The social media sites have been heavy-hitters for the small businesses who have been current enough in the game to take advantage of them, but what’s coming down the pike for 2014? Will businesses continue to work in the social sites, or will their marketing take an advertising direction?
Too Much Effort and Responsibility
Jay Baer (bestselling author) and Augie Ray (former Forrester analyst and current Voice of Customer professional) are just a couple of the professionals predicting a shift in the current scheme. Ray tells Forbes:
In 2014, the Marketing Department will fall out of love with social media and responsibility for the medium will shift even further into other corners of the organization, such as PR and Customer Service. Of course, Facebook and Twitter still own too much of consumer time for marketers to ignore them, but a focus on paid media will increasingly eclipse earned media in marketing strategies.
A Natural Reason for Results
Vocus (a marketing cloud company) believes the social part of business marketing is here to stay—at least for a little while:
The number one reason things are shared is that it feeds people’s egos. Look at Instagram: it’s pictures of what I’m eating right now. The number two thing is information; really, information that is new, or about new products and services. That means going to your influencers and saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you a sneak peak, go spread the word if you want.’ The third reason is emotion, specifically disgust and delight (and mostly disgust on the Internet, if you look around).
Forbes writer Jayson DeMers also believes social media is a necessary marketing tool for 2014, not a luxury businesses can afford to ignore. DeMers predicts MySpace, LinkedIn and Vine will be some of the bigger trends this year for social sites on the rise.
Hire Freelance Writers Not Social Media Managers
Midsize Insider notes that companies may not be hiring social media-focused positions as ardently as they have been. LinkedIn also believes this trend has seen a slow-down in “social media managers” 2013, but doesn’t believe this means there isn’t still a strong drive to use social media for marketing; LinkedIn has found that companies are outsourcing rather than hiring a specific employee dedicated to the sole task of managing the virtual presence of the company.
Freelance writers produce content without the extra pressure on the company budget that an employee causes. Rather than hire a full-time employee with a salary and benefits to write up articles and create social media content, a ghostwriter can be called on to create content at a fraction of the cost. Hire freelance writers to provide article ideas or write on the specific topics you provide.
Don’t get left out of the marketing scheme other business are using so productively. Whether social media is a flash in the pan or the new way of doing business, you certainly can’t afford to ignore it. The gravy train has already left the station and the longer you take to climb aboard the more you will have to play catch-up.
Alethea M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.