In the past years, we’ve seen the growth of social media marketing and how it affects customer behavior and engagement. This year, social media will continue to thrive, and in order to get ahead of the competition, businesses should know how to maximize exposure in this ever-growing channel. Here are the trends that are expected to hit social media this 2014:
1. Paid social ads will be on the rise.
The most effective social media campaigns this 2014 will be paid ads, as all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) are now offering paid advertising. Social media advertisements are proving to be a lot more effective than traditional forms of advertising. What’s behind the growing success of social ads? Social media marketing has the potential to reach large numbers of people for a little cost and they are quick to catch on for consumers.
2. Social mobile is now mandatory.
Social mobile is now becoming essential. Younger age groups in particular are logging into their social media services via their mobile devices. The rise of mobiles and their almost universal use means that optimizing your social content for mobile is vital. This year, companies should make sure their blogs are viewable on mobile devices by using responsive templates. Visual content such as images and videos need to be easily viewed on smart phones and tablets.
3. Visual social takes center stage.
Visual social content is now a serious contender in social media marketing. With the rise of Pinterest and Tumblr, it's going to become increasingly important to produce contents in visual form (whether they are infographics, images with text overlay, or pretty quote graphics). Slideshare Mobile and Path will also continue to grow. These social networking sites will become an integral part of retailers' marketing strategies.
4. Videos, particularly micro-videos, are in.
Videos should continue their upward ascent in the social media marketing toolbox hierarchy- specifically, short-form videos. YouTube shows no sign of fatigue yet for brands, the best promises come from the rise of applications such as Vine (with 6-second video capabilities) and Instagram (with 15-second video capabilities) complete with filters and integration within Facebook. More companies embrace these short videos as quick, inexpensive, and efficient ways to tell their brand story.
5. Google+ is the new superstar.
With over half a billion users and growing, Google+ is now becoming a vital component in SEO, social media marketing and content moving. Google+ has a bigger ownership in terms of search power than Facebook and it is one of the most powerful social forces on the Internet today. Google+ creates a strong community that allows you to use your brand and identify consumers who share an interest in your products. Promoted posts are the future of Google+ which makes more companies experiment and expand their presence on the platform.
6. Companies will experiment with Snapchat.
Companies have an appetite for so-called “ephemeral” networks like Snapchat, where content literally vanishes seconds after being received. As content on the major networks becomes more corporate and commodified, Snapchat and services like it restore some of the fun and spontaneity to social media. With the recent launch of Snapchat Stories, brand marketers now have an opportunity to ask customers to share their stories or interact with them, which would increase engagement and promotions.
7. LinkedIn will strengthen its position as a B2B market player.
LinkedIn will emerge as the primary player in the B2B market. Today, it has 238 million users and is the #1 social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn has managed to position itself as one of the largest sources of content curation and generation for professionals with the launch of its Influencers program. This means that the advantages of being on LinkedIn will be massive for B2B marketers. LinkedIn will become the most important publisher. It will become a premium destination for industry news, and organization need to take part in that ecosystem.
8. Twitter takes over.
Facebook is a promising social media marketing outlet and it still has its value. However, Twitter is trending to take over many different marketing efforts. A study by Pew Internet & American found that more and more teenagers were shifting from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, in great part “because there is less drama”. Twitter is expected to soar above other social media sites. Many companies already use Twitter to build network, re-distribute content from their websites, and create personal brand.
Consider these trends your guide as you create your social media strategy this year. We can also help you through our social media outsourcing services. You can learn more about it here.