It’s trendy to write about next year’s social media trends, especially this time of the year, and readers eat these articles up. Though I cannot help but notice, these trends are easily identified by almost everyone in tune with their social media marketing. The “gurus” telling you what’s what for 2014 are doing the same things as you: reading a lot of other articles, compiling data, filtering small talk out, analyzing, and then coming up with the trends. With a bit of concentration, they predict next year – and so can you! Let’s take a look together at five major social media trends predictions for 2014 and explain them in plain words.
1. Video usage will heavily increase. This is always safe to say. Video in social media started getting big in 2006 when Gary Vaynerchuck first got on camera with his wine reviews. It has continuously growing since then. In 2012-2013 social media went into a video-frenzy. It can be easily predicted that in 2014 even the shyest of the camera-shy will try to make a video about their niche or field. What nobody seems to say is that we’ll experience a lot of blurry, low light, poor-information videos, with a background of unfolded laundry and roaming pets – because decent videos, packed with content and shot in good light will still continue to cost a lot. My advice: if you get into home-made videos for your business, look up a few pro tips about video making, before spending the time to make them, and before losing every new viewer with dark and disheveled videos. You don’t have to be a TV personality to get on camera and good videos can be done on cheap, if you do a bit of research ahead.
2. Everything goes mobile. You already know that almost everyone has a smart phone. People of all ages know what apps are. They look up on their phones new restaurants, golf clubs, directions, book reviews, and just about everything. Look at how people use their smart-phones and you won’t need a “guru” to tell you that your website should work fast on mobile. You also don’t need an IT specialist to tell you that your computer is more powerful than a mobile phone – hence it handles a full-size website better than a phone would. It’s all baby-logic that all websites need to be optimized for mobile search. No more stuffy, clogged websites with lots of pages added with the same format from five years ago. Invest a bit in updating and optimizing your website. You’ll be happy that you did. I just did it, and it was worth!
3. Content is king. D’oh! I mean, really? Everyone should understand that fluff pieces, “sell-sell-sell”, and “me-me-me” articles are NOT read! Nobody told you to approach writing with a no-nonsense, provide-value angle? People are NOT interested to read a blog about the cronut you ate for lunch, if your business is about repairing cars; save that for SnapChat. Would you read anybody’s piece that talks about how amazing they are and why you should buy their services/products immediately – or would you rather read a piece that teaches you something or is taking in account YOUR needs?
4. Image-marketing will heavily increase. Let’s see – do you like good pictures? Would you rather see how my kittens look at play, rather than me telling you they play with a mouse-toy under my desk, for hours? Would that picture of them tumbling around a toy be funnier and more relevant? There you go, you already know that showing is more powerful than telling. And if you’re on Pinterest, you know how much time it sucks out of your day to brainless hunt the next, next-next, and next-next-next gorgeous picture…
5. Google Plus will continue to grow. If you only noticed that G+ became the second biggest social network this year, you would then know it will be significant next year, too. A structure of its size takes a few years to reach heights and to fall (if that happens). Plus – “papa Google” owns the biggest search engine. Does it make sense that “Google-boy” would be indexed ahead of other social networks, rivals of Google+? Would you hire and promote your own kids rather than their competition? Yep, me too, proven I have any…
One thing I should add in the end, from my own observations for the last years: the global trend in information is that information has and will continue to become available and free. If you think about how successful universities put their classes online for free (Stanford included), about Napster and share websites, and about movements like WikiLeaks, Anonymous, the NSA scandal – you will see the trend of freeing information. Information cannot be held prisoner, cannot be a privilege of the rich, and people don’t want to pay too much for it. For the last few years, the world has become a place where information is freely shared. What you do with that, and how you apply it, is a different story. People like to read, but they do not learn or easily apply the knowledge from what they have read once. Specialized skills will still be praised. You’d like to know how what your car needs, but won’t start fixing it after seeing a video for the first time. The more knowledge you are willing to share, the better are the chances that somebody will look at you as the expert, hire you or buy your products that are genuinely shaped to helps people or improve their lives.
© Simona R. Stefanescu – Simona Media, 2013. All materials published on www.simonamedia.com cannot be reproduced, stored or used without prior written permission of the owner, and cannot be used for profit.