Every January, social media leaders become abuzz with talk about the coming year and what it might bring. Alas, no blogger has a crystal ball to help him or her figure out what will precisely happen in the next 12 months. However, we can pretty safely make some educated guesses on the trajectory of social media in the year 2014 based on its performance in 2013 and years prior.
No doubt there will be some surprises along the way; that’s just the nature of the beast. For now, though, the following social media predictions are “best bet” ones in our minds, as well as the minds of social media experts from around the globe:
Linkedin Will Become Even More Valuable for B2B Dialogues, Jobs and Networking
Though LinkedIn will likely never have the market share of Facebook or Twitter, that’s okay because it is a whole different type of social media program. Besides, there are more than 230 million people using the site, a pretty respectable number by any standard. LinkedIn is targeted toward the business marketplace, and as users tire of trying to find jobs by begging their Facebook friends to share their resumes, LinkedIn will prove to be a beacon in the social media storm.
Readable Content Written for People, Not Search Engines
Remember when keyword stuffing was all the rage? That’s all in the past now. With today’s search engine’s semantic search powers, content will have to change. This is a great boom for businesses as well as their customers and prospective customers. Finally, content will be created with the end user in mind as the primary, not secondary or tertiary, focus. This means that an article about shaker Amish outlet store finds will actually give relevant advice, not be filled with fluff.
Podcasting Will Take Center Stage
An interesting fact about podcasts is that people tend to actually put them on and listen to them the whole way through. Some sources say that the average Podcast listener will stick around for up to 20 minutes, or the length of a person’s commute from home to work, or vice versa. Businesses and their leaders have already started to use podcasts to connect with the world around them, and it’s not likely to cease any time soon.
Marketing Strategies Will Move from “Campaigns” to Continuous Processes
By now, most organizations have figured out that social media marketing doesn’t really have an “end.” Consequently, in and of itself, it can’t be a campaign. For instance, you can’t suggest that you will just stop tweeting about your brand in March and call it a day. Instead, campaigns will have to be a part of a larger, evolving, marketing process. There is no longer a “one-shot deal.”
New Apps Will Become Even More Focused
Have you noticed that the most successful apps seem to be the ones that are the most straightforward? They don’t necessarily have tons of bells and whistles. Instead, they are highly targeted, which is what makes them unique. New apps in 2014 are likely to follow this mantra and offer the user a single experience, not a multitude of experiences.
Google+ Will Continue To Grow
Even though Google+ hasn’t made the headway that everyone expected when it was unveiled, there is no reason to think its demise is imminent. As with all things Google, Google+ is constantly being altered, and there is every reason to believe that 2014 is the year it will really hit its stride.
No matter what you think the future of social media will look like, there is one prediction we can be sure will come to pass: It will only grow more powerful, and companies and bloggers that ignore jumping into the fray do so at their own peril.
What else do you think will be a trend in 2014? Let us know in your comments below!
Photo Credit: Jason Howie