“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” This frequently quoted phrase definitely applies to your social media strategies for 2014. It does not imply that you’ve been doing anything wrong, but in order to keep your competitive edge, you need to stay ahead of the game. Take a look at these emerging social media trends for 2014.
The term “trendjacking” describes the act of capitalizing on an existing news trend in order to boost one’s brand in the marketplace. For example, after Prince Harry’s Las Vegas nude photo scandal, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority took out a full page ad in USA Today, shaming those who broke the Las Vegas Code of Honor. In other royal news trends, the birth of Prince George prompted brands such as Google, Pampers, Saatchi and Coca Cola to jump on the bandwagon and create signature, congratulatory posts on their social media pages. Luis Carranza, innovation director at the ad agency Inferno, wrote
Brands can demonstrate that they’re culturally relevant by tapping into the news agenda. By riding on the hype of current affairs brands can become part of the news. For this tactic to work a rapid turnaround is obviously needed to communicate with audiences at high speed. Creative advertising campaigns often take months to perfect, so haste can be a risky strategy. However, in a world that demands instant gratification and with the immediacy of social media a sense of urgency is becoming the norm.
2. The MySpace Comeback
This is not a joke. The New Myspace even attracted the attention of Forbes:
With their radical makeover and re-branding efforts earlier this year, MySpace appears to be getting its second wind. Offering an iPhone app that allows users to network, receive private messages, and listen to their own personalized radio station, MySpace seems to be on track for growth in 2014.
In fact, as more of the young ones make a mass exodus from Facebook , any company that markets to Millennials might benefit from using MySpace.
3. Google Plus Gains Momentum
The Forbes article also noted participation in Google Plus as one of the social media marketing trends for 2014. As the child of a search engine giant, a Google Plus profile for your business is essential for increasing traffic and page rank. Google is also testing a new product called +Post ads.
+Post ads amplify your brand’s content by easily turning Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. The live, social ad format allows you to go beyond clicks to live conversations with your audience. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand or give a +1, right from an ad.
4. Hashtags, Hashtags Everywhere
Once limited to Twitter, hashtags have become the norm on Facebook, Google Plus, and even television shows. In case you didn’t know, a hashtag is a pound sign that precedes word or group of words creates a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. In a sense, hashtags represent a new form of SEO.
5. Lights, Camera, Video Marketing
More than 50 percent of all online traffic is now video-based, and your potential customers are embracing it with open arms. Even authors are using book trailers to promote their work. For best results, keep your video catchy, short and simple because you are demanding attention from a world full of people with increasingly shorter attention spans.
6. Go Mobile, or Go Home
Mobile marketing is one of the most prominent social media marketing trends for 2014. In fact, the results of a study conducted in 2013 indicate that almost 40 percent of time spent online is through some type of mobile device. Experts predict that mobile usage will in increase in 2014. This year, when selecting your digital platforms and marketing solutions, invest in those that are mobile friendly, responsive and adaptive.
7. Predictive Marketing Tools
The most successful social media marketers of 2014 will have a crystal ball, known as a predictive analytics tool. Rather than analyze data from the past, these technologies use data mining, modeling and statistics to predict future performance. Check out Trendspottr and Bottlenose for the shape of things to come.
8. Increased Social Media Marketing Budgets
The results of a survey conducted by StrongView, a marketing solutions provider, indicate that about 46 percent of business leaders plan to increase their social media budgets in 2014. Companies that want to keep up with their competition will stop treating social media as a group effort, and start hiring qualified social media specialists.
9. LinkedIn for B2B
Yahoo business advisers predict that in 2014, thanks to the new Influencer program, LinkedIn will emerge as the top source for business-to-business related content. High profile CEO’s, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from all major industries comprise the Influencer network, making it easy for members to harness the power of LinkedIn’s branding, advertising and product-featuring opportunities.
10. Contests for Marketing
In 2014, social media marketers will create more promotions, contests and giveaways, in order to attract new fans and interact with existing ones. These activities offer a fun factor, which increases the possibility of enthusiastic participation and engagement. Companies such as OfferPop and Wildfire help launch and market these online events.