Social Media Marketing Takes Over in 2014
As we fly through another year (is it really almost May already?!), the emergence of social media platforms continues its upward growth. We are seeing a shift in the need for businesses to implement some sort of social media marketing from a suggestion to a necessity.
The benefits of integrating your business’s social media with your content strategy are evident; however, don’t waste time and resources on platforms that aren’t going to help.
It’s important to research where your specific audience is — what social networking sites are they connected to? To help you further, here are some social media platforms predicted to dominate in 2014.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Image-based social media sites are becoming increasingly popular. I’m constantly hearing teens and tweens say, “Insta[gram] pic!” or “I found it on Pinterest!”
Visual content is growing rapidly, and so are the platforms available on which to share that content. Image-based social media sites — like Slideshare and Tumblr — are potential platforms on which you can share your business’ content.
Don’t let your social media content marketing efforts go to waste — make sure your current social media visual content is shareable. Pictures from your website or blog can be shared on these image-based social media sites, providing new ways to reach customers (just make sure to include a link back to your original content!).
Micro-video on the rise!
At first Vine was primarily used by younger users, which eventually led to the hilarious trend “Do it for the Vine.”
However, some businesses have expanded their marketing content to this application and have been doing some pretty cool things. Check out how Lowe’s is leading the pack on developing some unique marketing content on Vine.
Although this hasn’t become a main platform for social media marketing yet, video-sharing sites might soon change the playing field in the consumer world.
The comeback kid
Believe it or not, Myspace is making a comeback! With some re-branding efforts and a complete design makeover, Myspace is back on track to become a popular platform again. With its new iPhone app, Myspace is allowing its users to send private messages, network, and even listen to their own radio station!
Although Myspace may never be able to truly compete with Facebook or Twitter, it is developing a strong market position. With its expansion into music, Myspace is increasing its market of potential users. Overall, Myspace is becoming a promising social networking site, expanding out to new audiences.
Google+, no surprise here!
Google has always managed to stay ahead of the curve by constantly improving their applications. Google+ specifically has seen a lot of innovation and growth resulting from it recently. Although Facebook still takes first in terms of number of active monthly users (1.15 billion users counted in 2013), Google+ is right on their heels!
Google+ is becoming more than a social media platform. With Google’s focus on collecting personal information (i.e. demographics, age, etc.), it is forming itself to be an all-in-one social network.
Since the platform is acquiring personal information, it is contributing to Google’s attempt to provide a more personalized search in terms of SEO and social signals.
Although it is not very clear if it is Google+ growing individually or as result of Google’s auto-creating a Google+ account for every Google account, it’s obvious Google+ will eventually become the platform with all the information.
Get linked with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is currently the top social networking site for professionals, with a booming user base of 238 million users! However, instead of just relaxing and enjoying its fame, LinkedIn is working to provide even more for its users.
LinkedIn launched its Influencers program in the past year, giving users the ability to follow influential professionals in various industries. Now not only is this platform a professional networking site, it also provides sources for content generation and other strategies.
As LinkedIn continues growing and accumulating more users, the professional networking site will become increasingly valuable, especially with B2B marketers.
Now get started
Now that you have an idea of which social media sites will be beneficial, you can begin integrating your content strategy on these sites. By researching and developing your target audience, you will be able to reach them more efficiently through social media platforms. If you know where your target audience is located, you can ensure you don’t waste time and resources on the wrong platforms.
The social networking sites mentioned above show promise of growth and great advantages for businesses, continuing to expand the social media marketing world as we blaze through 2014.