Social Media Trends We Looked Out For in 2014

I’m going to be honest and say that I (as in me and not the smart people in this office) am not in the position to predict, foretell, or hypothesize about upcoming social media trends. I can, however, look back at what has happened and analyze. Let’s take a look at Forbes’ top seven social media marketing trends that were predicted to dominate 2014.

The first was the need for all brands to invest in social media. The article’s author, Jayson DeMers, notes that brands should’ve done this by 2013, and I agree. He was also correct. Any brand not on social media is missing out on the hundreds of millions of users accessing instant information and products. Not to mention that the lack of social media accounts has a negative implication, as if the brand has something to hide or doesn’t care about its followers. Socialterminals offers a user friendly and simple to use social media marketing platform.

The second trend was the emersion of Google+ as a social media top dog. It’s October 2014 and I think it’s safe to say that didn’t happen, at least in America. While G+’s number of users has greatly increased, it simply hasn’t gained the type of power Twitter and Facebook yield. G+ is a must have for small business as an SEO tactic, but a huge portion of social media users – Millennials – have nearly inactive G+ accounts. It’s kind of like a fire extinguisher. You know you need to have one, but you don’t want to use it.

Third was the increased growth of image only social media. Again, this was right on the money. Instagram and Pinterest are must haves for all social media campaigns. You can find brands from every industry pinning and Instagramming, even if they’ve got nothing new to say. It’s time to get at least one of these if your brand has images to disseminate.

Another trend for 2014 was the rise of micro-video. I’d say this was the most accurate. Vine videos have taken over my Facebook news feed, not to mention that these six-second clips are being quoted and talked about more than most primetime shows. Mr. DeMers didn’t offer a possible way that Vine would be used for marketing. Brands better learn how to get their message across in six seconds. Many have barely gotten used to 140 characters. I think the most likely method is that brands will simply try to create “viral” videos, even if there’s no clear brand message.

“Foursquare will decline sharply,” he said. When was the last time you or anyone you know used Foursquare? There’s no point in having an app that does something every other social media app does. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others, have location-based features.

Sixth on the list was the growth of Myspace. The social media platform rebranded itself as a social site for musicians and had strong growth doing so. As such, it won’t reach Facebook’s level, but it’ll definitely remain steady, even if it doesn’t grow much from year to year. I’ll call this one accurate even if the majority of the growth occurred before Mr. Demers’ article was written.

The seventh and last trend on the list was LinkedIn’s growth as a B2B platform. LinkedIn offers B2B marketers the other B they’re looking for. However, it turns out that LinkedIn hasn’t had the growth some had projected. The numbers don’t lie. This is, however, not an indication of the B2B platform’s success. That remains to be seen.

With 5 out 7 correct, I’d say that Mr. DeMers is pretty good at making predictions. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the 2015 predictions. While he works on that, we’ll be working on social media for our clients. Feel free to tweet us.

Can There Be Real Applications to Virtual Reality

Every single human being and, apparently, even many animals have dreams. Many of us don’t remember our dreams, but for those that do recall, dreams can seem like real life. Unfortunately, the ability to control the content and actions of our dreams is out of our control.

But what if your dreams could be made into reality? Think of a dream you’ve had, a good one preferably, and imagine being in it and able to control it. It’s science fiction without the fiction. It’s also where some marketers want to go.

 

Post-Social

Marketing and advertising are constantly changing following the growth of technology. Technology often creates new media – think television and the Internet – and marketers need to figure out how to make use of these new forms of communication.

As new media emerge older ones tend to lose their value. As radio and print’s dominance have slowly diminished, social networks have become the go-to marketing option. Virtually all brands are on social media. If they’re not they are seen as lagging behind. With all the posts, tweets, likes, shares, ads, and content will anyone notice when new technology makes its way into consumers’ hands?

 

Experiencing advertising versus Seeing it

Some brands are paying attention ahead of the curve. Recently, a few marketers have found a real possibility in the use of virtual reality.

Mark Zuckerberg said social media is based on moments, and tomorrow will be based on shared experiences. Then he bought Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology. While Facebook’s involvement with virtual reality is yet to be determined, VR certainly could change the world of marketing and advertising.

 

Catching Up to the Future

Some huge brands have already internalized the change when it comes to handling the marketing world of virtual reality. These companies want to provide a realistic consumer brand experience, or at least to simulate reality as much as possible. For example, take a brand and add sensory elements such as hearing, touching, and the abstract feeling of simply being somewhere. The hope is that the experience becomes associated with that brand for the consumer.

Today, the primary tools used by these innovative brands to create a virtual reality experience are expensive and haven’t reached the limits of their potential. “Google Glass” is one way in which virtual reality is being used to reach consumers. Another is through virtual reality tech company Oculus. Coca-Cola used Oculus Rift glasses during the World Cup in Brazil to immerse fans into the game. The participants donned the Oculus Rift headgear and were transported into the stadium and the pitch as soccer players – something all of them probably have dreamt about.

Coca-Cola sought to create a memorable experience while promoting itself. The idea is to create a link between giving consumers the ability to live out their dreams and the brand. Some marketers believe that with this new technology it will be possible to increase the percentage of exposure and sales, as well as to improve marketing experience for the consumer without him or her having to get out of bed.

 

Mass Producing Virtual Reality

We are making great strides into the world of virtual reality marketing, but we’re not at the point where it’s readily available. All assumptions indicate that exposure to simulated reality can significantly enhance the consumer’s purchasing experience, and increase the conversion rate for sales. The biggest challenge right now is getting virtual reality technology into consumers’ hands at a reasonable price. Until the price of this technology reaches consumer market levels, we’ll just have to keep dreaming.