Thursday 12 December, 2013
They said that 2012 was the year for social media marketing. Then they said it was 2013. Now, they’re saying it’s 2014.
Who the heck are ‘they’ anyway? Never mind that for now. The point is that the pundits are right in a strange kind of way – every year is the year for social media marketing. This is a trend that’s not going away and in fact only getting bigger.
While it’s impossible to say exactly what the future holds for social media marketing, here are some of the trends that seem to be happening.
Everybody’s Doing It
In the last year, I’ve seen an unprecedented number of small businesses jump on the social media bandwagon. In years past, social media was something you could maybe ignore, but not anymore. Businesses are realizing that no matter what they sell and no matter who their customers are, they need to be social.
Unfortunately, every small business doesn’t know how to use social media effectively. This means there is a growing demand for service providers who can help them and for content that teaches them how to build a social media following.
Another trend that is happening now is diversification. It has been common knowledge for years that everybody needs to be on Facebook and Twitter. There were tons of minor social media sites but none had anywhere near the reach of these big two.
But now the social media landscape has changed drastically. LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are just a few social media up-and-comers that have blown up in the last few years. The game has changed and there are no longer just the big two.
Companies are increasingly finding that while they can engage their audience on Facebook, Twitter isn’t getting there. They’re realizing that they can use Pinterest to show their products to their customers or that LinkedIn can help them recruit. There is a great deal of diversification going on now because companies realize they can pick and choose.
Niche Social Media
Niche social media sites have had trouble getting started. There have been some but none that have been huge. This is just a personal prediction, but I think that now that everyone uses Facebook and understands the basics of social media, they’re more likely to explore niche social media sites that cater to their particular interests.
Social Media Search
While Google is still the way we find most of our information online, there is a gradual shift happening to social search. People are looking for this information using social media sites rather than search engines. This makes social media marketing more important than ever as friends recommend friends to goods and services.
Social media is certainly here to stay and no individual or business can ignore it any longer. Maybe next year will be the year of social media marketing. Or maybe 2015 or 2016…