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Five things to consider this year so you can shine bright like a social media marketing diamond. Photo by: Wiki

Through the social glass: topline 2014 trends in social media

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Five things to consider this year so you can shine bright like a social media marketing diamond. Photo by: Wiki

Through the Social Glass: Topline 2014 Trends in Social Media
2013 was kinda fun, but what’s past is past, and 2014 is upon us. Marketing budgets need to be finalized. Communication strategies need to be re-examined and adjusted. As you plan your brand, whether you work agency or client side, take a look at my shortlist of five things to consider so you can shine bright like a social media marketing diamond.  
Emerging Platform:  Vine
In the last few months, Vine has become my absolute favorite emerging channel for content, especially from influencers. I’ve never seen product integrations look so natural, interesting and FUN (check out the recent #HotorNot conversation. If I wasn’t a savvy marketer, I wouldn’t realize it’s driven by paid because it feels so native). Vine celebs, like YouTubers, are very open to sponsorships and most of them have over 100k followers. 
Any brand looking for an impactful and creative campaign, look no further: tie together 10-20 Viners and you’ve got, girrrrl. This community is on fire … so go fan that flame in 2014, and sell some stuff while you’re at it. 
Resurging Platform: Google+
Fed by a global engine of growth, Google+ has (Quietly? Loudly? Somehow both?) become the #2 social network after Facebook. An easy answer is that over the course of 2013 Google made it mandatory to have a Google+ profile in order to use their litany of services such as Gmail and to post YouTube comments, but reports show that not only membership but also engagement has increased. 
Fanatic users cite their new feature Communities as being a huge factor. Now … that’s interesting. Time to revisit your G+ strat, no? 
Must Do: Real Time Marketing
Having a “plan” is a cool story bro, but it’s not enough. While the world turns, your brand needs to react, and it needs to react quickly, appropriately, natively, intelligently and creatively. I could talk about Oreo during the 2013 Superbowl one more time but yawn, because all well versed marketers know about that. The fact is that chocolate moment heard around the world made Real Time Marketing a harsh (or: amazing) reality for all brands. 
In 2014, all brands will need to be nimble: be relevant or die.  Now, what is your brand doing about it? 
Brand on the Go: Make it Mobile
We’ve been talking mobile for years and the predictions are coming true. Mobile penetration in the developing world is now at 89 percent. While email open rates are at an all-time low and Facebook only shows brand content to 3% of a brand’s followers, nearly 98% of all text messages are read. And yes, mobile views across devices continue to skyrocketed; the stats increase every day.
It’s going to become increasingly important for all brands, especially global ones, to start their strategies with mobile and build up from there. So go return that call to your friendly mobile vendor and get your shortcode locked in. (And pssst, while you’re at it, revisit those wireframes and make sure they’re responsive.) 
Budget Buster: Social (Facebook) Advertising 
Can the banner ad just die already? Pardon my sensational comment but the facts don’t lie. Social ads and native advertising are taking a front seat delivering the ROI marketers are looking for. Icing on the cake (and as mentioned above), Facebook recently decreased reach of a brand’s posts from 17% of their fans to 3%. So now, only 3 people out of 100 people following a page see the message. This is an obviously shameless tactic from Facebook to garner more ad dollars, but whatchagonnadoaboutit? 
In 2014, be prepared to pony up and mix more paid into your organic posting strategy if you want to get in front of your Facebook audience at mass. 

Last year was kinda fun, but what’s past is past, and 2014 is upon us. Marketing budgets need to be finalized and communication strategies need to be re-examined and adjusted.

As you plan your brand, whether you work agency or client side, take a look at my shortlist of five things to consider so you can shine bright like a social media marketing diamond.

Emerging Platform:  Vine

In the last few months, Vine has become my absolute favorite emerging channel for content, especially from influencers. I’ve never seen product integrations look so natural, interesting and fun (check out the recent #HotorNot conversation. If I wasn’t a savvy marketer, I wouldn’t realize it’s driven by paid because it feels so native).

Vine celebs, like YouTubers, are very open to sponsorships and most of them have over 100k followers. Any brand looking for an impactful and creative campaign, look no further: tie together 10-20 Viners and you’ve got, girrrrl. This community is on fire...so go fan that flame in 2014, and sell some stuff while you’re at it.

Resurging Platform: Google+

Fed by a global engine of growth, Google+ has (quietly? loudly? somehow both?) become the number two social network after Facebook.

An easy answer is that over the course of 2013 Google made it mandatory to have a Google+ profile in order to use their litany of services such as Gmail and to post YouTube comments, but reports show that not only membership but also engagement has increased. Fanatic users cite their new feature Communities as being a huge factor. Now … that’s interesting. Time to revisit your G+ strat, no?

Must Do: Real Time Marketing

Having a “plan” is a cool story bro, but it’s not enough.

While the world turns, your brand needs to react, and it needs to react quickly, appropriately, natively, intelligently and creatively. I could talk about Oreo during the 2013 Superbowl one more time but, yawn, because all well-versed marketers know about that. The fact is that chocolate moment heard around the world made Real Time Marketing a harsh (or amazing) reality for all brands.

In 2014, all brands will need to be nimble: be relevant or die.

Now, what is your brand doing about it? 

Brand on the Go: Make it Mobile:

We’ve been talking mobile for years and the predictions are coming true. Mobile penetration in the developing world is now at 89 percent. While email open rates are at an all-time low and Facebook only shows brand content to three percent of a brand’s followers, nearly 98 percent of all text messages are read. And yes, mobile views across devices continue to skyrocket; the stats increase every day.

It’s going to become increasingly important for all brands, especially global ones, to start their strategies with mobile and build up from there. So go return that call to your friendly mobile vendor and get your shortcode locked in. (And pssst, while you’re at it, revisit those wireframes and make sure they’re responsive.) 

Budget Buster: Social (Facebook) Advertising

Can the banner ad just die already? Pardon my sensational comment but the facts don’t lie.

Social ads and native advertising are taking a front seat delivering the ROI marketers are looking for. Icing on the cake (and as mentioned above), Facebook recently decreased reach of a brand’s posts from 17 percent of their fans to three percent. So now, only three people out of 100 people following a page see the message. This is an obviously shameless tactic from Facebook to garner more ad dollars, but whatchagonnadoaboutit?

In 2014, be prepared to pony up and mix more paid into your organic posting strategy if you want to get in front of your Facebook audience en masse. 

Katharine Ricci is VP of Social Planning at DeVries Global and will be a monthly contributor at IrishCentral.

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