As we move into the
second month of 2014, it is a good time to reflect and make some predictions on
how social media is going to impact brands in the course of the year. Social
Media allows small businesses to leverage technology to even the playing field
with bigger brands and companies. In 2014, some of the trends we saw in 2013
will continue to rise while others will fall. But it all comes down to how you
communicate with your customers, how you leverage relationships, and of course
how you share GREAT content.
Content is what
businesses are built on today. It always has been and always will be.
So without further
ado, here are 11 trends for 2014 and how you can get ready:
Mobile Is About To Go
Every website needs to be optimized for mobile. This means having responsive design and thinking about how people interact
with your business via mobile devices should be one of your top priorities. As
a small business (and even a big brand) it's time to make the switch to a
mobile site if you haven't yet, and think about ways that you can get in front
of your customers through their phone. Yes, this include Mobile Apps, SMS, and
emails that are designed to be viewed on your cellular phone.
Niche Sites Will Make an Impact
As Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus make it harder to get found organically, niche sites are going to prove to be more valuable
than ever to get in front of your customers. Not only are niche sites highly targeted, they can also provide
a much more affordable solution for advertising.
Blogging Will Remain The #1 Way To Generate
Creating great content on a regular basis and driving traffic back to your site
is going to remain the number #1 way to generate new leads. This means as a small
business, if you don't have a blog yet, it's time to start one.
Spammy Content Will Be
We've seen it happen on Google and now it's happening on Facebook. Spammy content is not going to get you anywhere, and
the big sites are cracking down. Think about creating valuable content that resonates with your customers.
Google Plus Will Grow
Faster Than Ever
G+ is my new favorite social network. With the
search benefits from Google and the increased user base, it's likely that your
audience will be making the move from Facebook to G+. Being a step ahead of the
game is a good idea. Plus, they are about to launch promoted
posts (+Post ads) that
will get your content to a larger audience than ever before. Get on Google Plus
as soon as possible.
Influencers Will Hold The Power
Influencer marketing and
word-of-mouth marketing is going to be one of the most powerful ways to get in
front of customers in a new way. By empowering your best customers to spread
the word for you, you can gain trust in a new audience and hopefully turn them
into new customers.
Will Continue To Rise
Instagram, Pinterest and probably many more sites will come about in 2014 that
are based around images. While text is not dead, you need to think of ways to incorporate images into your strategy that compliment
your written context.
Video Consumption Will
Whether it's an educational video or an ad, consumers will look to video content to learn about businesses. Video will
continue to create meaningful relationships between business and consumer. Think
video customer service here. Oh, and many times they will be watching video on
their mobile phone.
Sharing Will Be More
Important Than Ever
Social media sharing will be get ramped up and everyone and their mother will
be doing it. While this is a good thing for getting your content shared, it
also presents challenges to get found. The key here is to communicate to your
customer directly and relevantly and you'll
be found. Plus, it's going to help your search rankings.
Marketing Will Be About Adding Value
It's no longer about pushing yourself out there, it's about how you provide
value to your customer that matters. Whether this is through blogging, video,
or email marketing, in order for people to stay engaged, they have to perceive