Between each of the three pillars of modern marketing – social, search and content – it is the social aspect that most markers are focusing on. And there is a very good reason for this. 10 years ago social media was barely a blip on anyone’s radar, these days it practically drives commerce all on its own. According to statistics from Mediabistro, 87% of small businesses say that social media helps their operation. As for the big boys, well, 77% of the top 100 Fortune Global companies now have a Twitter account. It’s a safe bet that this figure will be closer to 100% in the coming years.
But as any savvy advertising mind knows, trends in social media are always shifting. After all, it was only in the last year or two that YouTube moved beyond a mere clip site and became a social media platform to rival Facebook and Twitter. Staying abreast of changes such as this is crucial for any marketing operation. With that in mind, here are a small handful of trends in social media marketing that should become present in the coming year.
Less Text, More Images
It’s not a fluke that Pinterest has skyrocketed in popularity in a very short amount of time. Where once it was assumed that a great piece of written content was all that was required for shareability, image-based sites have proven that social media users love the visual as much as the verbal. 2014 will see a continuation in the spike of image-based bits of content that people pass around social sites. To this end, sites like Tumblr and Slideshare should be right up there with Pinterest in terms of popularity.
Mandatory Social Marketing
According to eMarketer three-fourths, of advertising pros planned to concentrate their efforts on social media in 2013. This number will only go up in 2014. Many businesses and companies are already creating entire in-house social marketing departments in order to boost lead generation. There are any number of statistics that can help bolster this point, but one stark stat comes once again from eMarketer: half of all social media users under 35 follow the product recommendations of their friends. It’s this reality that allows for simple metrics that can be put in place to accurately track marketing impact.
The Domination of Google+
Google+ may have had a rocky start when it was first introduced to the masses in 2011, but it turns out that predicting its demise was very premature. The online world has warmed to Google’s SEO platform in a short amount of time, and today it is ranked second behind Facebook in terms of unique users. That’s because the platform’s utilization of various social signals to offer customized search results to each individual user runs like a dream. But it is the fact that Google Authorship is quick becoming the standard for popular shared content that makes this platform the one to beat in 2014.
These are just a few things marketers can count on in the coming year. Other trends likely to rear their heads include the increasing popularity of video-based social sites (besides YouTube), as well as innovation as a direct result of competition between Facebook and Google+.
Image by: Wikimedia Commons
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.