A new year calls for a new look at the way businesses can use social media to leverage their marketing strategies. Keeping in mind the major trends that ruled 2013, let's look at four social media sites that will be the hottest in the coming year.
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Why? - More and more teens are shifting from Zukerberg's social network to the micro blogging site for want of "less drama".
2013 saw Twitter making its Initial Public Offering. With the micro blogging site now trading on stock exchanges, 2014 is projected to be huge for the site by several market analysts. According to the findings of a 2013 survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project, Twitter is - wait for it - the new Facebook.
Facebook has seen an increased presence of adults, leaving many unhappy teens to shift focus towards the next popular site - Twitter. Results from the report do not however mean teens are leaving Facebook, deactivating their profiles all together. But with their focus already shifted towards Twitter and 26% of them listing Twitter as their most important social media website - the trend is only going to get hotter in 2014.
2. Google +
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Why? - Google Authorship is going to play an important role in the search giant's website ranking algorithm and Google + is at the core of Google Author Rank and thus, Google Authorship.
Google Authorship was introduced as a method of verifying an author's identity and also enabling search engines to find content written by the same author. 2013 saw Google merging several of its new and old products - business listings from Google Places are now on Google + and Google Docs have been upgraded to Google Drive to name a few.
Content linked to verified authors will show higher on Google's search results page. Google Plus is thus no longer a social network. 2014 will see it evolve into an integral component of Google's page rank determination system.
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Why? - In consistency with the trend of sharing content via images and videos rather than only text, 2014 is going to be the year of photos, videos and infographics.
Pinterest will continue to shed its "cute and girly" reputation, only at a stronger pace in 2014. Consumers want visual content and embracing image centric websites will be a smart move for businesses the coming year. Socialbakers collected data during April to May, 2013 revealed that 93 percent of the most popular and engaging posts on Facebook were photos.
Similarly, Instagram and Tumblr will continue to grow with the increasing use of visual content for content marketing, increasing brand presence and brand power.
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Why? - Micro videos are going to be hot in 2014.
Micro blogging alone is not the hottest trend of the coming year. While Twitter's Vine is going to be the shining star of the micro video skyline, other websites incorporating the same will see a similar rise. Six seconds on Vine and 3-15 seconds on Instagram's video app will be more important than ever for businesses looking to fortify their brand power through social media marketing.
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Apart from these four, MySpace and the SnapChat mobile app are also going to be huge. MySpace went through several makeovers and with its new iPhone app that allows consumers to connect with others, share private messages and enjoy a customized and personalized radio station tailored to suit their taste - MySpace is ready to compete in 2014. And so is the SnapChat app.
Mobile phones and other smart devices have been at the center of businesses' social media marketing strategies and apps like SnapChat are only making the marketing game more interesting. SnapChat is used to send disappearing images that last less than ten seconds on the receivers phone. The app is gaining popularity by the minute but that is not the only reason for SnapChat's shining prospects.
Creators of the app turned down acquisition offers from major giants like Google and Facebook in 2013, indicating they have big plans for the eccentric app in 2014.