Even before January 1, 2014, the pundits were already announcing which social platforms they anticipate will dominate 2014. Now, there were no real surprises. And depending on who you read — the top 5 varied slightly. But on average the same 5 kept resurfacing. So, in no particular order here they are:
Yes, finally Google+ is getting some well deserved love. For 2013 the social network reportedly has 540 million active users. Which makes Google+ the second largest social network – second only to Facebook. And why is Google+ a must in 2014? Well, there are a number of reasons:
- design Circles for target marketing
- Hangouts allow you to interact with consumers
- improved search rankings
“Google took its various products and turned them into features of Google+, rather than treating Google+ as a standalone social network. But that was just a warm up for what was to come with Google’s bedrock function, search.”
And YouTube recently added Google+ Comments. Which allows your brand to “see comments you care about move to the top, join the conversation publicly or privately and easily moderate comments.”
To find out more about Why Google+ Is the Social Network To Watch for 2014, read Cecily’s thoughts here.
The company that made “tweets” and 140 characters messages popular will see an increase in popularity. And this popularity — will mainly come from the massive adoption of microblogging. Due to the colossal shift to mobile. This mobile revolution is substantial. Not only because there are 325 million mobile subscriptions in the United states. But because 42% of baby boomers (as of 2012) are using mobile devices and social networks.
Not to mention that we will start seeing more teens using Twitter. Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted research and found that teens where coming to Twitter because of the “increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful drama.” on Mark Zuckerberg’s network. Additionally, we are seeing more brands using Twitter. Case in point, the travel & hospitality industry is making more use of Twitter for customer service, lead generation and R&D.
I mean outside of Google Search — YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the World. So not having a presence on YouTube is like throwing away a mammoth opportunity to market your company. And we will see an explosion of microvideos in 2014. These are small videos that range from 15 – 30 seconds. This type of product could be huge for brands — such as quick and easily digestible tutorials.
Having these microvideos could boost the traffic to your site — how:
- Post a microvideo tutorial about your product
- In the video notes place a link back to a splash page
More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Just imagine what a fraction of a percentage of YouTube traffic could do for your brand.
Images will continue to pull-in a great many eyeballs for your brand. And Instagram is all about images. As of 2013 the social network enjoys over 150 million active users. And with the mobile shift at full throttle having a presence on Instagram is mandatory.
And just in case you doubt the microvideos will be big in 2014 – 6 months ago Instagram introduced video. You can take 15 second videos and uploaded them to Instagram. In my opinion, I think your brand will get the most traction from Instagram in 2014 — why:
- an influx of teens leaving Facebook
- it’s a micoblogging platform
- it’s a microvideo platform
- the shift to mobile
I just hope that Facebook does not impose itself on Instagram.
Whatever your take-away is from my article one thing is for certain — establishing yourself on a social network must be part of your business strategy in 2014. Not to mention developing a mobile strategy.