As we wrap up 2013 and look ahead to the new year, now is a good time to start thinking about your social media marketing strategy for 2014. One of the biggest trends we expect to see is a continued shift towards shorter, more frequent communications, with a focus on visual, rather than text-based, content. Here are a few highlights of other trends to watch as we approach the new year.
The Continued Rise of Visual
Consumers are becoming more and more visual, and studies show they gravitate to marketing which is image driven. With the continued popularity of sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat, it is going to become increasingly important to come up with ways to visually promote your business and your brand. Whether it is utilizing more photos in email communications or interacting with your clients on photo sharing sites like Instagram, bringing more images to your interactions with clients means you can more effectively meet their marketing wants by communicating with them where and how they want you to.
The Importance of Micro-Video
Micro-video is a new trend that emerged in 2013 and revolutionized the video sharing business, with sites like Vine leading the way. Vine allows users to upload 6 second videos and share them with friends, filling the consumer desire for short bursts of visual communication. Industry giant Instagram soon jumped on board, allowing its users to share 3-15 second videos with their followers.
In this time where people want short visual bits of information shared more regularly and rapidly, micro-video is a new and powerful tool for marketing. A series of micro-videos could be used to tell the story of your brand, promote new offerings, or set you up as an expert in your field.
Social Media is Still King
Facebook and Twitter will continue to dominate in the social media market, with the highest number of regular users. But they are showing a shift towards more visual communications as well. Picture-dominated posts consistently get the most interactions on both platforms and both sites have made improvements to enable quicker and easier sharing of photos and videos. Both are poised to continue strongly in 2014.
Google+ will be the social media site to watch in 2014, as it continues to grow and link its social media site to all the other Google brands. It automatically opts in all users of any of its brands to Google+, which made it the fastest growing social media site in 2013. Recently, it linked YouTube comments to Google+ accounts as well, helping to drive consumers to its platform. With long term experience in visual communications, it will only continue to grow in importance throughout 2014.
2014 will be an exciting year for social media marketing. As the visual side of things continues to grow and consumers continue to demand rapid, to the point, image-based communications, it is more important than ever to adjust your marketing strategies to embrace the visual. In an industry where visual images have always been important, this is an easy and effective marketing change which can produce huge results.