Top Social Media Trends and Forecasts for 2014

It doesn’t take advanced training to see that social media has completely reshaped the digital marketing landscape. Social networks have had such a profound impact on modern marketing that business owners now see an active social media presence as a basic requirement for survival. The logic behind this is simple: a business needs to be wherever its customers are. And social media is where everybody is.

The benefits of social media marketing include better business exposure, an increase in lead generation, improved gathering of market intelligence, a rise in search engine rankings, and reduced marketing expenses. All this makes it all the more imperative for business owners to know how to get the most out of their digital marketing efforts by keeping abreast of the latest social media trends.

Below are some of the Top Social Media Marketing Trends and Forecasts for 2014:

Emphasis on visual content. Visual content is the big thing in 2013, with image-based social networks Pinterest and Tumblr enjoying monumental growth rates of 88 and 74 percent respectively. Experts predict that the trend will continue well into 2014, with strong visual content becoming a crucial part of businesses’ social media strategies. The smart move would be to make content on social media less text-heavy and to shift emphasis toward photos and infographics.

Increase in micro-video popularity. Corollary to the trend of social network users gravitating toward easily digestible visual media, micro-video apps like Vine and Instagram are expected to play a bigger role in social media marketing come 2014.

Greater platform diversity. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn used to be the central networks for social media marketers, but the growth of other social media sites has opened up more viable options for businesses in various niches. Google+, with the second highest number of monthly users, is expected to become a major player in the social media marketing scene. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and even MySpace are also showing promise.

The move to mobile. Mobile and tablet usage has proven to be a key driver in the growth of social platforms, as evidenced by recent surges in mobile sharing on Twitter and Facebook. While this trend is of particular note to digital marketers who are heavily dependent on these two networks, its repercussions go well beyond social media. Businesses will also need to ensure that their websites and blogs are fully responsive or have mobile-friendly versions. Facebook and mobile ads are also expected to pull in more revenue in 2014.

As more and more businesses realize the measurable benefits of investing in social media, the upshot will be an increase in the demand for skilled social media managers, consultants, and strategists. Courses such as those offered in the Lynn University online MBA program under the Mass Communications and Media Management specialization can contribute toward a thriving career in social media marketing.

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