It’s a new year, and the last thing you want is to get left behind — especially online. When it comes to social media, staying up-to-minute is key. Don’t underestimate the value of seeing, and getting in on, trends.
Be up to date. Be ready to adapt at a second’s notice. And don’t just follow — be a trendsetter.
Here are some tips Forbes published this fall on the biggest marketing trends to keep an eye out for in this new year.
1) Need, not want, to invest in social media. Change is never easy.
Between clocking in, running your business like the capital-B Boss that you are and putting out all those metaphorical fires that always seem to crop up at the worst conceivable moment, how are you supposed to find time for social media? Well, we can’t answer that for you.
But it’s time to stop avoiding the question.
Maybe you won’t see a profits spike right away from tweeting, but building your overall web presence WILL yield lead generation, referral traffic and, yeah, over time, even revenue.
“As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers,” says Jayson DeMers, from Forbes.
Remember: It’s not ALL about dollar signs in business. It’s also about brand. If people don’t know and feel like they NEED your business or website, how can you ever expect to become the go-to destination in your given industry?
Get people involved, keep them active and engaged, and you’ll build loyalty. It’s that simple.
(And the best part? Loyalty’s contagious: Every follower you get increases your reach, along with your potential to gain some of your new follower’s buddies.)
2) Get on Google+. Facebook has more than 1.15 billion users, but Google+ is gaining (343 million — the second most on the web).
“As Google+ moves towards even greater integration with other aspects of the web — as they’ve already done with their foray into local search — I think we’ll see its growth skyrocket, both in terms of business and personal use,” DeMers writes.
3) Talk with your eyes. Visual content is slowly becoming king. Online consumers are proving they’d rather see pictures than prose. Don’t fight that.
Always keep in mind the “shareability” of everything you post. Text is great and all, but remember the old adage about a picture painting a thousand words.
A cool, punchy or funny image can go a long, long way.
4) Think small … and with video. Ok, it’s time to just admit it: We — web consumers, I mean — are flat-out lazy.
Nowadays, news is being smoked down to 140 characters. People want don’t want to pore over statistics; they want them easily digestible graph form.
Why should videos be any different?
Microvideo apps, like Twitter’s Vine and Instagram, are gaining steam, and they’re doing it a few seconds at a time. Vine gives you a total of 6 seconds to say what’s on your mind. Instagram caps out at 15 seconds.
What’s cool about this is how it forces you to get creative. Polish doesn’t matter close to as much as you think it does online. People want information and entertainment. They’ll simply never choose boring content, perfectly edited or on a beautiful website, over awesome, timely, relevant content that’s presented to them with a few rough edges.
That “I just shot this!” quality adds realism. It actually gets you closer to your client.
5) Foursquare: Really, who cares? Facebook, Instagram AND Twitter all now offer location-based features, and because of that, the one-trick phony that is Foursquare seems to losing a lot of its luster.
Their traffic numbers are also staying relatively stagnant, and Forbes says they’ve been having trouble raising capital (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/01/08/a-dire-prediction-for-foursquare-with-a-big-asterisk/).
Ditch the sinking ship.
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