2013 has come to an end and that year proved the undeniable importance of using social media as a major marketing tool for many businesses, brands and digital marketing agencies. Major social media players like Facebook and Twitter have matured as an effective marketing and advertising platform for engaging targeted audiences – generating significant returns and revenue in the process.
In 2013, businesses and marketers also witnessed how these social media networks evolved much further into the digital marketing arena, with new tools and features that will generate even more business, and expect existing customers to come back for more. Facebook has been expanding its advertising services and will venture into video advertising in response to Twitter’s video tool Vine. Instagram, another visually-oriented social network that has been growing in popularity has also integrated paid and video advertising options for their users.
These trends and a whole lot more are what business owners and digital marketers should expect in 2014. Digital Marketing Philippines aims to help business owners flesh out their 2014 digital marketing plans with this list of Social Media Marketing trends that will surely hit more waves than one this year and beyond.
The infographic (click to zoom):
Social Media Marketing Will Be Integrated into the Core Business Structure
With Social Media Marketing being recognized as a viable and very effective digital marketing tool, more and more businesses are expected to integrate a dedicated social media marketing team into their core business structures. Brian Solis, a globally-recognized digital analyst, leader, new media publisher and principal from research firm Altimeter Group reported that 78% of respondent companies have established their own social media team.
Integrating social media marketing to other business resources would be a practical and very strategic move as business owners could not afford separating this marketing tool from the rest of his digital marketing strategies. With new social media platforms emerging in 2014, it would be to a business’ tactical advantage to have a strong social media marketing presence focused on their particular target niches.
Social Media Marketing Will Receive Bigger Budgets
In parallel with the strong moves to integrate social media marketing to the rest of their business structures and digital marketing strategies are corresponding moves to increase marketing budgets specifically allocated for this channel. This is confirmed by recent reports including one from StrongView that indicated plans for increasing marketing budgets among 93% of respondents, 46% of which specifically allocating more spending funds for social media marketing activities.
Social Media Marketing Goes More Mobile
Mobile marketing is a top digital marketing trend for 2014 as reported in previous Digital Marketing Philippine articles, brought about by the increase proliferation and usage of tablets, smartphones and other Internet-enabled gadgets. In America alone, 90 percent of consumers own a mobile gadget, with 57% capable of surfing the net, according to a research paper published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Social media marketing is expected to ride on this mobile revolution, not only in terms of optimizing websites and social network pages for mobile viewing, but also in generating content and other real-time information specifically targeted for mobile phone users. This trend goes beyond optimization and towards a more personalized, one-on-one engagement with targeted customers through their smartphones and mobile devices.
Social Media Marketing Will Use More Relevant Real-Time Content
Real-time information is expected not only from targeted audiences in the mobile user category but also from the rest of the Internet community as well. Business owners should focus not only in creating and posting more content through their social media channels, but also in creating real-time content that is relevant and highly useful for their targeted audiences.
Social media teams from these businesses should learn how to identify topics that their targeted consumer groups are talking about and would be very much interested to read, digest and share. Social media teams should learn how to create relevant content that can go viral across the whole social media sphere – and with it are effective calls to action that will bring in the revenues.
Social Media Marketing Will Get More Visual
The phenomenal popularity of image-centered social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram proves that pictures do indeed worth more than a thousand words. Effective social media marketing will go beyond text and should integrate visual elements like graphics and pictures that are more effective in attracting attention from targeted audiences. As visual creatures, human beings have 70% sensory receptors in their eyes and use 50% of their brains for visual processing for what they see through them according to the Book Human Anatomy & Physiology 7th Edition.
That is why images and other visual content would generate higher engagement rates than any other text-based materials. On top of that, recipients will more likely share or repost visual content that they like – making them go viral and attract even more revenue-generating traffic to sales pages or landing sites.
Social Media Marketing Will Use More Video Advertising
Visual content for social media marketing will go beyond static images and pictures as video advertising will soon prove to be a very powerful marketing tool that business owners and digital marketers simply could not afford to overlook. As mentioned earlier major players like Facebook and Twitter are both set to go full blast with their video advertising facilities, expanding their existing paid advertising platforms with new features and options that are expected to generate more marketing buzz for business owners and digital marketers.
Other emerging players like Google+, Pinterest and Instagram are expected to follow suit with versions of their paid advertising channels and video marketing facilities. In a digital marketplace where the level of competition continuously go higher than ever before, video advertising will emerge as a powerful social media marketing element to attract targeted audiences’ attention.
Social Media Marketing Community Will Use Google+ and LinkedIn Even More
While Facebook still lead the social media pack, other emerging players are slowly raking in the numbers in terms of higher subscribers and traffic, that they are expected to be a major factor for a successful social marketing campaign in 2014 and beyond. Social media platforms like Google+ and LinkedIn has evolved from their original structures and platforms, into strong marketing tools for effective engagement with targeted audiences.
These platforms provide avenues for curating, generating and distributing highly targeted and relevant content that business owners and digital marketers use for effective branding and showcasing product features and unique selling points to targeted audiences.
Social Media Marketing Will Use More Automated Processes
Social media marketing has attracted the attention not only of individual players and small-medium digital entrepreneurs, to enterprise-level users that are set to integrate social media marketing elements to their technology infrastructure. These integrations are set to automate identified social media management processes like single-portal access, customer relationship and re-engagement, sales analysis, and other customer service elements.
Social Media Marketing Will Use More Contests and Promotions
Targeted audience engagement is the key to success in social media marketing and the use of contests are set to establish even bigger brand exposure, customer engagement and business promotions. Facebook has recently cut some slack for digital marketers in its existing policies for contests, providing business owners to engagement with new and existing audiences with promotions, giveaways, quizzes and other interactive contests. Customized tabs for these purposes are available from third-party app providers or they can have their own digital marketing teams formulate programs for launching these interactive contests.
Social Media Marketing Will Use More Offline Materials
While online channels play vital roles for social media marketing, relevant traffic and customer engagement can still be generated through offline materials like printed marketing collaterals. The use of QR codes will again make headway in 2014, this time incorporating colored or even 3D print technologies, providing targeted offline consumers valuable information about your websites and social media channels.
The global marketplace has slowly evolved from the static and traditional marketing and advertising channels businesses use to reach out to targeted customers with the ever increasing popularity of social networks. Social media has also transformed the way businesses and marketers engage with targeted customers, making it more interactive and equipped with all the social signals that revolutionized how the world perceive customer-supplier relationships. Business owners wanting to compete in this highly evolved marketplace should learn how to harness the power of social media marketing – and these trends will surely pave the way for them this 2014 and beyond.
Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.