Five Social Media Predictions for 2014
In recent years, social media has gone from something that people used for their personal lives, to an essential business tools that every business owner, corporations, and Internet marketer needs to know how to use. Because of this shift, social media and the way it is viewed has changed drastically, particularly in the last two years. As a new year has dawned, many are wondering what the future of social media will be for the businesses and marketers. Below are five predictions regarding social media in 2014.
Disappearance of the Social Media Specialist
Much like the specializations we see in search engine optimization, companies have employed individuals with the title of social media manager, social media specialist, and the like for several years. However, as the need for social media knowledge becomes more and more essential to the life of every business, these specialists will disappear. This is not to say that a specialist level knowledge of social media will disappear, but that every employee will be required to know the ins and outs of social media and how it relates to the business. HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes recently stated that even in 2013, positions with the title “social media manager” and other similar titles had decreased by 50 percent, and this decline should continue into 2014.
In recent years, it has become all but common knowledge that employers regularly check the social media profiles of potential candidates before making their decisions in the hiring process. In 2014, this trend is expected to continue, and branch into the world of education. Not only will social media profiles be considered when deciding on an applicant to universities and other schools, but schools will likely begin to teach social media and how to use it in a business environment. Instead of social media being the distraction to students that teachers loath, it may now be part of the curriculum.
In 2013, Twitter went public in an effort to compete with Facebook. By all accounts, this decision is paying off. Additionally, Instagram now allows advertisements, which is something they were adamantly against for a long time. Everyone by this point is well aware of Facebook’s advertising campaigns, remarketing efforts, and other features that play into the hands of corporations and small businesses. This trend of social media sites becoming more and more commercialized is expected to continue into 2014. This will likely revolutionize the way that advertising is done, and its impact on traditional means of advertising will be interesting to observe.
It is very likely that social media will become one of the most important tools in obtaining feedback from customers and employees alike. Companies large and small will likely begin to rely almost solely on social media to find out what customers are saying about their products and services. This cannot only help with brand recognition and accurate analytics, but it can also help ensure that companies will be obtaining accurate feedback from their customers. For instance, while in a focus group people might be more likely to speak positively about the company in question, on social media they are more than happy to divulge all of the ills of the company, as well as what they love. Since it is relatively easy to track a company or a product name on social media, companies will be able to listen in on conversations that they were not able to put for. While this is already being done, is expected to continue and become almost the sole method of obtaining customer feedback. Employees will also be encouraged to talk amongst themselves and network with each other on social media, so that companies can become aware of what their employees want and need, and can cultivate productive and positive environments.
Social Media As an SEO Imperative
Already in 2013, having a social media presence on a website has become almost imperative to obtain high search engine rankings. However, the way things currently stand in search engine optimization, lack of social media does not exactly omit a website from search engine results. Going forward 2014, however, this will likely change. Because society and business is becoming more and more social, it will be an absolute imperative to utilize social media on websites in order to obtain a high search engine ranking.
While nobody can predict the future, trends often continue on into future years, and based on what we have seen from 2010 to 2013 in the realm of social media, the above predictions are very likely to become a reality in the coming year. How these changes will affect the rest of society how people do business and learn is yet to be seen, but it is almost certain that social media will be an imperative in the coming year.