Social Media Trends to Watch in 2014
It’s an all new year, with new social media platforms, trends and best practices emerging all the time. According to just about every reputable social media monitor, multi-channel marketing is where your attention needs to be if you are in the retail biz. It’s been true for years, but 2014 promises to be THE YEAR for social media marketing. Here are a few things to look for:
Socialfresh reports that Content is King…yeah, I know you’ve heard that before. But the thing they suggest you be on top of is segmentation – making sure your copy fits the segment of the population you are trying to reach. That means switching up your copy depending on where you are posting. Posting to Pinterest? Great. Post knowing that you are mainly speaking to women, in fact, 1/3 of the women in the US use Pinterest.
The biggest mistake that marketers make is to assume that there’s a “one size fits all” solution for your social media strategy and each platform can be used the same.
- Facebook is your community of brand advocates where you are posting relevant updates whereas
- Twitter is where you’re having meaningful 1-on-1 dialogue
- Vine and Instagram humanize your brand through colorful photo and live video
- Pinterest connects your brand as everyday solutions
- Foursquare rewards your most loyal customers
Your content needs to be fresh, appropriate and engaging, and ready for mobile. Facebook’s engagement level is going way down. The other social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Instagram, and other visual social platforms are going up. Make sure you know how to engage your audience on each platform. Business2Business Community points out:
Visual social content is now a serious contender in social media marketing due to the convergence of a few factors.
- The rapid market penetration of smart phones and tablets
- The widespread availability of high speed wireless networks
- The decreased cost of data that makes high definition uploads cost effective
- The emergence of focused visual media social networks such as Pinterest, Vine and Instagram
Which leads us to mobile. Social Mobile is a must. Your customers expect it. I know I get seriously annoyed when I can’t find a good way to view a business, get reviews, find out if the owner happens to be on a two week Caribbean cruise instead of dishing up my favorite pasta, on my phone. You have to do it. Accept and respect the social mobile.
Traditional media is being ignored more and more by the big brands and artists. An example from Business2Business Communications:
The first inkling of this was seen when Beyonce launched a new album in December last year. She ignored the traditional mass media release of a radio campaign, multiple TV appearances and retail and consumer brand promotions. Instead she announced it on Instagram to her 8 million followers with the word “Surprise” and proceeded to launch the 14 songs and accompanying 17 videos on iTunes.
The unofficial numbers are said to be 365,000 album downloads on the first day and 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours. Beyonce has her own distribution network and its called “social media”. The power of her fans and crowd sourced marketing is now apparent to all. An interesting question here is “does she need traditional mass media?”
And finally, look for Google+ to finally make a little headway, maybe move a little content this year. Google+ actually has about 540 million users, which makes it second only to Facebook. I know how that sounds, because who really uses Google+? Lots of people have signed up, clearly, but early on most of them were either curious, doing it for business purposes or something along those lines. Now that it is finally gaining some speed, Google+ will be one to watch as 2014 progresses.
What social media platforms are you watching for 2014? We know a lot of our clients are excited about the different visual platforms…they are a better fit for a lot of different businesses. I know a lot of small businesses and home based businesses, as well as the manufacturers who supply those folks are very excited about Instagram, Pinterest, Vine…we’d love to hear what you are using to reach out to your audience and what platforms work the best to get leads and sales.