Social Media Trends for 2014

by Steve

Social Media Trends for 2014Writing a list of current social media trends is a bit like taking on Santa’s never-ending task of making a list and checking it twice. His job is never done. Once he’s delivered the presents to the people on the ‘nice’ list, it’s on to the ‘naughty’ list.

Social media trends are ever-changing. It’s impossible to forecast what may be rocking social media two years from now. That being said, some trends have more longevity than others, and will, at the very least, prove‘disruptive’ across all social media channels.

Mobile Functionality

A trend is proven by both data and action. Data states that mobile’s presence will continue to cause upheaval in the desktop world. Research shows that more than 60% of mobile phone users now use their phone to go online’, a number that has doubled since 2009. The trend actualises itself in several ways from mobile-friendly, visual content to geo-targeted marketing.

Not by accident, visual media is a huge trend. Why? ‘Content with compelling visual content receives 94% more total views. Visual media refers to photos, infographics and images found on social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram. It also includes interactive content and videos found on up-and-coming apps like Snapchat as well as the long-standing YouTube. Social network mainstays like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are meeting the demand for visual media by integrating imagery into their news streams.

Mobile and visual media are two trends impacting local businesses in 2014, but they aren’t the only ones. Two words started to pop up more frequently in 2013 content conversations: ‘interactive’ and ‘immersive’. They’ll continue to be key players in 2014 because of the emphasis placed on transmedia storytelling and crosschannel marketing.

Social TV

Social TV is no longer the simplistic ‘use this hashtag’ concept – even if that continues to be a strong tactic for generating conversations and interactions. Now, sporting events and even news coverage are accompanied by live discussions on Twitter.

Event and content marketers are following suit by producing live events with social ties. Many corporate brands are using platforms like YouTube and Google+ Hangouts to create live social video. These brands aren’t just sharing – they’re cashing in. Glamour Magazine recently made product placement social on a Google+ hangout. They hired celebrities to promote the event with their communities and followers, as well as to use sponsoredproducts while hanging out, and the brands paid insertion fees.

Other notable examples include Dell and Weight Watchers. Dell employees have individual Google+ accounts that they use to provide tech support, resulting in not only videos, but also a searchable record of the service issue and resolution. Weight Watchers turned to a different channel and hosted a Ustream live chat.
When it comes to Social Media TV, YouTube changed the game and made it accessible. Thanks to YouTube, we can do HD on demand pretty easily. It’s is accessible, and you can live stream t for free. What’s more, it’s the same price for everyone, regardless of audience.

Words aren’t out but visuals are in

To use an oft-quoted phrase: ‘A picture is worth a 1,000 words’, in today’s age, strong visuals might be worth a million. Visuals and video done right are highly effective in cutting through the noise. It’s a snackable type of content that resonates with people globally and increases engagement within communities.’

People consume visual information 500% faster than text. As a result, most social networks are changing their design and algorithms to highlight visuals. Facebook, for instance, has redesigned both the desktop and mobile versions of its site to highlight ‘visual storytelling’.

Facebook stated, ‘Last year we experimented with a complete redesign of News Feed for desktop and mobile. People who tested it told us that they liked the bigger photos and images, but found it more difficult to navigate Facebook overall. The updated design has the best of both worlds: it keeps the layout and navigation people liked, but offers bigger images and photos.’

Twitter has followed suit with Twitter Cards. According to Twitter, they ‘help you richly represent your content within tweets across the web and on mobile devices. This gives users greater context and insight into the URLs shared on Twitter, which in turn allows Twitter to send more engaged traffic to your site or app.’

Social Media Trends for 2014

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