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New year, new predictions. The top 4 social media predictions for 2014

It’s the new year and a fresh start for everyone. These nba teams are starting to win so this year might be a great year.  In the social, digital and technology space, this year is predicted to be a banner year for new technologies but also a step further for marketers when it come to taking advantage of new social and digital platforms. And there also the increase in mobile ad spending. The outlook for all of them is leading to bold predictions from various agencies, experts and brands. I have a few of my own.  Below are my predictions for 2014.

Increase in social media ad spend 

In 2014, expect social ads to explode and get a lot more attention than they currently do. These ads are proving to be a lot more effective than some traditional forms of advertising, like banner ads. No one cares about banner ads, (clicked on 0.2 percent of the time), however social ads like Promoted Tweets show engagement of one to three percent— up to 15 times better.  Each one of these perform much higher than traditional forms of advertisements.

Video sharing will explode the way images did in 2013

Most millennials, the highly sought after target for many brands, grew up watching online video. It’s what they’re used to consuming and now are creating it more than ever.  Short form video platforms like Vine and Instagram have made it easier to create, edit and share video in real-time. And that’s not even including YouTube, the old guard when it comes to sharing video on social.

The signs for an explosion in video sharing in 2014 are all there.  Instagram introduced video a few months after Vine launched, Snapchat was offered $3 and $4 billion for their ephemeral image and video platform, (money they quickly turned down) which boasts users mostly between the ages of 13 and 25 and Facebook is launched video ads within the News Feed.  In 2014, videos will become the new image.

Google+ will grow in size and importance

Google+ has always taken a back seat for brands looking to connect with their users.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram always got the bulk of the conversation.  However, that’s about to change in 2014. Google+ has slowly but surely grown the number of active users to over 540 million in 2013 and in 2014, is poised to create more importance in the social space especially when it comes to search.

Google+ is baked into a range of Google products, including important consumer facing products such as Search, YouTube and Google Maps. While brands continue to carve out a presence on Google+, many have noticed higher search rankings as a result of their presence on the platform.

The importance of community building and brand ambassadors will increase

In 2014, brands will be spending much more time building communities with fans who are willing to help them spread the word about their service or product because they love it so much. Brands will have to find ways to build more word-of-mouth traffic because consumers trust other consumers. In a recent Nielson Global Survey, 84% of respondents said they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and families over anything else.

What are some other predictions you’d like to include in the list above?

 

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Twitter & Comedy Central = Media Company To Be

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As many marketers found out this morning, Twitter and Comedy Central have signed a deal to show exclusive comedy shows on Twitter via pre-recorded clips and jokes via the hashtag, #ComedyFestival.

It’s another sign that Twitter is looking to become a media company and include as much content as they can to supplement their core business – ads on tweet timelines. 

I think Twitter is heading in a great direction, unlike Facebook, who’s having a tough time expanding their core business while keeping Wall Street happy. Twitter on the other hand is laying the ground work for advertising opportunities that may come later, in their vision to dominate social conversations. TV is a big part of that future, as users regularly turn to Twitter for real-time conversations about popular TV shows. They’ve already signed deals with Nielson and bought Blue Fin Labs to help decipher all the chatter around TV shows.   Twitter’s media ambitions should be solidified after this past week’s news events. 

The Boston Marathon bombing allowed Twitter to become the go to place for real-time updates on what was happening on the ground during the bombings but also the chase to capture the two suspects in the bombing.  There were Vine videos of the blast, police scanner updates, and also updates from all law enforcements officials to Bostonians to stay indoors when the second suspect was running loose.

I can’t wait to see what unfolds for Twitter in the next few years but they’re clearly headed in the right direction. They must be learning from mistakes Facebook made before heading towards an IPO, as they plan their own attempt in the next few years.  I also love their strategy by using popular morning shows to announce product such as #TwitterMusic (on GMA) and the new page refresh (on the Today Show).  These are excellent ways to reach the average viewer, especially moms, who may not be on Twitter but could potentially sign up by learning more about it from trusted sources.

 (pic source) 

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