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.