What does 2014 hold in store for social media?

forecasting(Image by Dreamstime)

 We’re already in October! Phew we’ve had a cracking week and we’re sure it’s the same for all you good folks out there. While you may have your work cut out for you until Christmas, let’s get ahead of the game and prepare ourselves for what’s coming in 2014.

2013 was a good year for the Internet; changing everything in it’s path with the way information is shared. More inbound marketing techniques are being used, and more companies are embracing content. We’ve seen a shift in publishing original content and sharing others content instead of advertisements with external content; bringing about improvements in company branding and audience growth.

There are social networking platforms popping up everywhere and it is safe to say that this will continue to be the case in 2014 as well; which means that we’ve all got to plan our resources and time accordingly.

 Here are our predictions for 2014

social-trends-11392504

  1. Social Media is more necessary  now than ever before:  Social media can no longer be just a luxury for companies but rather an absolute necessity. Companies can no longer say “We’ll think about social media as an option” but should now say “I definitely need it, what do I have to do?” Businesses globally are reaping the benefits of social media; namely lead generation, traffic to the website, growth and brand building.  Companies will now have specific staff to do the assigned social media work and start gaining! When there’s SEO, branding and  increased loyalty to be won, why would companies think twice about using social media?

2. Content Marketing will start ruling the roost:  According to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research report; content marketers are using more tactics than ever before! Companies are establishing authority, gaining their consumer’s trust and building loyalty through the valuable content that is being generated by a variety of channels. Companies can build rapport with specific audiences in a demographic. Also mentioned in the report, the top B2B content marketing strategies are more customer testimonials, social media, blogs, videos, articles, e-newsletters and case studies. Using less of podcasts, printed ads, and materials in newspapers, TV and radio ads are becoming less effective. The trend will be more customer engagement, influencer becoming the influencing, using word of mouth tactics and social feedback cycle.

3.    More social media budgets and diversity: Businesses were earlier using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but have now evolved to using Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr. These have provided businesses an array of options that allow them to create engaging content and build audiences through a variety of channels. In the same breath, as there are more channels being used, businesses will now be allocating more budgets to social media as part of their marketing campaign. The diversification will be useful as it allows consumers to recognize a particular brand.  Social media will no longer be viewed as an individual silo but working in tandem with the overall marketing campaign

 4.We’re going Mobile!  This one is not much of a surprise we know, but according to Techcrunch  Facebook’s share of global mobile internet ad revenues will reach 15.8%  this year from 2012’s 5.35%. Adobe 2013 mobile consumer survey  says that accessing social media is the number  one mobile activity today.  What does this imply?

That you have to invest in mobile marketing! Facebook ads and mobile ads seem to be working for companies and brands, so consider engaging, interactive content as part of your mobile strategy.

5.Make content more engaging:  Think about this- Rich images over text based content. Which do you think more people will click on? Image based social media sites like Flickr, Path, Slideshare will continue to grow and businesses will need to be more attentive to photos sharing on their websites and blogs in order to gain a huge benefit from their social media efforts.

 

Have you noticed people loving Buzzfeed’s news and lists? We do too! It is because of their images and engaging content.

Try answering these questions when developing your social media content plan for 2014.

–       How do I use pictures or videos to make a point?

–       How do I do it differently?

–       How do I make my content less text focused?

With Instagram video and Vine, micro-videos are the next big thing. We’ll be seeing more of user generated real-time video sharing.

relevance of content(Image by WeSEE)

      6. AD – Retargeting: Retargeting means that ads can be placed on social sites based on a visitor’s interaction with other websites. It works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit.  For ex: If you were looking to buy a vacuum cleaner and you logged onto a Harvey Norman Website, the next time you log into Facebook you will see an ad for Dyson.

 

Although it can get annoying, re-targeting could lead to more efficient marketing spend for companies and more importantly cater to the needs of the audience. It works to increase overall conversion rate by reminding consumers what they were looking for.

Here’s a great graphic by  The Atlanta Journal Constitution explaining the process:

 ad retargeting

 (Image by Ajcmediakit)

7.    Google plus is essential: 

googleplus

 See that ‘+1’ button everywhere? It plays a significant role in Google’s search rankings. It is designed to gain a deeper understanding of shared interests and is more suited to businesses. It ‘s about getting to know the Internet audience better so that Google searches can become more relevant and targeted.

Having a Google plus profile will increase your chances of your ideal client finding your business in a Google search.

There you go! Top 7 trends to look out for in 2014. Looks to be an exciting year ahead!

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know.

-Social Pandora

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