social media trends 2014As we enter the fourth quarter of 2013, experts begin to take a look at what worked and what didn’t work in social media marketing this year and make predictions for next year.

Businesses are seeing tangible benefits of engaging on social media with their customers and measuring results through lead generation, referring web traffic and revenues.

Content marketing and social media management takes lots of time and resources. Look at any job site and you’ll see that hiring for social media specific titles is on the rise rather than giving current employees additional social media tasks.

To that end, Forbes recently posted “The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014.” See how your social media marketing goals align with these trends as you prepare for next year.

  • Social media investment will be “a necessity, not a luxury.” Businesses are integrating social media into their marketing and public relations plans and learning how to include social in the marketing mix. The question of having a social media presence will be replaced with “what channels do we need to be present in?”
  • Google + will become a big factor. Google is king. By adding Google+ to the mix, your business will improve SEO and visibility among many other benefits.
  • Visual networks will continue to grow. With the success of Pinterest and other visual social networks, using images and video to tell your story through social sharing is important.
  • Micro-Video is on the rise. Short video snippets are the latest trend with Vine and Instagram offering video sharing on their sites.
  • Foursquare is struggling. Foursquare traffic is on the decline and the struggle to stay ahead of the location based services pack like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter remains to be seen.
  • MySpace reborn. MySpace has rebranded and received a new makeover. With its focus on music, it will be interesting to see how it stands apart from the rest of the social networks and if it can build a userbase.
  • LinkedIn becomes a major player for B2B growth. The top networking site for business professionals continues to dominate and recently added an Influencers program. LinkedIn and Twitter both continue to be sweet spots for the B2B crowd.

The giants Facebook and Twitter also continue to grow. Facebook is focusing on mobile markets as well as its advertiser base. Twitter announced plans for its IPO and continues to connect people worldwide on topics like politics, news, television, sports, media and more.

Thanks to social, businesses are engaging with customers and consumers like never before. Consumers want to be heard and the businesses that listen and respond will succeed in the future.

What networks work best for your business? What social networks do you think will explode? Which will fade away?

Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net