At the beginning of each year, people tend to make resolutions to do something new, to do some things differently, or to do better in certain things. For SEO professionals and online marketers, among the things that tale up their time as they welcome a new year are looking back at the trends of the previous year and looking forward to a better year. As part of your preparations for 2014, you may want to know more about the trends that are expected to hit social media this year.
Trend #1: The Job Scene Gets Bigger and Better
To be specific, six jobs related to social media are expected to hit it big in 2014. These jobs are: Social Media Strategist, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social Media Copywriter/Blogger, Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Online Community Manager, and SEO Specialist. If you’re already working in any of these capacities, you can expect to become even more important to business owners this year. If you’re a business owner who’s just about to get their feet wet on the social media scene, then it would be a good idea to start looking for a specialist right now.
Trend #2: New Platforms on the Rise
Social media marketing started out being all about Facebook. Well, almost. Experts predict that things will change this year, for the following reasons:
• MySpace is poised for a comeback. The new version of this social networking site is still in the infancy stage, though, so we’re not really advising you to go all-out in preparing a MySpace marketing strategy for your brand. What we do advise is that you keep an eye out for this platform.
• Google+ is finally expected to make its presence felt. Google has made it clear in 2013 that their social platform will be an integral part of their overall scheme. As a result of all the updates they implemented recently, you may have noticed sites using Authorship generally ranking higher than those without Authorship. Google has also put in place an authorship ranking system that assigns a value to each author profile. The higher your author rank is, the higher your search ranking is likely to be. If you still haven’t set up a Google+ profile, it’s best to do so NOW. Oh, and don’t forget to link your content to your Google+ profile for authorship purposes.
• Visual content will reign. Content has always been king, but visual content is now poised to take centerstage in 2014. Consider this: Facebook posts that come with images have about 53% more “Likes” and 104% more “Comments” than posts without images. Micro-videos have also become more popular, thanks to sites like Instagram and Vine. Speaking of Instagram and Vine, it may be a good idea to start mastering their video features, as it just might come in handy for making video ads in 2014.
• Twitter is here to stay. This isn’t really a new social platform, but it took a while for online marketers to warm up to Twitter as a marketing tool. 2013 was a good year for this platform, though, as more and more people became interested in what’s “trending” and more and more brands wanted to land on the “trending” list. It’s also worth noting that Twitter has successfully completed their IPO, so things are really looking good for them this year. You may want to brush up on your Twitter marketing strategy a bit.
Trend #3: Social Audience On-the-Go
I’m sure you’ve noticed how more and more people have started logging into social networking sites on mobile devices in 2013. People even take pictures of themselves in bathrooms and then post the photos on their social media accounts! Social media has definitely gone mobile and there’s good reason to believe the trend will become even more popular in 2014, so you better start learning how to use those mobile apps. When you plan your 2014 social media strategy, don’t forget to include strategies for promoting your brand on the versions of social sites that are designed for mobile use. Your target audience should be able to constantly engage with your brand whether they’re relaxing in front of their computer at home, waiting for a train at the subway, or grabbing a quick lunch somewhere.
Trend #4: Search and Social Works Hand-in-Hand
If you’ve paid attention at all to the growing trends in 2013, you would have noticed Google assigning more value not only to content linked to Google+ profiles, but also to Tweets, Facebook updates, Likes, Shares, and even Pinterest Pins. A study has even revealed that of the 10 Most Significant SEO Ranking Factors, seven are associated with social media. The line separating search and social is expected to blur even more in 2014. It is therefore a must for website owners to make their mark on social media this year. Bear in mind that a strong presence on social media can give your SERP rankings a good boost at this point.
Trend #5: Content is STILL King
Yes, even on social media, content is what makes things go ’round. Every single trend we mentioned earlier is still a mere sub-category of content. Of course, social content is a bit different from the content you publish on your official website, so you’ll have to learn more about it if you want to launch a truly successful social media marketing campaign. 2014 is indeed the time to brush up not only on your SEO tactics, but also your social promotion techniques and your overall social media strategies. Make sure your social media accounts all have unique and fresh content at all times to keep your audience hooked to your brand.
As you plan your online marketing strategies for 2014, you just might get overwhelmed by all the information you need to take in and everything you need to do. When this happens, the best thing to do is to keep everything REAL. Everything else is sure to follow.