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Some experts are saying that in 2014 social media’s use for sales will decline and the most effective campaigns will be paid, LinkedIn will become a top news site, and Google+ will hit the mainstream. I’m going to tell you who’s right, who’s wrong and how it affects you.

I recently saw an article called “9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014,” on a site called Mashable. Mashable is a pretty cool website that covers emerging technology and web trends, especially social media. It’s demographic skews a little younger, but it is really on top of what is going on in the digital world.

In full disclosure, I’m not as gung-ho on social media marketing as a lot of people.

  • It should be a part of your strategy.
  • It is not THE solution as some people believe.
  • You can dump in a lot of money and not see much ROI.

But some of these predictions are interesting (though not all of them will be right). This isn’t a scientific survey. It was just nine people giving their opinions.

So here is one person giving his opinion on those opinions. We’ll do the first four today and the next five tomorrow.

1. Graphic software will rise.

“Posts on Facebook with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than text-based posts, according to Kissmetrics. With the rise of Pinterest and Tumblr, it's going to become increasingly important to produce content in visual form, whether it is infographics, images with text overlay or pretty quote graphics. We'll be using more graphic software to turn our written content into visual content to make it more shareable on social media.”

I think this is true. If you look at how Google is looking at graphics and how people respond to them, it will be important to use graphics to reach potential clients.

2. Social won't be used for sales.

“People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Companies currently celebrating the most success in social media focus on engagement, nurturing relationships and sharing value through their social outreach. Customers and prospects will seek out companies offering value, entertainment, discounts, help and engagement.”

Here they are partly right and partly wrong. Social media for sales has never really worked for dentists. For locally based businesses, especially professional services, that’s a no-go.

3. Automation will explode.

“A lot currently rides on the shoulders of social media marketers. They have to be on top of brand voice, any current company promotions or marketing campaigns, the tools they measure social media with, the various communities on the platforms, etc. It's a lot, and it's more varied than most people are capable of doing well. In 2014, we'll see a lot of automation of the tactics (think timing, platform, structure, etc.), so social media marketers can focus on the content and the genuine social interaction. Autonomics is being adopted now and will only explode as more technologies come online in 2014.”

I think this is very true. We’re seeing this already.

4. LinkedIn will become the most important publisher.

“Imagine a publication with more than 100 million captive readers and writers, such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, all natively hooked into and targeted to a social network. LinkedIn will become a premium destination for industry news, and you need to take part in that ecosystem early and often. Publish original content, network among peers in groups and raise your profile now.”

They are spot on. With Facebook on a stagnant path, Twitter having a limited appeal and LinkedIn has a big appeal for businesspeople.

So there are our first four. What do you think? Leave comments below or you can email me at colin@smartboxdental.com.

Until next time, keep moving forward.


Written by rcarroll

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