Changes in Social Media for 2014

What are the emerging trends which will be changing in social over the next year?

1.)    More imagery & graphics
We’ve always known that images and graphics are more popular on social networks and it appears we were right. Social channels are ‘social’ so people want to share and engage with interesting content. Posts on Facebook with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs. The rise of Pinterest and Tumblr has reinforced the public demand for graphic based posts, which they can share with their friends and colleagues.

2.)    Social won’t be used for direct selling
Any company entering the social arena and looking at advertising should tread carefully. You are entering a completely different marketing platform, where people do not want to be sold to. The brands which do well on social channels concentrate their strategy on engagement, nurturing relationships and sharing value through their social outreach. People want to interact and engage with brands which offer value, entertainment, discounts and support.

3.)    The rise of LinkedIn
LinkedIn has firmly established itself as THE B2B social channel. It has attracted millions of businesses and well known public figures to create profiles, business pages and groups to form an ‘interactive business hub’.  Our advice is to get your business on LinkedIn, post original content and network amongst your peers.

4.)    Content will be champion
The demand and competition for creating interesting and engaging content will ramp up in 2014. Static, simple short messages no longer cut it. A company needs to engage on a deeper and more intelligent level. Each time you post content think ‘is this shareable’? if not rethink it. Infographics, short videos, emotive imagery and interesting stats enhance engagement and ‘share-ability’ in a big way. Write for your existing fans. Don’t constantly be reaching out for more. Look after the ones you have and more will come.

5.)    Google+ will become more important
Google+ has struggled to match Facebook since it launched in 2011. However, since Google apps launched the uptake of Google+ for businesses has increased. Some could argue this is forced as you can’t set up a Google Places, without a Google+ and Google has ramped up the pr on the SEO benefits of Google+. Though they could never admit to rewarding Google+ profiles over other social channels, they can argue that due to the restriction put on the other social channels for their search bots, Google + is easier to crawl….I will leave you to make a decision on the ethics of this. One thing to take note of is Google+ works well for businesses for connecting the dots of your search profile. Google remains the search engine of choice for over 80% of searchers, so jump on board or get left behind.

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