It’s the start of a new year, 2014 to be precise and one which promises for continual evolution and change in the social media marketing world. As predictions are fun to do I thought I’d get down where I think the industry will go this year.
The rise of new social platforms
Aside from the big social networks of Facebook, Google+ & Twitter, we’ll continue to see rapid adoption of new social platforms, just as we’ve seen the likes of SnapChat & Vine. Mobile-only will continue to be a focus, as will services performing one feature very well. Growing sites such as Pheed (offering users content monetization), Thumb (crowdsourcing opinions) and Chirp (say you want to instantly share a photo or link with a roomful of people) are all in the ones to watch category for brands.
Focus on topical opportunities
No matter how much planning you do, sometimes the best inspiration quickly follows an impromptu moment. The Oreo Super Bowl blackout moment was a perfect example of this. Social media marketing needs to have room to be spontaneous, topical and relevant. The trending topic and hashtags will be even more important this year.
Integration with new devices
It is rumoured cars will be able to connect with 4G in 2014. Also our homes are getting smarter; TV, games consoles, electrics, thermostats, domestic appliances, all connected to the WiFi network. This offers great opportunity for integration of social networks and deeper personalisation for brands building these products.
Advertising and monetization
Following IPOs Facebook & Twitter will be looking to diversify their paid-for services including introducing video ads and Twitter introducing promoted accounts in the timeline. Other platforms such as Instagram have started to introduce ads, could we see the same on Google+ and Pinterest this year? As these platforms build in scale there are increasing pressures to monetize, and brand adoption is a key part of this. This will provide both an opportunity for brands to pay for visibility, as well as an increasingly blurry line between organic and paid content for audiences.
Content, Content, Content
Every brand is now a publisher whether they like it or not. And good content is remains king. We’ll see brand investment in photo, audio and video content continue this year, alongside an evolution of what content goes on a brand’s Facebook or Twitter feed. Engagement has become the #1 metric for social media marketing, and brands will look to delight, surprise, educate and entertain their fans this year through a spectrum of different content forms. (PS I hate the word content – can we come up with a better word please!?)
What do you predict will be a big trend for 2014? Do you agree with me on the above? Comment and let me know…