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Time might really seem to fly when you’re having fun, but it goes by at near light speed when you’re marketing. After the planning and initial creation process is over, and once you start getting into the flow of releasing content and building leads, months are in the rear view mirror, and the next thing you know it’s a new year. Then the shock comes. “Oh, no! What’s new this year that I missed?”
Image Credit: jasonahowie
For those of you wondering what’s important for social media business in 2014, the answer is simple: A lot! While it is true that the market hasn’t exactly shifted or completely rearranged in terms of trends since 2013, the fact of the matter is that it’s only a matter of time before it does. Positioning yourself to stay current with today’s market provides a sort of future-proofing for tomorrow’s.
Let’s take a look at what’s important in today’s market, social media 2014 style.
One aspect of social media marketing that’s going to be really important this year is getting that proverbial bang for your buck. If you’re competitive in social media, this means you have multiple sites, different apps and add-ons to help you manage ads and content, and very little time to devote to the same ongoing content stream that was the popular move back in 2011. Sure, you still want to release content on a regular schedule, making sure to keep things fresh and exciting. But the days of daily posts (like with a blog) may be behind you, especially if you’re holding down multiple sites.
Thus is becomes important to get as much engagement out of your content as you can. What does this require? Well, for starters, you’re looking to release content that’s liked, shared and commented on more than your usual content. Look to release content that solves specific problems, asks questions, presents teasers, encourages sharing, and that rewards participation. Think in terms of big-picture goals with content rather than throwing out new stuff to keep people hanging on.
The better technology gets, the more attention spans shrink. It’s just a side effect of having an app for every aspect of your life. What you do to stand out in a crowd is going to be the big difference this year. If you can grab attention above your competitors, you’re going to experience more growth and freedom of movement.
Standing out like a sore thumb isn’t the goal, of course, so don’t get flashy, loud and abrasive. Think of it in terms of providing something unique and original to your brand. Think about what you offer, how it’s different than the competition, and put it in a unique, colorful package that’s going to draw attention. Games, contests, unique page elements, customer-friendly engagement, trust and reliability – these are all areas in which you can release new things and tighten up your methods in order to get a leg up on the other guy.
You may not know it, but there’s a new social site popping up about every month. And since you probably don’t know about them, then they’re certainly nothing to concern yourself with. But if you do know about them—if your fans, friends and family know about them—then it’s a safe bet to assume that you should have a presence there. Why? The biggest reason is for the sake of staking claim to new territory before it takes off in a big way. Can you just image having an acre of gold-rich land in 1849 California, well before the territory was inundated with pick-wielding plebeians infected with gold fever?
Another important aspect of social marketing in 2014 is visual content. For those of you who have read 2013-based articles talking about what’s important, you already know that visual content has been trending for a while now. Infograhphics, high-quality photos, pics and vids of live events, etc – these are all still trendy. Though micro videos are something that had a late start last year, and they’re dominating already in ’14.
You probably put a lot into a 3-minute video. The editing is tedious, tagging and annotating can be boring, and thinking of new ways to up your production value can be mentally draining. So, to mix things up a bit, sites like Keek and Twitter’s Vine allow you to quickly upload micro videos. They’re typically only around 30-seconds long and they gain a lot of traction without all the bells and whistles associated with longer spots. Just ask comedian Frank Caliendo, who has grown his fan base tremendously by releasing 20-second clips of him doing a Morgan Freeman impression. Entertaining clips that show your brand in a personal light can be huge for your business.
This is another area of importance that might make you slap your head and say, “Well, duh.” After all, mobile has been trending for years now, so most of you know just how important it is to make things mobile friendly. But 2014 is different. We’re already seeing new releases from Apple with new releases from Samsung and other big brands to come. There are already talks of a new Windows OS, and every company from Dell to HP has a slew tablet options. And have you seen the new watch phone? It’s insanity!
So, rather than giving a long explanation about what you need to do, it suffices to say that you should focus a lot more on mobile in 2014 than you were initially planning. This includes different apps and widgets, and even ad-management apps to help you develop and release mobile-friendly advertisements.
In the grand scheme of things, you’re probably not going to look back on 2014 as the year that changed it all. But you will look back on it as the year your business fell apart, unless you’re willing to put your eggs in the only baskets that matter. The odds of you personally setting a trend are astronomical. The success rates of those who willingly follow trends, on the other hand, are undeniable. You do the math.
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