Social Media – What’s in Store for 2014?

2014

SocialMediaopolis recently published an article titled “5 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014” claiming Twitter is going to surpass Facebook, video is going to become even larger and introduced the concept (to me) of Snapchat Marketing. Other predictions include Google+ finally becoming a social media player and collaborative social media to become popular in the New Year.

I couldn’t agree more.

I have stated for a while that Facebook is going to find its peak. It will only be a matter of time before it becomes “old news” and social media addicts will migrate to other platforms to get their social media fix. We have already begun to see this with claims that teenagers are leaving Facebook in droves because it has become “uncool”. Translation: their parents figured out Facebook, so now it is time to leave. This isn’t the first time we have seen this. Remember “MySpace”? Same thing. And the truth is where teenagers flee, marketers will go and the masses will follow.

I believe the next go to platform will be Twitter. With an IPO under its belt, the mass introduction will not only be to the stock market. I believe this is the next step in the social media journey for many. Now if you are an early adopter of social media, you are probably thinking “Yeah, been there, done that.” However, for the masses this seems the next logical step. Also, we have seen Twitter become fully integrated into marketing, advertising and television. One word: “hashtag”. Everyone has heard of it but most don’t know what it is, or how to use it. Television shows and advertising are encouraging hashtag usage to communicate while watching shows. It is only a matter of time before individuals set up their accounts.

Number 2 – Snapchat marketing. Honestly I wanted to dope slap myself and say “Why didn’t I think of that”. Nothing makes a sale happen faster than emphasizing the lack of time – “Buy now or you will lose out on this special deal.” Snapchat is a mobile app that sends picture messages that self-destruct within seconds of the user opening the message. Perfect alignment and a great way to use code words and offer special deals to buy products now. 16 Handles – a New York yogurt chain was the first reported company to test out snap chat marketing. Read more about their savvy campaign.

Next Google+ – the red headed-step child or Social Media has finally come into its own – and is dyeing its hair to match its social media siblings. Meaning – Google is making some changes to make the platform more appealing. Reports credit Google+ as being the second largest social media platform. However, the engagement rate is very low. What this means is people set up Google+ accounts but they aren’t using them. This isn’t a surprise. 1.) To set up a Google+ account you need a Gmail account, which many people have. 2.) The point of social media is to interact with people. If no one is “talking”, why would you spend your time there? Google pulled out the big guns – changing up their algorithm and introducing Google Hangouts – which I admit is amazing. With a Google Hangout it is very easy to have a video chat with anyone, anywhere. All you need is access to a camera which most of our devices come with. I believe Google Hangouts and Google Helpouts will attract the engaging audience that Google is looking for.

Social media 2014 Now a new concept that is starting to become more popular – collaborative marketing. I agree with the author that this is “just scratching the surface”. I predict by the end of 2014 it will become much more popular but is a little too soon for the online world. The early adopter marketers will test this out and give us some great case studies to analyze in the coming year. The best example I have seen of collaborative marketing on a local level is with Salem Food Tours. Pre-planned, themed tours that tie in the local economy for interested participants. We have also seen this example on a larger scale with home exchange programs. Individuals that can swap their homes for an agreed upon set of time – actually vacationing in another person’s home.

Finally, video. YouTube has been huge for a while now. You can find anything you want on this platform and it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. I know I would rather watch a video than read an article. Going back to my earlier comment with Google Hangouts and that mostly everyone has access to cameras on their devices, this puts the content creation in the hands of the user. Anyone can create a video and upload to YouTube. This resulted in lower standards when it comes to video marketing. You don’t need a high-end camera, a media agency or even superb editing skills. “Internet aesthetic” aka individuals recording video in their homes, is becoming the way of the world. The reason this works is because the video is real and more relatable.

As 2013 ends and 2014 approaches it will be interesting to see where social media marketing takes off.