As 2013 draws to a close it is time to start thinking about the social networks that are likely to have the biggest impact on marketing over the next 12 months.
Most brands now understand the impact social media can have on their business, yet many are still struggling to overcome the challenges that come with social media use.
Being able to generate enough content for consistent storytelling is something that some brands struggle to keep up with and it comes hand in hand with the ability to allocate financial and human resources to social media marketing efforts. Measuring and demonstrating the ROI of social media and reorganising corporate structure to deal with social media user-generated content will also continue to be important considerations in 2014.
Other predicted trends for 2014 include the rise of Twitter. A study by Pew Internet & American conducted earlier this year found that more and more teenagers were moving from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram. Having more users join this social media should continue to consolidate Twitter as a great customer service platform, not to mention lead generation and R&D source.
Videos are also predicted to continue to increase in popularity for social media marketing purposes next year. Although YouTube shows no sign of decreasing in popularity, the best marketing potential arguably comes from the rise of applications such as Vine, with its 6-second video capabilities, and Instagram, with its 15-second video capabilities complete with filters and integration within Facebook.
Short videos are a quick, inexpensive and efficient way for a brand to tell its story and for this reason are likely to become an even more important social media marketing tool in 2014.
And a couple of new channels to watch in 2014…
Medium, the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, is a long-form blogging platform powered by an algorithm that helps identify the best posts on the site. Now open to public submissions, the best minds in tech, design and culture write for Medium. If you've got a bright idea or story to share, consider publishing on Medium.
Mobli is an Instagram competitor that calls itself a "visual search engine". Mobli just picked up a $60 million investment from América Móvil (the fourth largest mobile operator in the world) that includes distribution to its mobile users. It allows users to connect around common interests via other users, hashtags and locations in their feed. For more about Mobli click here.