If people were actually any good at predicting the future, then the world would have ended a thousand times over by now. The entire economy would have collapsed. Gods and their archenemies would have returned to wreak havoc on the earth. And you might be able to win that football pool one week.
The fact is, however, we’re simply not that gifted at seeing the future. The problem is mostly that we don’t pay enough attention to the past; we instead use wild and unsubstantiated bits of info to paint the picture of a future almost guaranteed to never happen. But let’s see if we can reverse that trend.
By using the past as a gauge to extrapolate information, and basing future assumptions on current trends, combined with the current trajectory of social media, we might just be able to predict a few new social fads for the upcoming year. That’s not as far-fetched as, say, the Mayans, so these are future predictions that you may just want to put some stock in.
Upcoming Trends to Focus On in Social Media
1: Increased Diversity in Social Media
You can see it on every social site you visit: A new button for a new social network. While Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are ones that a lot of marketers put their primary focus on, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and other networks are surging in popularity.
But where were they in 2010 or ’11? Yet, in 2013, these sites are so popular it’s like they’ve always been here. In 2014, this is a trend that’s only going to pick up steam, not lose it, so increasing your social media diversity is definitely a smart move.
2: Visual Content will Surge
While articles and newsletters and other forms of mostly text-based content are still really popular, visual-based content is experiencing an unprecedented surge that is in no way likely to die down. The hardware/software combinations are just becoming more advanced, and viewing visual content on these new devices with their new operating systems is becoming a much more enjoyable experience.
Gearing your content more toward the visual is a smart move for the upcoming year. Don’t switch out entirely; just make sure you focus on infographics, video clips and other forms of visual stimulation.
3: Succinct Messaging will Become More Important
Out of all the different social media marketing trends 2014 will offer, none will be as important to how you formulate content than this one. And that’s the fact that messages are getting much shorter. With the addition of images and links, most notably hashtags, your messages no longer have to say a lot to inform people. Directing them elsewhere or offering something to engage with inside of a short message is quickly taking precedence over thoughtful, informative content. That’s not to say that shorter content doesn’t need to be high-quality content.
To the contrary, you need to focus on quality more now than ever. It’s just saying that those wordy, lengthy posts are a thing of the past. Tweets and brief status updates with links and hashtags are how the market is trending.
4: More Mobile Takeovers
When it comes to the mobile surge, Hunter S. Thompson said it best: “It’s never gonna stop, man!” Of course, he was talking about a merry-go-round bar in some Las Vegas cesspit, but the end result is the same. Mobile is simply not going to slow down.
Already we see that over 75% of the world’s population has a mobile phone, with most of those having direct access to the Internet. Your need to play to a mobile market via messaging and site layout (for non-social sites) has just exponentially increased, especially with new versions of smartphones recently released and more expected before 2015.
5: Ad Retargeting will be a Must
There’s a very lengthy, complicated way to explain ad retargeting, but it can be summed up as such: It’s the process of retargeting an ad to remind someone of what they viewed previously.
In other words, this is like continuing to hit the nail once it gets started. Eventually, you’re going to drive it home. Only 2% of all people become customers when initially following through on an ad. Obviously, the more they visit and the more they’re reminded, the more likely it is that they will take the ultimate action you require of them. So look into ad retargeting and be prepared to use it effectively and repeatedly in 2014.
These five trends are very important to the overall success of your social media marketing. Understanding how content plays with your audience, what your audience is using, and what it takes to transform viewers into customers is important information that can make or break your brand going forward.
[box]Post written by: Simon Campbell, a writer from a facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums.[/box]