2013 is coming to an end after what has been an interesting year for social media and we think that 2014 isn’t going to be any less interesting. We’ve looked into our crystal ball and made predictions of what we think 2014 has to offer.
- Real time is king
Most of us have realized that real time content has the potential to engage a large part of the fan base and go viral. This means that more and more companies try to tab in on this opportunity and make use of or create their own social news rooms to find the content that fit their brand. The challenge is that more and more brands are doing it, which makes it increasingly more difficult to be heard among in the case of huge events like #royalbaby and #redbullstratos. And there is no point in making real time content if the angle isn’t spot on and relevant for the brand. Nevertheless, we believe that real time content will become an even bigger part of the content we’ll see and it will be something that consumers expect even more.
- Social media is our new news site
In line with the above, we become more and more used to getting our world news from social media – we read about the death of a celebrity or a victory in football on social media from the posts and tweets from our friends before anywhere else. And with Facebook’s new change in algorithm, articles and publications will get a larger reach, which means that social media probably will be our no. 1 news source within recent years and this tendency will increase in 2014.
- It’s all about visual content
In 2013 we’ve seen a huge growth in visual platforms; Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Buzzfeed and especially Pinterest have all gained millions of followers. Furthermore, less visual platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made pictures larger and more visible. We believe that this trend is going to continue and increase in 2014, which means that brands and content creators should prioritize visual content and visual platforms.
- Mobile, mobile, mobile
We already know that more and more people access their social media profiles on their smart phones. For some social networks half of the users access exclusively from their phones. And this tendency is definitely going to continue even more in 2014. Mobile internet usage is expected to eclipse desktop internet usage in 2014, while mobile data traffic shows no sign of slowing down. So this is the last call for companies to optimize their pages and social profiles to be suitable for all kinds of screens including tablets and phones.
- The free-rider days are over
Pinterest and Instagram have introduced ads this year, which means that companies can pay for promotion on these platforms. But this is probably also the beginning to the end of free promotion on Pinterest and Instagram. Just like Facebook, where the algorithms have changed, it’s becoming more and more difficult to reach the fan base with content without promotion. And this is a trend, which will most likely continue and increase even more in 2014. Companies are no longer hesitant to be present on social media, which on the other hand means that the social networks are finding ways to monetize their products. So if companies want visibility, they have to create good content – like always – and pay for promotion.
- The social TV
With the rise of the internet, TV is not what it has been and the TV producers can feel it. Furthermore, a majority of people watches TV while surfing on their laptop or smartphone. We believe that the integration of social media and TV programs – especially live programs – will evolve in 2014, beyond the already-used hashtags campaigns.
These are just some of our predictions for next year, based on some tendencies we’ve seen in 2013. Whether we have a destiny of fortune telling is yet to be decided. What do you think will happen within social media in 2014?