What Will Social Media Marketing Be Like in 2014?

Looking back in 2013, you would notice that most of the success stories in small or large scale businesses have a little bit of the ‘social media element’ in it. Although its marketing and sales capabilities have really never been officially stamped with approval or accuracy, nobody questions the power of social media in the business world.

Viral videos on YouTube, stories on Facebook, contests on Instagram and polls on Twitter – these are the pillars of social media marketing in the past 3-5 years. But what’s in store for the coming 2014?

Rick Mulready, an LA-based social media blogger, consultant, speaker and host of the Inside Social Media podcast, shared his bold predictions in his post in Entrepreneur.com. Here is how he foresees the coming year in social media:

1. Short-form video will lead the way for a visual storytelling revolution. 
Short, concise videos tell a deeper story than pictures will only become more important in 2014. Platforms like Twitter’s Vine app and Instagram’s 15-second video make it extremely easy to produce and share this short-form content so marketers need to take the time to not only understand how to use these platforms but also how users consume content on them.

2. Businesses will embrace the concept of ‘fandom.’ 
Fandom is essentially the sub-culture of raving fans that exist within a brand’s overall customer base. These are the fans that are going to do a lot of your marketing for a business, the ones who will promote it to other people. In 2014, businesses will make a bigger effort to identify and embrace the fandom. Connecting with and giving these fans the tools to help them spread the word about a business will go a long way.

3. Google+ will be bigger and more important. 
Google+ now has 300 million monthly active users. To put this in perspective, Facebook and Twitter have about 1.2 billion and 232 million monthly active users respectively. Not only has Google+ become a popular social platform but its integration with Google search results and Google Authorship makes it a absolutely mainstream in 2014.

4. There will be a bigger focus on context. 
Businesses have already started to embrace content marketing as ‘king’. But for 2014, the need to put out more content will become less important, in favor of focusing on and creating content that’s contextually relevant to the social channels you’re using.

5. More businesses will get into paid advertising.
With so many brands using Facebook to market their business, paid advertising will need to be a critical part of their social strategy if they want their content seen by more of their fans. In addition, Twitter is beefing up its paid advertising options with products like the recently announced “tailored audiences. If a business is serious about reaching audiences on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, paid ads will need to be part of its plan in 2014.