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What’s Big for Social Media in 2014?

Content has been a key factor in social media and in 2014, content will continue to be a driving force. But, the way content is produced promises to evolve even more with the New Year. Social media will also become more important, especially for B2C and B2B companies. This is because more people online are using social media sites like: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Snap Chat. Those users will be driving so much more content.

Real-Time Marketing

Yet, it’s not just people who are driving content. Real-time events and creativity will become even more important when reacting to these real-time moments. The importance of this was no more apparent than Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Superbowl blackout. It read, “You Can Dunk in the Dark.” Considering Oreo’s tweet was retweeted thousands of times, the on-the-fly campaign proved that timeliness can be incredibly effective when used the right way.

The rise of real-time marketing also means the process of creating content will change. Rather than marketing strategies being product based, they’ll be an ongoing, evolving process. For companies, the most successful reaction to real-time moments will still focus on branding.

Enabling Fans

Storytelling has always been a powerful motivator in marketing and with more social media sites on the rise; it’s easy to share a story or two on just about anything. Companies will start to leverage this storytelling by asking clients and fans to share their stories. In turn, fans will become ambassadors for the brands they care about.

For example, a fan may share how effective their motion activated sprinkler is, while another will post a review about the newest superhero movie and another will talk about the surprising wonderful customer service from their cable company. All of these clients and fans are brand ambassadors of sorts.

Those not-so-happy clients will be able to share their stories too, but in 2014, there will also be apps that give companies ways of monitoring and responding to negative reviews. Some apps will even provide an open forum for fans, while still maintaining a guardrail of sorts so that a company’s brand image is protected.

Either way, experience and stories matter within social media. If you post a review about a company, especially if it’s a positive one, don’t be surprised if a company leverages that “story” of yours on their own social media sites.

Changes in Customer Service

Web metrics have always been important in developing a social media marketing strategy, but research will go beyond Google Analytics and the like in 2014. In particular, social listening will be a large part of social media and the internet. Social listening is also referred to as “youtility,” as defined by Jay Baer in his book, “Youtility – Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype.”

In other words, youtility or social listening means companies will up their game in regards to customer service on their social media sites. After all, it’s become clear that social media is not a one-way street. Rather, it’s a dialogue between a company and its customers or a celebrity and their fans. As companies listen and respond to fans online, it will also impact their product marketing strategy. These companies want to deliver relevant content that people actually want to see.

Real-time marketing, storytelling from fans and social listening are the three big things on the horizon for social media and the internet in 2014. But, that’s not the only thing changing. Social media is more important than ever, whether it’s a company protecting its brand or an individual growing their network. That’s why it’s no surprise that social media is also becoming more of a job requirement, no matter what your job title is. So, with social media constantly evolving year after year, there’s a lot to keep up on.

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