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Top 10 Social Media Predictions for 2014 (Based on 2013 Moments)

social media predictions2013 social media followed a lot of buzz-worthy events – the world got a new pope, a new royal baby, and a new controversial pop star to talk about incessantly. (I think I’ve said “Miley Cyrus” more than my own name lately.)

But how we used social media in 2013 is even more impressive than the topics we focused on. These 2014 social media predictions are based on moments when analytics, ads, and content creation drastically changed in the past year.

Moment 1: Oreo Tweeted During the Super Bowl
During the Super Bowl blackout last January, Oreo tweeted an image that was essentially an immediate reaction to a current event. The brand set a new standard for extremely timely/relevant content. Sporting events, award shows, and season finales became the source of inspiration for many brand’s posts throughout the year.

2014 Prediction: Similar to how brands pay for product placement, I think companies will make deals with networks to learn a TV show’s storylines beforehand so that their content is even timelier.

Moment 2: Facebook Enforced a 20% Rule
The newsfeed demands no more than 20% of a Facebook ad image containing text. This is merely part of the shift Facebook has been making for years toward more image-based content.

2014 Prediction: Facebook advertising will go the route of television commercials – the most popular ads will be humorous or contain a narrative that serves as entertainment.

Moment 3: Instagram Introduced Ads
Instagram finally chose a revenue model – ads have premiered, though they’re still in their infancy.

2014 Prediction: It’s not enough for Instagram to have ads that don’t take the user anywhere. They’ll eventually have to provide links, especially to compete with Pinterest.

Moment 4: Facebook Bid on Snapchat
First Facebook went after Instagram, and this year they attempted to acquire the app Snapchat. It seems like now the future of social network start-ups is to be swallowed up by bigger, more established networks.

2014 Prediction: Snapchat and Pinterest will continue to be courted (and possibly purchased) by bigger networks like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Moment 5: Vine Premiered
It was just last January that the video network premiered, but it already has over 40 million registered users. Instagram was pressured to respond with its video update, making video production from a mobile phone more feasible than ever.

2014 Prediction: Vine doesn’t have an overwhelmingly clear content play or audience yet, though I could see quick 6-second instructional videos taking off. Perhaps the cliche of “Men don’t read the instructions to assemble” will change to “Men would rather just watch the Vine version.”

Moment 6: Facebook Launched Hashtags
The fact that Facebook added hashtags years after its inception proves that the # symbol is here to stay. While SEO is complex and often frustrating, hashtags have become a simple way to draw more eyes to your content.

2014 Prediction: Brands will mention hashtags more in print, television, and radio in order to give their campaigns a stronger presence in the social space.

Moment 7: Twitter Went Public
Since its launch, Twitter has kept us somewhat in the dark about active users and a strong revenue model. This year’s IPO forced Twitter to reveal more of its internal data than ever before.

2014 Prediction: Does Twitter have strong ROI? Next year, Twitter will need to step it up with a comprehensive analytics model in order to make shareholders happy.

Moment 8: LinkedIn Today Became LinkedIn Pulse
When the network replaced LinkedIn Today with Linked Pulse, it proved that LinkedIn is making efforts to customize content in the same way other networks do. Overall, the network spent the year integrating more outside content, making you want to click that LinkedIn share button on major news sites and blogs.

2014 Prediction: If LinkedIn wants to be the hub for industry-specific thought leadership, they’ll need to follow Facebook’s example of creating a feed that favors quality content.

Moment 9: Twitter Cards Were Revealed
Twitter might retain its 140 character rule, but its text-only fundamentals have vanished. Twitter Cards are the first step in Twitter’s shift to a more visual and interactive feed. A media-enriched tweet typically has more engagement and a longer life-span than a text-only tweet.

2014 Prediction: Posting a picture, video, or sign-up form to Twitter will become much more accessible and common among the average user.

Moment 10: Pinterest Got A Makeover
Pinterest had A LOT of improvements this year, including:

These updates made this network more appealing to brands, who now see the value of using Pinterest.

2014 Prediction: Data will prove that Pinterest has stronger ROI than most networks of its size. You’ll see a lot more brands establishing and expanding their Pinterest presence in 2014.

There you have it. Did I miss anything? What are your 2014 social media predictions?

(2014 social media predictions / shutterstock)

Join The Conversation

  • Dec 9 Posted 3 years ago 6 one way half ...

    Some great predictions. I see hastags growing too, but on Facebook they essentially flopped. Unless they can figure out a way to increase hashtag use, I see Facebook fighting to get as much immediacy and competitiveness out of their advantagously large user base over the much smaller but heavily media promoted Twitter.

  • Alexandra Kalinina's picture
    Dec 5 Posted 3 years ago Alexandra Kalinina

    I predict the further growth of visual content in social media, like infographics and animated videos. These formats are also mobile friendly which talks for higher demand on them from any B2B and B2C business that is active in social media.

  • kiwivitchick's picture
    Dec 5 Posted 3 years ago kiwivitchick
    As someone who does social media every day for my clients, I have to agree with all of these predictions albeit I would add a couple of considerations coming from my general observation that there is so much posting and so little commenting / shares ... and I wonder why. Here's what I would add not so much as a prediction but more as keys to being more successful at engaging in our increasingly virtually vocal and cluttered world.
    1) social media 'experts' have to learn how to listen 90% of the time and comment 10% of the time;
    2) you need to personally thank people who like or share your content ... every time every day;
    3) the best way to get traction is to not actually post something new but rather to continue a thread w/ a thoughtful comment that reflects that you've actually read the article / blog / other comments, i.e., no BS.

    At the end of the social media day, it's about giving back to those who engage in your social media channels. It's not about shoving content down their throats 24/7 that doesn't resonate with what those that matter most to you care most about (and if you don't know this already, stop posting until you do).

    Social media is transparent and if you pretend to care, pretend to listen, pretend to have read something you're commenting on etc. it's very evident. Your voice will be tuned out and it's almost impossible to get tuned back in.
  • kiransulebhavi's picture
    Dec 5 Posted 3 years ago kiransulebhavi

    Awesome post John. You have explained it exactly how It has to be explained. I am looking forward how many of your predictions comes true in 2014. Being a social media marketer I need to keep eyes on these changes.

  • sprout_sarah's picture
    Dec 4 Posted 3 years ago sprout_sarah

    This is a really great post, John! I loved how you tied your predictions into actual occurances from 2013. 

    I'm most looking forward to LinkedIn's updates. I don't doubt that they will make more strides toward custom content, and I loved that they updated settings so you can edit meta data in posts, as well as the distinction of universities from businesses. It's great to see the committment to evolution, based on what other platforms offer. 

    I think more brands will jump on smaller up and coming social apps like Snapchat and Whatsapp and target the younger demographic and foster this direct communication with fans. Also, I see niche social networks growing in popularity for relevant brands. Advertising or marketing on a site where your advocates are already likely to be will be huge.  



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