BY VICKI MCLEOD – THE TIMES January 16 – 2014 Having spent a goodly part of the recent holiday season ensconced in my pajamas, mouse and mincemeat in hand, cruising the Internet, here are my top predictions for social media trends in the upcoming year.
1. Getting Social
If you aren’t already using social media for your business or brand, 2014 is the year you’ll jump in. Pundits are predicting that reluctant adapters will have no choice but to get social. Period. Social is here to stay and large brands already dominate the social landscape. Businesses can no longer afford to avoid using social media as a significant part of their marketing mix. In 2014 small, home-based and micro-businesses will make the leap in big numbers. If you’re jumping into social, make room in your budget for it, whether it’s upgrading your hardware and software, hiring a consultant or allocating staff you’ll need some resources.
2. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will continue to be the three strongest platforms in 2014. If you’re one of those businesses taking the leap, you’ll want to invest your online time and energy least one of these three. Recent changes to the Facebook algorithm mean that business page posts are not receiving the same visibility in the newsfeed as they were. Facebook ads are quickly replacing organic reach. Twitter is also increasing its paid reach options. That budget allocated for 2014? Save some for paid social. Linked-In will remain the go-to platform for professionals and executives.
3. Instagram and Pinterest
In terms of what’s coming on strong in 2014, my money is on Instagram. It was the fastest-growing social media platform in 2013 and currently has more than 150 million users. Pinterest was the darling of 2013. Both of these platforms are all about the pretty pictures. Brands get to tell their stories visually, and we love it. Instagram offers short-form video (3-15 secs), a response to the launch of Twitter’s Vine app (6 secs) earlier in the year. Think visual, watch for more video to come, and implement an Instagram strategy.
4. Google +
Google + is two years old and has over 300 million users. This is the year that Google + is going to hit a tipping point. I don’t predict it will replace Facebook, its strongest competitor, but with features like Hangouts and Communities, it’s well worth creating a Google + profile and business page and taking it for a test drive. Google also dominates search, which in itself is a good reason to have an active presence. Plus, you’re going to want to be there when the party starts.
This one might be more of a wish than a prediction, but I’m hoping that 2014 is the year that businesses really grasp the notion of social media as a way to integrate and build relationships and offer value. The power of the medium lies in its nature as an integrated ecosystem that enables us to connect to one another via numerous touchpoints. While the place we call the Internet is virtual, the relationships we create are real. Here’s to a connected 2014!
Does the following quote, mean that I can just use my regular Facebook page for what I am doing, My Business page still does not have the magic number of likes. "
"Recent changes to the Facebook algorithm mean that business page posts are not receiving the same visibility in the newsfeed as they were. Facebook ads are quickly replacing organic reach
Thank you and glad to see that you have healed nicely
Hi Donalda - Great question, and the answer is, No. You still want to keep building fans and followers on your business page, and posting about your business there. The recent changes to the algorithm just mean it's going to be harder for you to get engagement, and for your fans to see your posts in their newsfeeds. Check our monthly newsletter for updates and ideas as to how you can continue to get organic reach. Thanks for your kind wishes.