Guest Column: Future predictions for social media in 2014

In 2014, expect brands to get more visual & more videos coming in. The more the market is getting diverse; more the brands will have to initiate efforts to target their messages effectively, says Windchimes

e4m by Windchimes Communications
Updated: Jan 10, 2014 7:05 PM
Guest Column: Future predictions for social media in 2014

As we step into the New Year, that time has arrived when we can expect the evolution of digital and social media in a lot of ways. It will indeed be exciting as many surprises are expected to unfold in 2014 and businesses, brands and marketing landscapes are all set to change. Keeping a few potential trends of the forthcoming year in mind will not only make you aware, but will also help you prepare for them. Here we are with another set of social media predictions for the New Year and how will this year turn out to be for your favourite social media platforms.

Although there are not many who have been into Google+ much in the past year, there are millions of people worldwide with a Google account. This clearly proves that 2014 might be the year when Google would start pushing those that use Google products into using the Google+ network. People would be talking about their circles far more frequently than they are now. Google+ is expected to be used by B2B marketers to encourage, distribute and promote content.

Well, don’t you think it will become a completely paid thing in 2014? No, no that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to have free accounts, but if you need your posts on Facebook pages to get seen by the new people, you will have to pay for it. Mostly everything to do with pages will be in a paid format. Though they have the branding, traffic and exposure to work it out, will the fans and audiences or users be happy with these changes? And will Facebook have to be careful with Google+ rising quickly? We need to wait and watch.

It is not a surprise to see Twitter shaping up into a hub with all the information, with interesting hashtags for almost everything. Twitter will continue to grow in the coming days. Well, maybe we might not witness a lot of changes on the site, but a few paid opportunities might just rise. So, if you are not on Twitter still, chime in with an attractive hashtag based on a subject that interests you and get amazed with the conversations that form. It was also found that a great percentage of masses shifted from Facebook to Twitter, considering it to be a space with great interactions and information sharing. They also named the site as their “most important” social networking site.

Twitter has been considered as a platform that provides with organic lead generation and research & development by the masses. Also, Twitter has always helped brands and organisations for important studies or examination as required by their particular brand. Therefore, in 2014, Twitter’s use by advertising platforms and businesses might just enhance proving to be a profitable one.

Linkedin is also expected to step in with something new this year, which would essentially prove to be a major boost in 2014. Recently, Linkedin has launched ‘influencer’ programmes that helps one follow and connect with the thought leaders of their industry. This is expected to grow and eventually turn out to be great for B2B marketers. Well, one can expect personalised ad content to come to the Linkedin profiles.

After the other popular social media platforms, LinkedIn started letting people tag other users or companies on the site. So, when Facebook introduced hashtags, it wouldn’t be surprising if LinkedIn also introduces hashtags as it will surely make sense enabling content discovery allowing people to connect with other professionals and share great articles, etc. So, in 2014 businesses and brands should be ready to welcome enhanced options that Linkedin would usher in with a staggering growth overall.

Will it get private messaging? It is one of the most important things missing on Instagram as every photo and conversation on it becomes public, forcing the users to use other social media platforms to carry out private messaging. This at some point becomes challenging for brands. The key feature missing from Instagram is private messaging. Every photo and conversation is public, which forces users to utilise other platforms to hold private conversations. This also makes it challenging for brands to implement customer service for securing information. People would be looking up for this feature.

Pinterest has greatly evolved in the past year and has become very important for brands and businesses. The fact that visuals on social media are a boon is strongly seen with Pinterest’s impact on consumers who are embracing it to a great extent. Pinterest is sure to become an enterprise tool for innovation in the New Year. Brands will unleash the power of this platform to build deeper connections with their audiences. They will pin down their competition and grow in value largely.

Vine videos are on the rise to stardom. This micro video content element has come with a lot of opportunities with brands who are exploring, innovating and implementing the vine videos to promote their business and brands. Indeed, a picture speaks a thousand words, but one cannot avoid the fact that videos will now speak a million.

Videos and Mobile
Videos and mobile will be a major element in the future brand strategies. Videos already started stepping in the past year with greater advantages that they could offer. What we are going to witness in 2014 is a huge surge in micro-videos. With the inception of Vine, people would be using short burst videos to share product information, etc., attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter day by day thus, there comes in more short and quick videos. So, this New Year if you have a video plan for your brand in place, then consider doing it to amaze yourself.

The way technology has advanced, it seems there are more mobile devices than the people. Staggering right? Brands will be creating mobile versions of their site and Google Analytics would help them analyse from where people have accessed their site, web or mobile. This will help brands create engagement and build strategies accordingly. Also, WordPress has mobile plug-ins that will indeed help brands.

There won’t be any one preferred place as we will be seeing social media as the game changer this year, with all the social media platforms rising to glory. Apart from Facebook, audiences are also shifting to Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, WhatsApp and all places that allow them to share photos and videos with their networks.

In 2014, expect brands to get more visual and more videos coming in. The more the market is getting diverse; more the brands will have to initiate efforts to target their messages effectively. With the continuous development and always evolving nature of the social media industry one should be ready for surprises stepping in the New Year.

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