With 2013 now quickly receding, it’s time to push full steam ahead into 2014. So before we steel ourselves to ring in the New Year, let’s take stock of some of the social media marketing trends that dominated 2013 and consider what they might mean for the year to come.
#1: Mobile madness
The migration to mobile has continued its steady progress. Despite this growth, users still rely on their desktop computers for a majority of web activities, most significantly working and online shopping. Using a variety of devices for specific activities will require targeted approaches to reach your desired audience. With this in mind, the coming year could be a great time to consider upgrading your brand’s mobile presence. More and more brands are introducing their own mobile apps, which customers are demonstrating they are more than happy to use. Whatever your brand’s approach might be in the coming year, remember that your focus must be on delivering a seamless, consistent customer experience. Encourage users to review any apps you produce, and take their feedback seriously.
#2: Online video advertising on the rise
One reason marketers are putting so much effort into platforms like YouTube and Vimeo is the continued rise of advertising in online video content, leading to reliable monetization for video producers and greater exposure for brands. Pre-video ads are becoming more common and longer in length, with 30-second ads becoming much more common than they were just a year ago. Because more people prefer mobile devices for browsing video and other media, look for reliable mobile advertising services to increase brand exposure in 2014.
#3: Is the daily deal dying?
According to research by Social Media Examiner, marketers are moving away from daily deal sites like Groupon. And not just moving away—80 percent of the marketers surveyed said they had no plans to use these daily deal sites in the future. Marketers may be shying away from these models because of the perceived lack of profitability in the format. Some have been quick to point out that this is a somewhat shortsighted point of view, as the lifetime profitability of a satisfied customer base should more than offset any short-term losses from daily deals.
#4: Facebook in Transition
Users of the social giant Facebook have reported a noticeable rise in branded content. However, it is not known whether this rise in content is driving sales or engagement. In fact, this news comes at a time when more and more users are expressing either concern or dissatisfaction with using the platform. Facebook has admitted that the number of teens engaging on the platform is quickly declining. Even active marketers are sensing greater opportunities elsewhere, focusing the bulk of their branding efforts on Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube. In the coming year, be sure you know where your audience is and how you can reach the right prospects, brand advocates, and influencers.
#5: The rise of the social boomer
The age 55+ demographic is becoming the fastest growing group of social media users. Two dynamics are likely at play here: (1) other demographic groups have already adopted social computing in large numbers, and (2) baby boomers have become convinced of the value of social media and are ready to climb on board. Brands would be wise to take notice of this trend, as the boomers’ increasing online presence will open up many new marketing opportunities, especially as this demographic group continues to move into its retirement years.
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AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company and The Atlantic