Social media matured by leaps and bounds in 2013. That evolution is expected to continue through 2014 as well, as technology becomes more advanced.
With so many different platforms–Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.–and technologies–analytics, publishing tools, etc.–at the ready, how does a marketer choose? Here's what they told us:
Kasey Skala, Digital Communication Manager at Great Clips, told CMO.com:
In 2014, I think the intriguing play will be reigning back a bit and focusing on established platforms. It may not sound exciting, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the continued evolution of Twitter. From a consumer standpoint, we saw its power in 2013 as the go-to destination for engagement around news and current events, and I think it will continue to grow as the leading conversational platform. For brands, they continue to enhance and build value-added features that are simply natural and authentic, compared to other platforms. There’s a lot of opportunity on the platform for visual storytelling, which is enticing as a marketer.
The other platform I think is in good position is Instagram. As long as they continue to be smart with their ad platform, which I think they’ve done a great job thus far, we should see a steady adoption. Instagram Direct is brilliant and presents a lot of great opportunities for personalized and 1:1 engagement. We’re a visual society, and I think Instagram is setting themselves up to benefit greatly in 2014.
From a technology standpoint, I think we’ll see traction with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons, such as Apple’s iBeacon. Being able to take the Internet and digital out of devices and into the physical world is incredibly valuable for both the consumer and brands. Personalized interactions are key as we move forward, and this is a logical step to being able to deliver such.
Matt Rozen, Group Manager Of Corporate Social Media at Adobe (CMO.com's parent company), told CMO.com:
I'll be interested in seeing which brands use Snapchat well. It's always a good thing for brands to pilot programs across all of the platforms their customers and communities gather, and if my company is talking to students, I'm going to use Snapchat. I also think 2014 might be the year Google+ gets more serious attention. Social is becoming more deeply integrated into search. If your social team isn't meeting regularly with SEM, 2014 is the year to start. And, of course, social is maturing, and no longer can the strategists' programs be confined to platform-only thinking. Rather, marketing organizations especially–but really all parts of an organization–need to think about social business and not just social media.
Amy Kalokerinos, VP Head Of Alliances, North America, at DigitasLBI New York, told CMO.com:
Next year we'll see the ability to take traditional customer relationship management systems and combine social network knowledge to get a three-dimensional view of the thoughts and behaviors of consumers. Before, all we knew were simple metrics like age, gender, and products previously purchased. Now with the addition of social intelligence, we know their music preferences, what TV shows they watch, how they feel about health care in this country, and whether they liked the final episode of "Breaking Bad." Advertisers will use these data points to see how social preferences affect buying behavior and how to better advertise to them in the future.
Dennis Yu, BlitzMetrics' CEO, is favorable toward Facebook's custom audiences as we head into 2014. He told Search Engine Watch:
"It is a good thing that CRM and social are finally able to talk to each other, and in 2014 brands should be taking advantage of this powerhouse way to email marketing with social."