Social Media Predictions for 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, many businesses are reviewing their marketing plans and looking towards the future, which is likely to focus more and more on social media.

“In the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, it is imperative that companies keep up with social media trends and best practices to get the most return on their marketing dollars,” said Kelli Wilkinson, founder and CEO of PCR Agency, a Jacksonville-based inbound marketing firm. “While we saw explosive growth in the social media world in 2013, we expect even more developments this coming year, especially in the use of mobile devices, blogging and niche networks.”

Social media predictions for 2014 include:

Twitter & Pinterest will slowly overtake Facebook for business usage: Compare Twitter’s 218 million tweeters, Pinterest’s 70 million pinners and Facebook’s 800 million users, and it is clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild is the No. 1 social media network. However, now that Twitter is a public company, we are bound to see additional attention on the network, leading to more users experimenting with the platform. With revenue of items pinned to Pinterest up more than three times on Cyber Monday, retailers are sure to embrace the online pinboard as a key component of 2014 marketing strategies.

Visual content sharing (photos, videos, infographics) will have a greater impact than traditional content on driving visits and engagement: Mashable, a leading digital news website, says 34 percent of millennials watch more video online than on television. Forbes Media expects millennials to make up 50 percent of the workforce in just six years, so it is time to embrace visual preferences now instead of falling behind the curve.

Blogging will continue to be the single greatest source of inbound leads for businesses: Offering quality content optimized for search engines through a blog makes it simple for prospects to find a website and offers them information targeted to their needs. Blogging has been an important part of targeting inbound leads and should become an even more prominent part of marketing plans in 2014.

Mobile usage will continue to rise: With the anticipated growth of active mobile phones reaching more 7.3 billion in 2014, it is imperative that marketers embrace a mobile strategy. From apps related to business offerings or special deals based on a customer’s GPS location, there are countless ways to take advantage of the mobile boom.

There will be continued adoption and engagement of niche websites and networks: As buyers expect more and more tailored content, they will look for websites and social networks catering to their individual needs. With the growth of mainstream social sites like Facebook and Twitter, more users are seeking places where they can connect with others with similar interests. For advertisers, niche websites and networks are a dream come true: the best place to promote those gourmet dog treats is on a site dedicated to owners who spoil their pets.

This article was originally published by the Jacksonville Business Journal.

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