?

1. Social contests generate ROI

If you’re looking for lead gen or sales, straight from social, you can’t afford to neglect contests. More than 3 million brands run them, and half of leading companies say promo clicks on social result in sales or at least qualified leads.

More than 3 million brands run social contests, and half of leading companies say promo clicks on social result in sales or at least qualified leads.

For consumer-facing brands, try a contest the rewards fans with a discount or free products in exchange for user-generated content that showcases loyalty. Business-facing brands might find discounted services lure people in, or tap into your followers’ desire to be thought leaders by rewarding them with a mention in a webinar or eBook that’s shared with the rest of your audience.

Contests are great for turning fans and followers into qualified leads by requiring contact info in exchange for the prize – but if you’re after new fans, or trying to broaden reach, it may be time to try ads.

2. Consider social ads

In 2015, businesses will spend $8.3 billion on social advertising – and that’s because it’s becoming harder to reach new users without them. We’ve often seen clients organic social reach peak because of the snowball effect from engagement on paid posts.

Looking for a complete guide to planning the right ads, and contests? Check out our recent resources that cover ROI friendly social trends:

And we want to know which social trends you’re trying for the new year! Tweet us @Brafton, and we may follow up for an interview.

Thanks for watching, and happy content marketing!

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.