As we are fast approaching a new year, it is important to look ahead to where social networking is heading, and how we can get on board with the happenings. Here are the most important social media marketing trends to watch out for in 2014.
1. Investing in Social Media Will Be a Necessity
While it is essential even today to invest in social media, 2014 will see a tipping point from 'should invest' to 'must invest'. Many businesses today are recognising the importance of integrating their content marketing strategy with their social media efforts, and are personally seeing social media's positive impact of on referral traffic, lead generation, and revenue. Businesses will realise the importance of hiring professionals in social media strategy to get the job done.
2. Google+ is Going to Be a Huge Superstar
Sure, Facebook leads the bratpack when it comes to active monthly users (1.15 billion at last count), Google+ is close behind, with the second highest number of monthly users (343 million). In addition to that, Google+ has a bigger ownership in terms of search power and is one of the most powerful social forces on the Internet today. By 2014, no one will be able to dismiss the potential of Google+ and people will start to view it as a personalized web experience that integrates all interactions a user has with Google products. Google Authorship will become one of the key components to Google's search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014.
3. Networks that are Image-Centric Will Be Successful
A social media marketing trend that started in 2013 was sharing content through image and video, rather than text-based content. This will continue and amplify in 2014. Any content strategy worth its salt will have visual content has a critical component. Social networking site Pinterest will become an integral part of retailers' marketing strategies and will shed its reputation as a female dominated network. Tumblr, Slideshare Mobli and Path will continue to grow.
4. Micro-Video Will Rise
Taking 3 minute-long videos and writing 140 characters is becoming too much of a hassle for the best of us. Enter Micro-video. Micro-video apps like Instagram video sharing and Twitter's Vine are leading to more real-time video sharing. Vine allows 6 second videos and Instagram allows 3-15 second videos. This means that users will start to create and share videos from their Smartphones. These bite-sized content pieces are sure to change the face of video-based social media.
5. LinkedIn Will Amplify its Position as a B2B Market Player
A social media marketing trend that everyone predicted for 2014 is that LinkedIn will emerge as the primary player in the B2B market. Even today, it has 238 million users and is the #1 social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn has managed to position itself as one of the largest sources of content curation and generation for professionals with the launch of its Influencers program. This means that the advantages of being on LinkedIn will be massive for B2B marketers.