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The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

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The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

 

With new social networking platforms appearing from behind every corner, it can be hard to know exactly where to commit your time and resources. And as we move into the latter-half of 2013, it’s important to look ahead to where social networking is going, and how we can get on board.

As I think about the trends in social media so far this year, I’ve compiled a list of my predictions as to where we’re headed as we inch towards 2014.

1. Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury

While I’d argue that investing time and resources into a social media strategy is most definitely a necessity in 2013, I believe the tipping point in public sentiment from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ will occur in 2014.

Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue.

As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers.

The benefits of social media are many, but they include:

  • Improved social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm).
  • Company branding
  • Improved brand awareness
  • Word-of-mouth advertising
  • Increased customer loyalty and trust
  • Improved audience reach and influence

Social media is also one of the three pillars of SEO.

2. Google GOOG +0.4%+ Will Become a Major Factor

While Facebook FB +0.25% continues to lead the pack in terms of number of active monthly users (1.15 billion at last count), Google+ is quickly gaining steam, and in fact, now has the second highest number of monthly users (343 million).

With Google using the platform to collect personal information (think demographics, location, etc.), Google+ should no longer be thought of as ‘just’ another social network. It’s increasingly proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience. This is especially apparent with the importance of Google Authorship, which I project will be one of the key components to Google’s search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014.

I believe that businesses who are finding themselves spread thin with their social media efforts will increasingly turn to Google+ as the closest thing we have to a ‘one size fits all’ social network.

As Google+ moves towards even greater integration with other aspects of the web – as they’ve already done with their foray into local search – I think we’ll see its growth skyrocket, both in terms of business and personal use. For information on how to start using Google+, read “How to Breathe Life into Your Google+ Profile.”

3. Image-Centric Networks Will See Huge Success

We’ve seen a consistent trend in 2013 toward sharing through image and video, rather than text-based content. Visual content will increasingly become a critical piece of any solid content strategy, and social networking site Pinterest will continue to shed its reputation as a ‘women’s only’ network and become an integral part of retailers’ marketing strategies.

Other image-based social media sites like Slideshare, Tumblr, Path, and Mobli will continue to grow, and businesses will need to become more mindful about the ‘sharability’ factor of photos on their websites and blogs in order to derive significant benefit from their social media content marketing efforts.

4. We’ll Witness the Rise of Micro-Video

It seems that writing 140 characters and taking 3 minute long videos is becoming too tedious for many of us. Micro video to the rescue!

With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing. And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.

It will be interesting to see if and how these bite-sized pieces of content will change the playing field when it comes to video-based social media.

5. Foursquare Will Decline Sharply

With stale traffic numbers, and significant difficulties raising capital in 2013, Foursquare continues to struggle its way towards 2014.

With other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offering location-based features, it seems like only a matter of time before Foursquare folds and their users are absorbed into these other networks.

6. MySpace, Love it or Hate it, Will Grow

With their radical makeover and re-branding efforts earlier this year,MySpace appears to be getting its second wind. Offering an iPhone app that allows users to network, receive private messages, and listen to their own personalized radio station, MySpace seems to be on track for growth in 2014.

I don’t see MySpace ever again competing in the same space as Facebook or Twitter, but it will be interesting to see how the network grows among bands and music-lovers.

7. LinkedIn Will Become a Major Player for B2B Business Growth

Still holding steady as the #1 social networking site for professionals with 238 million users, LinkedIn isn’t just sitting on its heels. With the launch of its Influencers program, LinkedIn is positioning itself as not only another networking site, but as one of the largest sources of content creation and curation for professionals.

As it grows and attracts even more users, the advantages of being “linked in” will become enormous for B2B marketers. For a guide on how to use LinkedIn for Marketing, see my article “The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Marketing.”

Final Thoughts

Facebook and Twitter show no signs of imminent decline, but it will be interesting to see how they innovate to keep up with the growth of Google+ as well as image and video-based networks.

With social media behemoth Facebook turning 10 in 2014 (has it really been that long?), they’ll continue to focus efforts on mobile, and on offering advertisers opportunities to better target their ads. And while Twitter continues to be the golden child amongst B2B marketers, I’m curious to see if and how the rise of Google+ will impact its market share.

While most business owners are aware of the necessity of having a social media strategy, I believe 2014 will be the year where a majority will finally understand the necessity to commit the necessary time and resources to their social media efforts. I’m excited to see which up-and-coming networks grab a share of the market, and which have already run their course. If you’re a business owner looking to build your social media presence, I recommend this article: “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business.”

Which social networking sites do you think we should be watching? Which do you think are on their last legs? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @JaysonDeMers for more insights, predictions, and expertise.

 

 

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Social Media Principle – Be Open and Be Human

Social Media Principle – Be Open and Be Human

 

social Media

 

 

 

Social marketing earns, not buys attention so have an opinion, be true to what you say, be of value, be open – above all be human. 

“Ask not what your customers can do for you; ask what you can do for your customers”. 

As ‘social media markets become conversations’ customer relationships and advertising models are changing for good. Passive consumption becomes active interaction. Monologue becomes dialogue. Control becomes collaboration. Customers are empowered, well informed, connected. Companies are becoming more transparent whether they like it or not. 

It’s an environment in which the balance of effective communication shifts from being less about interruption to more about participation, less about delivering a message to more about being part of a conversation, less about what you say to people and more about what people are saying about you. 

It’s an environment, which operates to social principles – creating not subtracting value, serving a larger purpose than your own, being useful, facilitating. 

It’s an environment in which the more human elements matter – having a point of view, being true to yourself and what you say, being open, honest, transparent. Ford use social media to (in the words of Scott Monty) “humanize the Ford brand and put consumers in touch with Ford employees”, and regularly reach out to bloggers for feedback and to encourage the spread of positive word of mouth. 

Zappos believe that their “culture is their brand” and use social media marketing  to create touch points throughout every area of their business and ensure customer service isn’t just a department, it’s the entire company.

Authenticity is the currency that encourages trust, involvement, and engagement. Authenticity is what turns an audience into a following.

 

Make it a great day!!

 

Adele Coco Roberts

Virtual Marketing Empire

 

 

Hope this post brought you value.  Here are some more articles you may enjoy:

http://www.social-marketing.com/Whatis.html

http://socialmarketing.blogs.com/

http://www.i-socialmarketing.org/

 

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5 Ways To Convert Your Clients On Twitter

One of the main objectives in creating an attractive and interactive landing page for website visitors is to successfully convert them into loyal customers.

The same can be applied on Twitter. Social media marketers use good quality content, appealing visuals and other techniques to encourage users to follow and be part of their campaigns. It is essential to understand how Twitter users think and how demands in the market are created through information introduced to them.

How do you turn your regular Twitter followers into potential clients?

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1. Provide an explanation

Aside from simply introducing activities and products on Twitter, provide thorough explanations and give the specifics on why they should avail. Show the relationship between your posts and field of expertise.

Although customers already have some ideas on the topic, it will help to provide more details which will also encourage longer conversations and bring new content and material. Take time to answer questions or break down the issue into smaller subtopics for the target audience to understand it better.

2. Keep it simple

Provide simple and easy solutions to the demands of social media users. Give them step-by-step instructions as necessary or provide options depending on their capacity and available resources. Make sophisticated issues simpler, which will invite more people to listen to your advice. It also gives the idea that you understand the issues well, which is why you can give convenient approaches and alternatives.

3. Create mystery or controversy

Some of the most engaging or retweeted posts usually involve a controversy or fresh news. People are more likely to engage and follow you on Twitter since they intend to know more and get regular updates.

Consider how the topics affect a particular community or audience then provide them with the details. You can convert Twitter users into loyal followers or clients by giving reliable and good quality content. Use creative words that are easy to read and immediately spark interest.

4. Choose a side

When talking about events, people, brands, etc, try to share your opinion by taking a positive or negative side. It creates more controversy as well as helps you determine which people are siding on your and which ones are taking the opposite view. Convert those who share the same views and opinions by sharing well-researched content and exchanging ideas.

5. Proper timing

Learn when to post or tweet based on the regular log in times of the target audience. You can better communicate with key users as well as engage in regular conversations with them if you schedule the dates properly. When launching hashtags or other Twitter activities, ensure that relevant users can participate to successfully convert them into loyal clients as well as bring in more potential followers.

Maintain your relationship with loyal clients and thank them for participating or availing of your offers. Provide an opportunity for them to share feedback about your campaigns and tweets. Respond accordingly and in a timely manner.

Understanding the habits and manner of thinking of the target audience will help you come up with specific content that they will be interested in.