Ten Essentials for Capitalizing On Social Media Trends For 2014
Time keeps ticking, and the game keeps changing. The game I refer to of course is that of social media marketing. While, yes, many factors remain the same, new trends have inevitably emerged — and it is more important than ever that you familiarize yourself with them if you want to succeed!
Useful Content Is Supreme King
Content has and will always be king, but these days, short tidbits of useful content are supreme king. To get the most bang for your buck, you need to focus on releasing content that serves a purpose:
- Content that answers a question
- Content that solves a problem
- Content that asks a question
- Content that inspires a discussion
- Content that encourages sharing
This means moving away from posting multiple times a day as if you run a blog. Keep the content coming, but slow it down and focus more on quality and substance!
Videos Are Hotter Than Ever
Videos keep erupting in popularity. First came Vine. Then came Instagram videos. These days, every social marketing plan must capitalize on this inherent desire by consumers to see fun, exciting and interesting video content that tells a story.
Again, you need to keep things short and simple, but substantive. Remember, while a picture can tell you 1,000 words, a video can tell you millions of them!
New Social Networks Are A Dime A Dozen
These days, it seems like a new social network pops up on a daily basis. Some will rise to the top, but the majority will disappear, never to be heard from again. However, there is no way to guess which ones will make it and which ones will not. The key therefore lies in staking out a presence on every single social network that matters, i.e., those networks that people (namely your targeted customers) are talking about!
What do you have to lose but some time? It’s kind of like the notion of having invested in bitcoin before bitcoin went big.
Mobile Is The Ticket
Mobile technology continues to grow in popularity. This year is going to especially special. Why? Big brand-name manufacturers are releasing new smartphones, tablets and operating systems at unprecedented rates. That reminds me. Have you seen the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch phone!? It’s unbelievably cool!
Regardless, this happens to be the year you need to start focusing a lot more seriously on producing mobile-friendly content and advertisements. It might cost you more money upfront to transition, but I assure you that’s worth the effort!
Contests Still Rock
Sweepstakes, giveaways and contests in general still remain a terrific way to inspire interactivity with your consumers. Plus, Facebook recently adjusted its policies to make it easier for businesses to create and administer contests on its platform. Added to that, and here’s the real kicker, contests are easier then ever to set up on other platforms on well, be it Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Ultimately, contests boil down to list building. And yes, the list still matters. The only difference is that you have a new way to build it!
User-Generated Content Is Here To Stay
2013 brought with it a huge jump in user-generated content. People like creating stuff and then sharing it with others. Why not be the medium for said content? Ask your customers to take a photo of themselves holding your product. Better yet, turn it into some type of contest. The possibilities are endless.
It’s so simple, so effective and so interactive that you’d bound to up your ROI by just trying.
Social media gives you the power to react in real-time to news alerts and briefs. Use this to your advantage. Take for consideration the blackout that occurred during the 2013 SuperBowl. The folks at Oreo capitalized on the blackout by releasing a tweet entitled You Can Still Dunk in the Dark. That tweet wound up going quite viral across more than just Twitter, but also Twitter and Instagram as well.
Just be sure that whatever content you create not only relates to immediate news, but also relates to your brand. Be creative!
Paid Takes The Lead
Paid social advertising seems to be going mainstream, for better or worse. Not paying means sacrificing bundles in effectiveness. Think about the fact that you must compete with a near immeasurable amount of competition — from other pages, from your followers’ other friends, etc.
The truth is though that social media has never been free. It always took time and resources. These days, it unfortunately also requires monetary investment.
Offline Marketing Meets Online Marketing
Heard of QR codes yet? They are simple machine-readable barcodes that immediately connect people in the real world to your online content. Forget website URLs and Twitter aliases or pesky business cards. The future revolves around QR codes.
The amazing thing about QR codes is that they can be used to link your customers to anything, be it discount coupons, your website URL or a simple PDF flyer.
SoundCloud Is Music To The Ears
The last trend to keep in mind revolves around SoudCloud, a leading social network based on the sharing of music content. Believe it or not, but jingles matter! However, SoundCloud offers you more than just a chance to tie a fun jingle to your brand. It also lets you start a brand radio station.
Just remember that the goal is to engage your customers, not bore them to death with a lecture on your chosen product or service.
Social media marketing is all about engaging with your customers. Remember that. It remains the premise for every single thing you do on the Internet. The only thing that changes each year are the methods and mediums by which we, the markets, can engage with them, the customers. If you want to succeed in social marketing, you need to jump on the trends I laid out in this piece. However, you must never forget the simple premise that your customers (their needs, wants, desires, dreams) always come first!