Now that social media is recognized as an effective marketing platform, it’s a good idea to look at current trends, and see where they might lead you. Being able to recognize what’s happening, and why it’s happening, will help you choose which areas of the social media world are best explored in the near to medium future…and which areas are best left to your competitors. So, in no particular order, here are five trends you should know about…
Embrace the blog! As a social media platform, the stocks of the average blog have risen dramatically, especially amongst those who have been using social media for several years. If you could paraphrase their opinions on blog marketing, the words ‘more personal and less hard-sell’ would give you an accurate reflection. A blog can be a valuable source of advice and information; the perfect vehicle for building up that all important relationship with a potential customer. As a way of selling yourself by establishing your credentials in your chosen field, the blog is unrivaled.
Is video part of your social media marketing mix? If recent trends are anything to go by, it should be. The 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report revealed that 69% of respondents were planning to increase their investment in YouTube, recognizing the video-sharing website’s enormous star power – one billion unique visitors every month. A little bit of marketing, wrapped up in a compelling and entertaining package, is an intoxicating mix, and a proven way to sell. And just watch it explode if things go viral…
Questions have been asked about Facebook’s ability to stay relevant and fresh as a marketing platform, with sites like Twitter, YouTube and Google+ widely speculated as being more effective and more engaging. However, the world’s most famous social media outlet is far from a spent force. 49% of marketers said that if it came to a choice of social platforms they’d stick with Facebook – after all, it is the platform for all demographics. One click on a ‘LIKE’ icon can set off a chain reaction, and you’re more likely to be ‘friends’ with Aunty Ethel on Facebook than any other site. And if Aunty Ethel is on Facebook, you can be sure your clients are.
If sales figures are anything to go by, PCs are very 20th century. Smartphones now outsell PCs, yet only about 20% of marketers have dedicated mobile strategies as part of their overall plan. This represents a huge opportunity for someone to fill the vacuum before everyone else realizes the potential of mobile marketing.
If it’s ‘tried and true’ you’re looking at as a guide to maximum connectivity, cast an eye on what experienced marketers are planning to do in the near future. According to The Social Media Examiner, the ‘Big Five’ of impending social media investments are: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter. Google+ and Pinterest are not far behind, but daily deals hardly figure in the plans of online marketers. They rank a sad and distant last on the list of desirable social media investments – something of a surprise given their apparent popularity with consumers. It might have something to do with the fact they have a very brief stay on the brain’s ‘top of mind’ shelf, as opposed to a long term branding device. Whatever the reason, it is certainly worth further investigation if daily deals are a potential part of your social media marketing.
Carlos Lew is the Director of Cubic Promote , an award winning promotional product agency. His interests include branding, marketing and small business with a healthy dose of bike riding and reading thrown in for good measure.