2013 was a banner year for the social media industry. YouTube became more popular than television, Facebook finally surpassed 1 billion active users, and Twitter reached a record 143,000 tweets in a single second. With all of this going on, it’s easy for businesses to see the power that social media holds. Social media activity is rapidly increasing, and social media advertising is no longer an option for most companies; it’s a requirement.
Diversification Will Become the Key to Success
Gone are the days when Facebook was the only game in town. 2013 gave rise to numerous social media venues that have rapidly gained in popularity. From Vine to Instagram, companies need to become aware of alternative social media platforms and run targeted campaigns for each sector. It can be impossible to predict which platforms will take off. There are many social media applications, such as Snapchat, that appeared on the scene out of nowhere only to show immediate hockey stick growth. Even MySpace is attempting to make a comeback in 2014, which is something that very few could have predicted.
Mixed Media Will Continue to Grow in Popularity
When social media first originated, the emphasis was on quick bites of text-based content. Companies could acquire a single writer for hire to complete their blog and Facebook posts, and that was pretty much all they needed to remain successful and competitive. Today, platforms such as Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest are showing that there is an increased desire for video and picture content, and companies need to consider this when developing their social media campaigns.
Social Media Platforms Will Monetize More Aggressively
When Facebook made its initial public offering, its stock price suffered due to a lack of clear monetization strategy. The same criticism was raised against Twitter, prior to its IPO in November 2013. Both companies have since sought to develop their revenue streams, with Facebook encouraging companies to purchase ads and Twitter suggesting an increased emphasis on sponsored tweets. Social media platforms such as Facebook have become so inundated with social media campaigns that it has become necessary for a company to use paid advertisements to distinguish themselves from the competition. Further, social media platforms are struggling to produce revenue across the board; the CEO of Instagram once reported that they simply don’t make money.
Companies will need to have dedicated, robust and, above all, agile social media campaigns if they are to survive in 2014. The social media community is in a state of continuous flux; it is both more fragmented and more powerful now than ever. Social media platforms can rise and fall at the drop of a hat, and only the companies that can adapt will succeed. Further, companies should anticipate drastically increasing their social media budget in the upcoming year. Many of the social media platforms that were once considered essentially free advertising will likely begin pushing their paid advertising products.
Jenna I is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.