Social media marketing will continue to grow and evolve with technology, keeping things up to date and flexible year after year. We will start to see a trend of businesses creating social media staff out of current or even new employees being brought into their companies. This makes updating a social media site or campaign much easier and keeps everything in house for even more real time updates.
Content Aggregation Sites – Busy professionals want to know, at a glance, what the web is talking about at any given time. Sites like Digg, which has recently experienced a resurgence of popularity, are not only useful for keeping time-challenged individuals informed. Businesses interested in marketing content find that news aggregators are useful tools for getting the word out about a new product or event. Many participants gain notice on aggregation services by reposting interesting content. However, Digg allows posters to put their own spin on a topic by adding their own commentary. Just two major rules—make sure you properly attribute the original content and add something interesting to the story. If you can’t bring unique, interesting information to readers, you’re better off simply reposting the story as-is.
Exposure is Everything – In addition to gaining exposure through content aggregators, businesses and marketers will also begin to realize the value of guest blogging on high profile sites. If these businesses are unable to create and post the content themselves, they’ll look for high-profile influencers with which to partner. Offering free products and services in exchange for exposure will continue to wane as business realize likes don’t necessarily convert. Instead, businesses will seek to get people to purchase their products or services based on what they read online.
Text is No Longer Enough – The term “social networking” now encompasses a wide variety of options. No longer are users simply typing out a short status update about what they’re doing. Today, people are networking using photos, videos, check-ins, and more—all in an effort to interact with others. In 2014, businesses of all sizes will discover the power of social media sites like Instagram and Vine to creatively market content. As 2013 comes to a close, marketers are realizing that Google’s new changes address the way consumers search for information. Voice and localized search have a serious impact on the way content should be presented on sites. In 2014, marketers will need to consider the questions their customers are likely to ask of a search engine, then deliver content that answers those questions.
Viral Explodes – The power of going viral isn’t lost on marketers, but creating content so compelling (or outrageous) that audiences share it with others is extremely difficult. As content marketers struggle to go further than anyone has gone before, those attempts will likely become lost in a sea of similar content. To stand out in a social media world, successful brands will remain true to their customer base while also being innovative and unique. Customer engagement will become more important than ever as businesses realize the importance of reaching out to people on an individual basis, rather than sending out one generic message intended to win over the masses.
Google+ is Necessary – In its early days, Google+ struggled to get noticed in an overcrowded social media marketplace. Both businesses and consumers tended to disregard the platform, seeing it as just another site to keep up with. But 2013 has made it clear that Google will not let one of its services go down without a fight. Marketers are realizing that in order to get the search engine results they desire, Google+ membership is a must. For that reason, 2014 will likely be the year that Google+ users begin growing their circles and posting content through the service.
Measurement and Analysis – We’ve only begun to unleash the power of all of the information that exists about consumers. In 2014, businesses will spend more time than ever tracking click-throughs, conversions, and other behaviors on their social media sites, using this information to steer their campaigns. In fact, Big Data analytics is on most “top tech trends to watch” this year, showing how important statistical reporting will be in everything businesses do going forward.
This year business owners will start aiming more towards accurate reporting and the mobile market as these are the two most effective trends to be on for business success in 2014.
Do you know how you will be using your social media campaigns to further boost your business this year?