What’s in Store for Social Media in 2014

Does your brand have New Year’s resolutions for 2014? Do you know what will be trending next year? Here are a few marketing trends you can expect in 2014:

  • A budget for social media will be a must these days. Yes, it is free to create and manage social media accounts but with a lot of these social media companies going public, they will need to start making money to keep their shareholders happy. Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Management Association recently did a study and found that in August 2013, social marketing spending accounted for an average of about 6.6% of marketer budgets.In 2014, that share is expected to rise to 9.1%, and in the next five years, marketers expected social to account for 15.8% of spending.
  • Start paying closer attention to your analytics. Check what’s trending each day and engage in conversations about topics that are relevant to your company. Be cautious on straying too far from trending topics that have little to do with what your company represents. Engagement should be natural and commenting on a random topic will come off as forced or a publicity stunt.
  • Content marketing is critical. Google’s new search algorithm, Hummingbird, uses “conversational search” which brings up better results based on the way we speak. Simply put, you will need to have quality content that is published frequently. The steady rise of platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ will make pictures matter more than text. Your content is much more valuable when it is shared and according to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than posts that only have text.
  • While photos are easily the most shared content, micro video is becoming very dominant in visual storytelling. With Vine only allowing 6 seconds of video and Instagram allowing 15, it will take some creativity to correctly get your message across. But with Instagram being owned by Facebook and Vine owned by Twitter, these marketing tools will only increase in popularity.
  • User-generated content is a great way to get your fans to be a part of your company. One example of this is having your customersupload photos to Instagram with a relevant hashtag so that other people can see them using your product. Having your fans take an active role in your marketing is a cost-effective strategy.

2014 will surely be a visual year for social media marketing. What other trends are you predicting?  Feel free to leave me a comment or connect with me on Twitter.