social mediaA recent report published by Leadtail Social Insights in conjunction with Neustar highlights compelling content is crucial to engaging followers on social media.

Subsequently, marketers are sharing more news from established and reliable sources and creating more of their own content rather than making wish-washy comments about nothing in particular.

A study involving 1434 content marketers showed that social media trends have changed in the last two years. Attitudes have switched from posting pictures of their lunch to publishing content readers actually care about.

It’s a no-brainer really. But that is not the only trend.

Social media strategies for 2015

So what are the other latest trends in social media marketing?

The biggest trend this year and probably every other moving forward, will be the growth in visual content. An image with a marketing slogan is proving to be an effective means of increasing lead generation.

Linkedin is fast becoming the preferred social network of choice, particularly among B2B companies. The network is specifically designed for professionals and content published on the platform attracts a higher level of engagement among peers and interested readers.

Linkedin also allows marketers to publish content directly into the forum where a ready-made audience is ready and waiting to read posts. Given the network also allows you to cross-post content in Twitter makes using Linkedin as a primary network even more convenient.

It has also become a custom for marketers to share content produced by third party sources, typically from established and recognised publications that are relevant to their industry.

A change in Google guidelines have principally governed this practice and essentially promotes publications the search engines know will naturally surface to the top of their standings, i.e mainstream media and online magazines with connections to major corporations. Search Engine Land is a prime example.

And as the survey proves, marketers typically use the same sources over and over, and unsurprisingly, they are a relatively small number of publication, Forbes, The Guardian, BBC and the New York Times amongst them. No surprises there then!

However, there are also authorative websites appearing such as About.com and Hubpages which gives marketers a better scope to have their content pitched to a targeted audience and even linked to a source of reference – a feather in the cap to writers that get a mention in third party posts!

The other shift in social media practices relates to followers. Know that the primary networks have limited the amount of content people receive, marketers have realised that it is the quality of follower rather than the amount of followers you have.

Research from a number of sources has shown that it is not the number of followers you have that is important, but the number of followers who actually engage with your content.

So to sum up, image based content and an audience that wants to read your content is key to a successful social marketing strategy. Get on the ball before your rivals do!