A Coming of Age

- By Bill Nolan

More than just a trend, social media is now your business to know! We had a great year for social media in 2013. A real coming of age. Some platforms surged ahead, others faded away like a bad habit, and we found some diamonds in the rough. Hopefully you were able to put some of the Savvy Social insights to great use during the past year. But, this is no time to slack off. Time to get rejuvenated and keep your company moving ahead of the game in the coming year. Here is what we see trending and likely to dominate in the beginning of 2014…

There is no denying it, social media is here to stay and is crucial to your company’s marketing. It has transitioned from something your business should have to something it must have. As its benefits such as referral traffic, lead generation, and revenue have become obvious, 2014 will see more and more companies commit the necessary time and resources to their social media strategy.

2014 Social Media Coming Of Age

Google+ is a PLUS! Google+ continues full speed ahead.
2014 could be the year that this powder keg blows! The numbers for this network increase monthly due to great interaction within the community, hangouts, and the terrific SEO aspect. If you throw in its other great features along with Google Authority’s ability to further enhance your brands exposure, then you can easily see this platform is heading one way… UP!

Foursquare may have forgotten where they were at.
Foursquare is spiraling out of control and all signs are suggesting it may not recover. Unimpressive traffic coupled with decreased revenue is bad news. With other, more popular networks offering location based features, indications are that Foursquare may become extinct in the new year as their users migrate to other networks… unless we are missing some big news or new feature?

VIDEO… need we say more?
Video, micro video, and photo sharing on your company’s social media platforms is huge. This should not be a surprise, but the rate of growth is surely a sign that you better figure out how to make it happen or you will be left way behind. Like I have mentioned in the past, utilizing YouTube, Vimeo, etc, in addition to adding photos within your posts will help get your products noticed. Also, micro video (3-16 seconds) sharing on sites such as Vine and Instagram are expected to skyrocket. But how many of these short clips are just of people acting goofy, etc? Keep in mind that in order for these brief videos to really benefit your business, your content will need to be very creative.

Smile, you need to get candid on camera!
Instagram is transforming itself into a legitimate contender for a spot in the Top 5 for social media platforms. With over 50 million unique monthly visitors, this video and photo sharing site has evolved from a standard “selfie” photo platform to a tool that can undoubtedly promote your brand. With the emerging popularity of micro video, the additional time allotted for video on Instagram gives it a definitive edge over other platforms such as Vine.

Is LinkedIn becoming disconnected?
Or should we say all about selfie? LinkedIn continues to allegedly be a top platform for business to business growth but we have mixed feelings about this site. It continues to feel like a “hey look at me” type of network which isn’t unusual considering it was started for the purpose of posting resumes. Many groups there are ghost towns and people hand out endorsements like they are handing out candy. Minimal interaction and diluted profiles drop this platform down a few spots on our 2014 list. If you want four or five social networks and have ample time to invest on LinkedIn then give it a try, otherwise I would pass at the moment. How quickly opinions have changed here.

Pay, PAY, PAID! $$ Billions more has been spent on paid advertising for social media in the past year.
Sometimes even your business’ best content can get lost in the clutter and this is the main reason that promoted pages/posts, tweets, adwords, etc, have become so popular and reasonable. If you want your company to reach thousands of users that typically wouldn’t see your posts, you have new products to introduce, or you simply want more likes and followers for your company then this is the road to take. But don’t worry about breaking the bank, with so many options available you can decide how much or little that your business wants to invest for this shot of social media adrenaline. It is worth the investment and the networks are providing so many OPTIONS!

Lastly, and for now, not yet the least… does MySpace have a legit place in Social Media?
Some say it’s about to make its presence known again. What do you think? We have decided to leave this one open for discussion.

In light of all the new social media platforms available, those still in their infancy and those that have come and gone in the blink of an eye… this list of trends could only cover the top news makers. Keep these tips in mind and your business will prosper as we head into 2014. Also, check in with the Savvy Social every Friday in the new year as we continue to provide you with the latest ideas and insights that keep your social media marketing running like a well oiled machine!