By Lauren @BubbleJobs
As you’re beginning to wind down and get ready to stuff your face and put your feet up this Christmas, chances are, if you’re in the digital industry, you’ll be looking forward to how social media will evolve over the next twelve months and which big changes will shake up the industry.
So I’m sure you’ve already noticed, but we’re extremely opinionated here at Bubble, so I thought I’d follow in Amy’s footsteps (who made her SEO predictions here) and throw my two cents in on the ever-changing world of social media.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 social media predictions for 2014:
1) Snapchat as a Promotional Tool
Snapchat has amazing marketing potential – and we’ll see a huge uptake of the app by companies over the next 12 months. Now that Facebook is out of the frame (I’ll come on to that later), there’s space for a new social media platform to come in and offer itself as an exciting and new way for companies to market their brand. The great thing about Snapchat is that it offers an exclusive and personal way of connecting with your audience, and with 30 million active users, it’s not really a social platform that can be ignored.
Plus, any company that turns down a $3 billion offer from Facebook gets a huge thumbs up from the Bubble team!
2) The Death of Facebook
With its ever-changing algorithms and money-grabbing isolation of brands, it won’t be a huge surprise to see a massive decrease in active users on the world’s largest social network. Now, I know it’s painfully obvious that I’m not a huge fan of Facebook on this blog, but the response to this post about their push of paid advertising at the expense of SMEs has led me to believe that the site will see an overwhelming loss of activity on brand pages as their managers refuse to pay for advertising on a dying platform.
Best come up with Plan B, eh Zuckerberg?
3) Increase in Social Media Advertising
Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed lots of e-mails from Twitter pushing their promoted tweets etc (nothing to do with their float on the stock market, I’m sure…), and with Pinterest’s promoted pins launching in October, LinkedIn’s sponsored updates and Facebook’s dedication to forcing businesses to pay-to-play, 2014 is going to hit SMEs the hardest in terms of social media marketing as they try and compete with the big brands for visibility. No longer is it enough to create great content and engage with your existing fans on a personal basis, you’ve got to pay for it. And don’t get me started on Facebook’s auto-playing video ads in news feeds, that’s more for my next point…
4) Visual, Visual, Visual
With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, a surge in popularity of Pinterest and Twitter integrated pictures on feeds, 2014 is definitely the year for visual marketing. Any social media manager worth their salt knows that pictures and videos get a higher engagement than other content, and social media platforms know this too, so that will only increase over the next 12 months. And with Facebook jumping on the bandwagon (as ever) with auto-playing videos ads in timelines, there will be no getting away from it next year. The great thing about visual content is that it’s short, easily consumable and very easy to create. Plus. with YouTube being the second most popular search engine after Google – there’s no way you can afford to ignore it in your 2014 marketing strategy.
5) Increase in Employees Using Social Media
As social media becomes an increasingly vital part of any company’s marketing strategy, it won’t be a surprise to see more and more employees being trained in creating and sharing social media content. I would expect them to be coached as brand ambassadors, giving a company more of a voice as they strive for a more personal approach to social media marketing. Employees may be asked to contribute more to blogs, engage with customers on behalf of the company and have input on the content being shared on various platforms. This will give employees more responsibility and encourage them to be more interested in a company’s identity.
So there we have it, my top 5 social media prediction for 2014. Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with my predictions or do you have some of your own?
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs!