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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.

B2B Social Media: Don’t Ask if it Works, See if it Fits

Who would have thought that even after nearly a decade of internet dominance, social media as a tool for B2B lead generation is still a “cyber myth”? People say it cannot be measured. Some say it doesn’t define a clear ROI. Others say there is no universal system for social media marketing. The rest? They’re getting all the benefits they could ask for. For a business that’s still in the stage of deciding whether or not to join the social media army, the question that lingers would be: does it really work?

But you see, that’s the wrong question to ask.

It’s like asking if Lady Gaga’s music is good or not. If you ask that question to a 50-year old pastor, you will most likely get a very different answer as compared to asking it to a 16-year old cheerleader. Social media marketing’s effectiveness is on a case-to-case basis, and therefore you can never really generalize whether or not it “works”.

An All-inclusive Catalog in choosing your Social Media Weapon this 2013

The more appropriate question would be: Will it suit my business? Or is it the right marketing strategy for my business to use?

B2B lead generation can take many forms, and if you choose to bank on social media, you might want to perform “tests” first before you give your full commitment. You see, while social media can be so powerful when used compatibly with your business, it also has the potential to ruin it if you don’t put enough thinking into it.

Because social media is not a one-size-fits-all piece of clothing, you’ll have to “try it on for size” to see if it is “right-fitted” for your business. Evaluate your capabilities and resources. Do you know how it works? Do you know the rules that govern it? Is the nature of your business fit to have a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Do you have enough people to execute this campaign?

Then there are technical questions, ones that concern the lead generation aspect of social media marketing. Do you know how to measure your social media efforts? Do you know how your social media supporters would be converted to leads? Do you know what type of content you need to produce for your prospects?

Supposed you’re able to provide the answers to these questions and you’re able to assess your capacity to carry out the tasks, that’s the time you could reasonably tell whether or not social media marketing will work for your business. Don’t just ask if it works – you’ve got to see it yourself.

If you think Social Media Marketing is easy, Take a Look at this

If you think Social Media Marketing is easy, take a look at this

When you do your daily rounds of social media-hopping, you may stumble upon several businesses and brands enjoying a successful following on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Curious (and a bit jealous), you might think it’s an effortless feat to accomplish, since there are so many of them scattered around the web.

The truth is: setting up a team for social media marketing is not that straightforward as you think.

A Dose of Quintessential Online Marketing Statistics to Further Fuel Today’s Social Media Hype

In this year’s Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions survey, they asked a total of 2,714 marketers how the manage their social media marketing teams, and these are the interesting things they found out, just to show how it indeed takes a lot of work:

Workforce

  • Of all the companies surveyed, 27% have their dedicated social media team, while 65% delegate social media tasks on top of the regular job obligations. Only 3% of them outsource to social media experts.
  • 25% of companies have interns help with social media.
  • 42% of companies have only one person who works on social media, while 40% have two or three personnel.
  • Companies not planning to hire more people to manage social media next year: 78%

Marketer qualifications

  • 25% of the companies say the most sought-after quality in social media marketers is experience, while 18% say writing skills.
  • 45% say it should be both academic degree and experience.
  • 47% of them prefer 1-3 years of experience and 44% for 3-5 years
  • Preferred degree: Communications – 77%, Public Relations – 76%, Marketing – 65%, Journalism – 42%, Advertising – 28%

Execution and evaluation

  • 58% of the companies post content at least once a day, while 22% post 2-3 times a week
  • 86% of companies measure social media in terms of likes and followers.
  • 76% measure it by web traffic, while 58% use “brand reputation”
  • 41% measure it by customer satisfaction, and 40% measure it by the number of new leads

Goals and setbacks

  • Only 5% of companies are highly satisfied with their social media campaigns.
  • Increasing brand awareness is the leading goal of companies at 87%
  • 62% aim to increase traffic while 61% aim to enhance reputation
  • Only 45% and 40% consider generating leads and increasing sales as major goals, respectively
  • 65% say that lack of time is the biggest problem they have, while lack of manpower comes in second at 63%
  • Other problems include lack of budget (41%), not prioritizing (39%), and even the thought that the task is too overwhelming (23%).