Social media has been undergoing some major changes this past year. Twitter filed for IPO, Facebook launched video ads, and Snapchat threatens to change the landscape as the next big thing in social media. As more companies begin to leverage social media for personalized, real-time marketing initiatives, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve and identify future trends in this space. We asked experts to share their predictions on the future of social media and the ways in which it will impact businesses.
The Future of Social Media: How Will It Impact Marketing, Sales and Customer Service?
1. Dan Thornton, Managing Director at TheWayoftheWeb Ltd – @badgergravling
Social Media will continue to grow as a sales and customer service tool, although the impact on marketing may become less as established social networks make changes to encourage paid promotion. At the same time, small businesses will need to be quicker to experiment and embrace new platforms to make an impact
2. Jon Smith, e-Marketing Specialist at Insight UK – @jonalexander
I think everyone is finally admit that social media has to be a part of their marketing strategy but I think 2014 will bring a real focus on ROI. There is still little evidence to suggest that social media contributes to revenue and profit and I think 2014 will be about fine tuning social media so you can measure the impact on the bottom line.
3. Russell Davies, Director at Lobster Digital Marketing – @RussellDavies71
Native Twitter & Facebook apps will struggle against combined IM apps as users look for more integrated communication.
Twitter will look to dominate the second screen market with more partnerships with popular shows.
Brands will combine their social media marketing with their print and broadcast advertising and budgets for both will increase.
Small businesses who don’t ‘get’ social media will fall even further behind those that do but will be able to catch up quickly if they embrace it.
4. Talya Shoup, Marketing Manager at glispa – @onlyonetalya
I predict that social media will be driven very strongly by mobile in 2014 – brands will continue to shift from web-based promotions and marketing to mobile. Also, customer service will continue to expand across social media, with customer service requests being made more and more via company Facebook pages, for example, than corporate email accounts or contact forms on websites.
5. Angela Hadl, Owner and Marketing Consultant at Dive Mktg – @divemktg
I believe that social media will become more intelligent, meaning that there will be more integrative tools that will streamline the posting and monitoring of social media for business. With these tools, reports will be more comprehensive and easy to interpret. This will help eliminate confusion regarding the messaging and goals among the sales & marketing departments (which we know are sworn enemies).
6. Vin Ferrer, Social Media Strategist at Graphic D-Signs, Inc. – @V1NBRO
With 90% of businesses already utilizing content marketing tactics, social media is only going to keep growing as it becomes the most cost effective means of reaching consumers. Small businesses will be less inclined to seek out bigger advertising companies and opt to work with smaller content marketing agencies that can better understand and interpret their brand in a more personal way. The commerce of tomorrow is going to be laden with the personal touch, now more than ever, as automated responses & call centers slowly start to dwindle away. Social media will be the key to getting the greatest ROI in the long-term, and those companies who have already started in 2013 will start seeing the fruits of their labors in 2014.
7. Miki Segal, CMO of JMAC Supply – @msegal3
I have one bold prediction for 2014 – At least one Superbowl advertiser’s call to action (during their commercial) will be: Add us as a friend on Snapchat.
Snapchat is growing by leaps and bounds, and many people have begun to recognize its enormous advertising potential. On TV commercials, advertisers have been asking viewers to “like” them on facebook, follow them on twitter, and join the conversation with a hashtag. But asking to be added on Snapchat is a strategy that has yet to be embraced in TV commercial format. But that will change…and soon.
8. Kaysha Kalkofen and JoAnna Dettmann, Co-founders of tSunela – @tsunela
Facebook-from Content Creation to Content Consumption: In 2013, we saw an outstanding growth of users on social media. From 2011, Twitter has grown from 200M users to 500M users, Facebook from 600M to 800M and LinkedIn from 119M to 238M! In 2014, we predict that Facebook will be used more as a resource for information; its utility will increase for brands and decrease for individuals. People will use Facebook to research organizations, products, and services. As such, full optimization of your business’s Facebook page description and inclusion of “Like” and “Share” buttons on your business’s website will become even more important.
9. Hillary Berman, Small Business Fanatic and Founder of Popcorn & Ice Cream – @popcornicecream
In 2014, businesses will have to pay for visibility on Facebook. With the platform’s ever-changing algorithm and businesses’ focus on creating content, showing up in newsfeeds is increasing challenging. Businesses – particularly small businesses with smaller followings – will need to pay for play for Facebook to deliver the eyeballs and engagement they desire. Marketers need to truly engage with customers and prospective buyers to cut through the massive clutter in inboxes and newsfeeds.
10. Sarah Van Elzen, Director of Social Media at Hanson Dodge Creative – @sarahvanelzen
Social media will continue to integrate into corporate culture and will help drive collaboration between silos (marketing, sales, customer service). Client/agency relationships will continue to evolve and much emphasis will be put on driving business value. Social media will always remain a channel for relationship management, driving awareness and engagement but programs that drive to purchase or absorb customer service costs will prevail.
Channel diversity will continue to grow. New platforms will launch and become relevant. Facebook will continue to grow towards the “older audience” unless they get serious about privacy and segmentation initiatives.
Social metrics and analytics companies will continue to fight for market share and pricing structures may change to bring in more clients. Social conversation trends will be folded into “big data” analytics and companies will utilize these trends for predictions and product development.
11. Frank Riolo, Manager of Corporate Communications at Conversation – @convoagency
Expect more growth in visual social media. Platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine only became more popular over the past year. After all, many Facebook users are only on it to view friend’s photos. Visual platforms also offer more privacy than Facebook.
Also, Twitter will see more growth thanks to the companies’ willingness to experiment with new technologies that often appeal to advertisers.
12. Seshu Madabushi, Founder & CEO of mKonnekt – @mKonnekt
Customers would be looking for more personalized news, offerings based on their social profiles and activities and this is one area, which we [at mKonnekt] think would expand (given the kind of technological advances we are seeing). Another area would be the explosion of video based social media channels like Vine and others – we have seen the explosion of Instagram and Pinterest from selfie pictures and we will be seeing the same explosion with short burst videos. In terms of sales & marketing – businesses have to customize the message/offerings to suit the customer needs rather than just putting out an offer out there with the hope that it might fit some section of the customers. Another challenge would be how to embed the marketing message within the short burst videos that we hope to see in 2014.
13. Glenn Gow, CEO of Crimson Marketing – @CrimsonCEO
Getting results will dominate social marketing. This will mean turning “engagement” into lead generation and an investment in social selling. B2B companies will invest 80% of their effort on blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter, and largely ignore Facebook, G+, Pinterest and others. Why? Because that’s where they will see results.
14. Dr. Evan D. Escobedo, Practice Principal of Social Business at Zunesis, Inc. – @evanescobedo
2014 will be all about using social media for competitive advantage. Many organizations whether large or small have begun to use social media to better market their brand and engage with their customers. They are using tools to listen to relevant conversations across the social wire. Now that organizations have access to this wealth of data they will realize that social media marketing is not just about monitoring and managing your social media channels but also about analyzing all of this data and converting it to actionable insight to drive their business forward.
15. Simon Tam, Director of Marketing for The Slants – @SimonTheTam
In 2014, you’re going to see auto-playing video ads on multiple social media sites: probably Facebook mobile, maybe Vine. It’s going to give businesses more options to create short, high-impact, ads while giving social sites more revenue. Businesses will need to think more creatively, in shorter bursts.
16. Jayme Pretzloff, Online Marketing Director at Wixon Jewelers – @jpretz
The social media landscape in the future will continue to evolve into a segmented multi-platform world, making it continually difficult for marketers to ensure they are reaching their target audience in the right place. There will be an increased importance on taking a faceted approach to social media marketing as a whole by connecting all of these channels to have a consistent message. Leveraging multiple platforms in the correct way will allow for a significant boost in brand awareness, share of voice and even more touch points with your potential brand advocates.
17. Jean L. Serio, Social Media Marketing Growth Strategist
2014 will see companies having employees trained in providing social networking content. Content is a top marketing strategy and businesses will wisely enlist their most knowledgeable branders – employees – to help present it. This will include formal training in content creation, development and engagement; posting, commenting, blogging, for example. Employees will also be allowed to discover and build sharable company information. Encouraging greater responsibility and personal involvement; a more vested interest in the company.
18. Kristin Muhlner, CEO of newBrandAnalytics – @nBrandAnalytics
RIP, Radian6. As data analysis becomes increasingly sophisticated, restaurant, hotel and store executives are realizing that they need more than monitoring from their social media – and that’s something a platform like Radian6 simply can’t deliver. In 2014, these groups’ generic listening tools will be replaced by tools that can provide the store-level customer relationship management (CRM) it takes to win and keep loyal customers.
Investors’ New Crystal Ball. Any business that still thinks it can ignore online feedback will have to think again in 2014. Private equity firms have started turning to social intelligence to get a bird’s eye view of which brands are outperforming competitors – so even if an organization isn’t watching its own social sentiment, odds are that next year, someone else will be.
Demand-Based Direct Marketing. As more people share personal information online (72% of online adults now use social networking sites, according to Pew Research) business are looking for new ways to target motivated consumers. That type of hyper-focused marketing used to be cost prohibitive, but the social-local-mobile revolution-a.k.a. SoLoMo-has brought it within reach for businesses that know how to use their data.
19. Matt Porzio, Vice President of Product Marketing – @Intralinks
Social media and online networks will become an increasingly important platform for the deal-making process: that includes deal sourcing, due diligence, negotiation and closing deals. In 2013, more than half of all merger & acquisitions specialist surveyed said that they used an online deal network to support deal sourcing. That percentage will only go up as more M&A pros see the benefits. Using social media and online networks accelerates the dealmaking process and helps sellers and buyers come together – in many cases, these sellers and buyers would never have known about each other if not for social media.
20. Jen Dorman, Social Media & Online Marketing Associate at BeFrugal.com – @jendormanboston
In 2014 I predict that inclusion of images in social media posts will become essential. With stats showing that tweets including a visual have increased engagement plus Facebook’s recent move to allow use of images as comments replying to posts coupled with 3 rising visual social media platforms – Instagram’s success, Snapchat’s valuation and Pinterest’s popularity – all signs underlying the importance of visuals.
21. Lisa Parkin, President of Social Climber – @LisaMParkin
According to HubSpot data, “50% of consumers expect to get a response in under two hours.” This is changing the face of customer and company interactions. I believe 2014 will be the year that even the most social media resistant businesses will have to acknowledge the need to address customer complaints on social media.
I would advise businesses to not only handle concerns from clients who tag them on social media but to actively look for complaints and take the initiative to correct them.
22. Michelle Garrett, Owner of Garrett Public Relations – @PRisUs
Social media will continue to play a bigger role in public relations as PR practitioners seek more creative ways to reach journalists and reporters seek sources for stories “on the fly.” PR pros must work social media into their strategy for media outreach and also for pushing out content. In turn,
content creation will also continue to become a bigger part of PR, due to social media.
23. Richard Storm, Owner of NYPhotoNY – @nyphotony
As a small business owner I use social media for a lot of self-promotion and interaction. I think with the advent of new apps and technology social media will reach an extreme level of almost direct interaction where a companies actions or individuals actions will pretty much be put in a glass house. I don’t see sales going up necessarily BUT I do see businesses being held more accountable for their actions!
24. Brett Circe, Chief Interactive Officer of Starmark – @bcirce
2014 will mark the true convergence of social-mobile-cloud, and a competitive advantage for companies that use this data to accelerate business processes and time to action. Advertisers will use big data and social intelligence to understand and predict correctly what consumers want. Consumers, remaining connected at all times, expect a seamless user experience in everything they do. Look for personalized cloud support infrastructures and personalized branded messaging in consumer’s social stream to drive decisions in real time.
25. Chris Dancy, Director in office of CTO at BMC Software – @servicesphere
The use of and sharing of measurable metrics in the informational tech field— using devices/sensors/software to track, analyze, and optimize people’s daily lives, and using social media to share the insights and progress. Use of wearables in general — things like kapture and narrative will gather more of the juicy bits of life and these will be shared.
26. Jeff Davis, President and CEO of Orabrush – @davisjdd
Brands will include YouTube in their social strategy alongside mainstays such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The second most popular search engine after Google isn’t Bing or Yahoo – it’s YouTube. For small businesses, online video is an effective marketing tool because it doesn’t break the bank – videos can be shot on the cheap and promoted on YouTube for peanuts compared to other traditional or digital media channels.
27. Dallas McLaughlin, Social Media Manager & Small Business Consultant – @BossDJay
2014 will be the year of the new, smaller mobile apps and platforms. We’re already seeing a mass of small teams adapting and becoming more responsive to the world around us. Because of their size, and the continued removal of (cost) barriers between an idea and a finished product, creative and forward thinking ideas will rule. Look at Context, the new social texting app. Medium, WaNeLo, Cyclorama, Uber, Birchbox – all of these very simple ideas that a small team delivers to the masses. In addition to that, the marketing aspect is adopting all of these new platforms from day 1 and learning how to use them creatively to provide value to your end user in a more engaging manner than a 100x72px sidebar ad on Facebook.
28. Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing – @valeriejennings
In 2014 we can expect to see more emphasis on Twitter since its IPO and the company’s new and improved advertising products. To date Twitter has launched a more aggressive educational email marketing campaign, targeting users with advertising case studies, new and improved ads targeting and new products. Twitter continues to be a melting pot for B2B and B2C companies to find relevant content, targeted customers or clients, influencers and new and improved ways to refer website traffic.
2014 should be the year Twitter takes center stage and moves into the spotlight. Additionally, we can expect to see more information regarding the ways in which Google’s new algorithm will impact search, social media and customer acquisition. Pinterest will also demonstrate some new and improved value to businesses regarding its ongoing updates to improving ads performance. All told, 2014 should be the year of perfectionism across existing platforms with respect to ads targeting, micro-targeting prospects and customer acquisition. New and improved social media mobile ads will drive the best performance, which is where most of the advertising ground is to be gained for marketers, media buyers and brands.
29. Joe Recomendes, Chief Operating Officer of Command Partners – @JRecomendes
2014 will undoubtedly be the year of paid social – with all of the big-hitters releasing IPOs, they now have an obligation to their shareholders to show recurring, scaleable revenue. Already, we have seen Facebook downplay the organic reach of posts while simultaneously enhancing their advertising platform. LinkedIn and Twitter certainly aren’t far behind, and marketers would be keen to marry their honed organic content skills with the advertising techniques that achieve their business goals.
30. Jessica Chesney, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Command Partners – @JessJANEica
We’re going to see more native advertising on social in 2014, as we’re already seeing Facebook’s right column ads slowly die. Social is merging with all aspects of our lives and real-time marketing will become expected of companies as they incorporate it into live television, events and more. Consumers no longer come to you; you need to go where they are, so we’re witnessing how social media and customer service can work hand in hand.
31. Ali Phalen, Content Marketing Specialist at Command Partners – @AliPhalen
Social Media is a channel that still isn’t used to its full potential. 2013 gave us memorable moments like Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet and the WestJet Airlines Christmas Miracle. In 2014, there will be a rise in social strategy, but more brands will start using social in real time through utilizing tweet chats or using current events to plan social content, creativity and impromptu content. That will separate the engaging and boring brands in 2014.
32. Ricardo Velez, Client Success Manager at Command Partners – @CommandPartners
I predict the continued rise of SnapChat. New SnapChat Stories allow short clips to live for 24 hours, and we’ll see this become a unique way for companies to market themselves while generating revenue for SnapChat. This could lead to a push from Facebook to occupy the same space, which offered $3 Billion to buy SnapChat earlier this year, especially since a study noted that teens 13-17 are favoring SnapChat and Twitter over Facebook.
33. Erin Cushing, Social Media Manager at inSegment, Inc. – @eccushing
Small businesses will see their reach and effectiveness on Facebook greatly decrease in 2014. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm change minimizes brands’ appearances in newsfeeds, which means that in order to stay in-feed, brands must pay to boost posts. This is an expensive process, which will quickly become too costly for many SMBs. Small businesses will post content more often on other platforms, such as Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest as opposed to Facebook.
34. John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility – @ignitev
In 2014 all marketing channels will increase their synergy with social media. With advances in analytical tools, and simply a better understanding of the medium and it’s cross channel integration, all business will be involved and the more savvy the marketer, the better they will be able to use data and integration to their advantage. Tapping into social in the correct way and generating shares and likes leads to development of market mavens and a connection, which is truly at the essence of marketing. Marketing is perhaps more true to itself than it has ever been before with the introduction of social media. In 2014 this will become more important and more widely adopted and recognized.
Any website that isn’t posting content on Google+ will die a slow death: Google+ has been growing in SEO importance since day one, and to many digital marketers dismay, some brands still haven’t jumped on board. For a year we’ve been saying “Get ahead, use Google+.” In 2014 we’ll be saying “No Google+? Sayonara.”
The Use of Micro-Video Will Rise – Micro video sharing has already proven itself valuable for breaking news and viral events. Social media is increasingly being used for real-time sharing. Users depend on short snippets of text, photos or videos to consume information. For this reason, platforms like Twitter, Vine & Instagram continue to be hugely popular. Instead of marketers putting all of their eggs in one :30 or :60 second basket, a series of shorter videos will be used to stay relevant with changing trends and seasons.
Facebook will be for brands and people above 40: For anyone below 40, Facebook is old news. And for teens, its where all the scary parents are lurking, just waiting for them to post a picture or use a curse word that will get them grounded. Facebook is dying, and by the end of 2014, it will be the digital geriatric clinic sprinkled with brands, cheesy real estate agents, and car salesmen.
Apps and social platforms will have a much faster lifecycle: As stated above, the new world order is: Kids flock to social network; Parents hear about said social network and sign up; Kids leave adults in the dust and move on to some newer, shinier social media toy. Expect this cycle to accelerate in 2014.
36. Heather Taylor, Social Media Manager at MyCorporation – @MyCorporation
Content will still be king, but visuals will be queen – for brands creating or enhancing a social media presence in 2014, there will need to be more photos than ever before to go alongside written content and more unique and aesthetically pleasing you can make them, the better. Choose your Instagram filter options with care!
37. Don Power, Social Media Consultant and Author – @donpower
Mass adoption of Twitter from a much wider audience due to the following two developments:
1. Recent admission by Facebook that you’ll have to pay in order for your content to be seen by your target audience.
2. Twitter will advertise on TV to attract more mainstream usere who aren’t already on the platform (much like TV ads we’ve seen for Google and Bing).
38. Anthony Novtne, Xelleration Social – @xelleration
I predict Google+ will continue to see active user growth each month. The new YouTube integration, Google authorship, and social signals, which seem to have an integral part in page rankings, will drive growth for Google+ in 2014. I believe that since there is a push for more integration that Google+ will become more popular for businesses marketing to consumers and for personal use.
39. Katie Knoll, Xelleration Social – @xelleration
I predict that there will be a huge drop off of businesses using Facebook as a marketing & sales medium in 2014 due to the huge drop in organic reach & Facebook¹s huge push towards advertising. Small businesses just cannot compete and teens are fleeing the social network with only more demographics to follow. I think the next big winner will be Pinterest.
40. Faheem Gill, Xelleration Social – @xelleration
Klout improves its algorithms and becomes more mainstream for customer service. For example, companies will reach out to high influencers to help spread their message.
41. Andrew Caravella, VP of Marketing at Sprout Social – @andrewcaravella
This prediction is based on findings from the just-released Sprout Social Engagement Index, which determined that the staggering growth rate of incoming messages that brands are receiving on social—nine times as fast as the networks themselves—reflects a measured shift in the social business paradigm.
We will see an increase in all platforms strengthening features and functionality that enable customer care and service-related conversations on a variety of channels, especially social.
42. Ali Din, Marketing Consultant at En Pointe Technologies – @EnPointeTech
Finding skilled talent to manage social media will become more competitive. As more companies embrace social media and find ways to integrate it into their business model, social media will become more of a core function than a side project. Marketers will use analytics to more precisely target their messages. Social media will continue to break into the organization’s walls with services such as Chatter and Yammer, thereby reducing email traffic.
As social media enters the organization’s walls, it will change how the business communicates. Customer facing departments will leverage tools such as Yammer to communicate more effectively. Large organizations will operate like startups without cubicles. This direct communication internally, and direct communication with consumers, will provide unprecedented insight to allow organizations to better respond to the wishes and demands of customers.
43. Angela Shugarts, PR Strategist at Frankly Communications – @angelashugarts
Photos and videos will be the primary modes of content shared across all platforms. Experts believe Pinterest will be a popular platform as more businesses turn to the source for creative, engaging forms of content. Marketing, sales and customer service will be impacted because it will prompt these departments to shift production from text-based to visual-based communication where images will be the factor in a consumer’s decision to buy.
44. Aly MacGregor, President of Reicura – @ReicuraTO
Mainstream marketing via social media will surely increase in 2014. The integration between social media and television will become even stronger and more structured; things along the lines of live tweeting influencing live television, TV ads featuring more and more social content (and vice-versa), and things of that nature. The immediacy of social media converging with the mainstream reach of television means it’s inevitable that the two become more fused and clever marketers will take advantage of that.
45. AJ Vernet, CEO of Republic Project – @AJVernet37
Social Customer Service Goes Real-time:
Regarding customer service you will see major brands like Four seasons, P&G, Sony, etc. respond to your tweets, pictures, and post in real time minutes. Social analytic technology has gotten so good computer software can scan billions of messages and filter the ones that a brand needs to focus on. That brand will be able to win you over instantly by fixing a wrongdoing or capitalizing on a special moment.
Social Sales & Marketing efforts are going to get more automated like never before:
Whatever you interact with socially, on websites, or mobile phones is going to determine what you see on all devices, tv and mobile applications. As companies like FB, twitter, and Google stalk you for login access and with pixels. Your news feed is slowly going to fill up with products and opportunities instead of friends.
For brands and marketers, cross-platform engagement – and analytics – will become even more important as consumers turn to multiple channels to meet a myriad of communication needs. And we’ll see increased sophistication in advertising campaigns from those brands across all social media channels, as platforms continue to evolve their ad offerings. Finally, visual communication will play an even larger role in the social media landscape in 2014, as channels like Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr grow.
47. James Buckley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Customer Data and Location Intelligence at Pitney Bowes Software – @pbsoftwareAmer
A huge area for social media growth and development in 2014 will be location-based. People handle more and more of their daily lives on mobile, including restaurant check-ins and social sharing in real-time. The more accurate the location data, the more certain marketers are when sending hyper-targeted messages to consumers based on their location sharing.
48. Scott Hebner, VP of Social Business Solutions at IBM – @SLHebner
For most companies social has been a marketing machine, providing the ability to build armies of brand advocates. In 2014, it will be less about how many likes you get, and more focused on the quality of those likes. Social, driven by behavioral data, will allow marketers to individualize consumers and deliver personalized experiences customized to individual or community needs. Social will transform marketing from a function to a service and consumers will reap the benefits.
49. Will Campbell, CEO of Quantasy – @Quantasy
While brands will continue to use social media in 2014 for executing experiential creative campaigns, we will also see a significant increase in two other marketing approaches. First, social media will no longer just be a real-time path to audiences by proxy, but rather a community where brands interact directly with consumers and proactively participate in culture on a regular basis. Second, more brands will use social media platforms for lead generation and CRM.
50. Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tMedia – @carisamiklusak
We’ll see the majority of platforms become more image centric, including Facebook (photo’s and micro-videos), Twitter (vine), etc. The visual search trend will reach a new height in 2014. This will require marketers to think about how they are sharing messages and encouraging engagement for their target audiences
51. Aram Panasenco, Director of the LA Small Business Center – @panasenco
Social media for many companies has been about top-down passing of content to subscribers/followers, until now. Social media in 2014 will be very heavily skewed toward customers sharing their experience with a company with other customers. Facebook and Google+ are encouraging that by integrating review systems in their local business pages. That means that businesses will have to focus on their customer service rather than content creation.
52. Kylie Flett, PR & Social Media Director at Neff Associates – @KylieLee83
In 2014 I predict that we will be able to make valid, repeatable estimates of ROI on social media. This will allow clients to see where each of their social media marketing dollars are being spent. Clients are looking to monetize their return on investment in marketing.
53. Corey Post, Founder of AgileLeverage.com – @coreypost
Businesses will develop detailed content strategies that focus on solving customers’ unique pain points. Social media will become a major delivery channel of this strategy, with content created specifically for each social platform’s audience.
Essentially, implementation of a well-planned content strategy will allow companies to share their brands’ story through social media, fostering deeper connections with consumers.
The results of a well-executed content strategy through social include increased brand loyalty and higher lifetime values.
54. Sonja Hegman, Chief Wordsmith at Writer’s Chat Stew – @ChiefWordsmith
The importance of content marketing will become increasingly important. While social media as a tool is awesome, brands are becoming aware that they need their own original content to disseminate on their social media channels. This will help marketing and sales to become less about shouting what their brands are selling and more about telling consumers stories about what their products can do for them.
55. Shaina Epstein, Social Media Associate at Eastwick – @shainaepstein
Social media in 2014 will be focused on scalability. As customer service on social media becomes more commonplace, consumers expect faster and custom responses. Marketers will begin targeting digital followings where they hang out IRL (in real life). The following four topics will be points of focus in the coming year:
1. The rise of visual social and Pinterest as a Google for images
2. Targeting via SOLOMO (Social, local, mobile)
3. Downstream analytics and monetary tracking for better targeting
4. Integrating online and offline experience
56. Mark Pinsent, Social and Content Lead at Metia – @markpinsent
Shopping will remain a primary activity people participate in when referring to their social networks on mobile for recommendations. Retailers have the opportunity to place products in front of shoppers at the right time, in the right place. Monitoring Twitter for timely product or category mentions, and targeting content can trigger sales. Understand a shopper’s location. Do you have a retail outlet nearby or an online offer to take the pain out of shopping?
57. Eldad Farkash, CTO of SiSense – @eldadfarkash
Small and medium size businesses will begin leveraging the treasure trove of social media big data. Global enterprises are already gaining actionable insights from their social media data and using it to create impactful marketing campaigns. Now that easy-to-use software solutions are available, an increasing number of SMBs will be able to tap into big data from social media to create campaigns based on science, rather than simply intuition.
58. Avi Greenfield, Portfolio Innovation Manager for HP Exstream – @AviGreenfield
Social media will trigger better customer engagement in 2014 – from mitigating long wait times to overcoming the automation of call center queues – and if companies don’t tune-in, consumers will switch to another provider. It’s imperative companies put social media in the same regard as other channels. Not answering a tweet is synonymous with ignoring a customer in person.. Social media engagement is the opportunity to understand consumers’ needs and offer assistance to improve the experience.
59. Chuck D. Brooks, Vice President and Client Executive for the Department of Homeland Security at Xerox – @ChuckDBrooks
Government agencies have a reputation for being “behind the times” when it comes to technology. However, many government agencies are embracing and using social media and digital communications to enhance customer service. These days, citizens can communicate with government contact centers through a variety of channels including, mobile, web and social media. For example, citizens can tweet FEMA about power issues during a natural disaster, or the CDC during disease outbreaks. The Department of Veterans Affairs supplies wounded warriors and vets mobile devices and issues weekly surveys on the devices to get perspective on their mental standing. Social media is shaping government customer service and agencies are utilizing technology to connect with different generations on many different platforms.
60. Taline Felix, B2B Social Media Director and Strategist at Sprocket Media – @SprocketMedia1
Watch out Google, Facebook ranked second to Google for advertising ROI in the September 2013 survey featured in Advertising Age. Beginning 2014 savvy brands will leverage features such as social retargeting, geolocation and real time external data such as the weather to deliver targeted custom advertising.
What are your predictions on the future of Social Media? Share them in the comment section below.