2013 was a great year for social media, and it will certainly become better in 2014. An article posted by Media Bistro shows predictions of social media growth worldwide stating that “200 million users globally were added in the past 12 months, with 1.61 billion people now active in social media.” Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps, Instagram, and many others aren’t just places to hang out, they have become something more. Many companies have a Facebook page, while others present their services on Pinterest. Statistics show that companies who don’t promote themselves on Facebook have less profit than the ones that conduct their marketing online.
2014 will be the year of visual-based content. People prefer pictures, and not any kind of pictures but something that denotes creativity. So, if you want to promote a certain product through advertising, creative ideas won’t be enough. It is helpful to take Photoshop courses or hire someone who knows how to use this program. Many marketing strategies rely on visuals. The saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words,” is true. Images were important even before 2013, but 2014 will take them to an entirely different level. The competition is harsher and there will be a battle between brands. Take the example of a meme and how it correlates a clever image with an idea. Memes will become even more used than before. However, it takes time to come up with a viral meme that can get to the customers and make them purchase a product. These marketing tactics are effective for brand recognition rather than direct lead generation.
Facebook is still the number one social network, but other social media sites have raised their status. Take for instance Instagram and Snapchat. Snapchat has become the 9th most popular iPhone app, and its rank will be higher in 2014.
It is important to stay ahead of the technology. One of my social media predictions in 2014 is, for those of you that own a business, don’t limit your activity to simple posts and advertising. In 2014 you need to come up with a great marketing strategy and offer up promotions and discounts to your consumers and you will see good results. Google Plus has two years of activity and growing at an exponential rate. However, it is still struggling to compete with trending social outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Google Plus and LinkedIn are catered much heavier toward B2B marketing, which secludes itself from the younger generations. However, there are reports that predict a change and Google Plus will gain more popularity.
Statistics show an increased use of smartphones, and many people will start using the iPhone more often than the desktop. So, make sure to focus on different apps and create interesting designs that attract daily attention. Business Insider offers factual statistics on the subject in this article. With all of this information being said, it won’t be enough to just have a website or just have a Facebook page. Companies need to start utilizing the primary social outlets and be active on all of them. This also means making sure that they are linked to your website and your everyday sales strategy. Offering discounts if someone ‘likes’ your Facebook page or ‘tweets’ about your company is one way to self-promote your business. It is not enough to simply post a blog or a picture – all of these outlets offer affordable advertising tools that will offer brand growth direct to your target audience. If you don’t have time, hire a company to manage your social media accounts.