I remember the first “social media is dying” post that I read. It was early 2008 and MySpace was already showing signs of starting to implode upon itself. The article I read (wish I would have saved it) gave a very compelling argument about how social media was a fad and that privacy would eventually prevail once the glow of the “look at me” mentality that drives social media wears off.
It never did. It never will.
There’s no going back. Social media is the ultimate legal voyeurism into the lives of those we care about, whether we like them or not. We can see what our old high school friends are doing now. We can monitor the activities of our friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else of interest. We can keep track of the news as it’s unfolding, not told by a news anchor but told by the reactions of people we may or may not know.
It goes without saying that social media seems to shift at a moment’s notice. This may not mean much for those who utilize Facebook, Twitter and pages of that nature for leisurely purposes but what about those who wish to expand their digital presences? What if they want to help themselves or their brand become noticed? In order for social media to be utilized well during 2014, here is a list of the top 10 men moves that should be made.
1. Expect certain networks to gain attention. A recent publication on Digital Trends went into detail about how Pinterest “Pins” have more value to online retailers than Facebook “Likes.” Considering the general scope of Facebook, Pinterest is a site to look out for. Between this and its expanding teenage demographic that seems to deviating from Facebook, it’s clear that some sites will see greater elevation in the public eye than others.
2. Do not count out social media through mobile devices. It seems as though the utilization of one networking page after another is being seen more so through smartphones and tablets as opposed to computers these days. It goes without saying that your typical laptop will offer more in the way of functionality. However, considering the fact that many people are on the move without a place to settle in for long, mobile usage is an attractive alternative that will see growth during 2014.
3. Blogging will become a greater digital monster. From a creative standpoint, blogging is ideal for talking about certain subjects, giving one’s take on the matter in a way that is as level as possible. However, from the perspective of general awareness, more and more sites have risen and it’s easy for budding writers to make their presences known. The greater a platform is in terms of its litany of well-versed writers, the better it will be.
4. There will be a prevalence of job openings in social media. If you are someone who believes that working with Facebook can’t ever result in a career down the road, you may be mistaken. From SEO specialists to community managers, it’s clear that these individuals not only understand well-known networking platforms but systems which function to distribute digital content. The year of ‘14 is looking strong on the employment front for many a social media agency.
5. Posts will retain the “less-is-more” mentality. It’s understandable if, for example, a “Game of Thrones” fan live tweets during a premiere. Apart from instances like this, it’s unwise to flood your page with messages, since those who follow you will be exposed to them. When they see nothing but messages that do not pertain to them, it is all the more reason for them to unfollow. While shorter posts are better able to earn attention, fewer posts typically entail more importance for businesses in particular.
6. Content will see more of a graphical focus. I’m sure that you have stumbled upon one .gif after another while roaming the Internet on a dedicated day, each of them played up for the sake of humor. That being said, I believe it to be a sign that with content taking a more visual approach these days, those who fail to focus on this point stand the chance of becoming irrelevant in the industry they are in. The content that is popular on Tumblr, for example, might just make all of the difference for brand awareness.
7. Video content will prove more effective in displaying brand personality. It’s easy enough to read about the successes that a company has had but what will your perception of them be unless you have been directly exposed to it? This is one of the reasons why videography is integral, as it can appeal to not only one’s visual sense but auditory sense as well. In addition, most people are simply more driven to watch a video for two minutes as opposed to reading a narrative for several more.
8. People will be more careful about what they post on social media. This may be something of a given for many but it’s surprising that adults, of all people, seem to fail at utilizing various platforms in ways that can make them look better. For instance, this past May, Australian batsman David Warner was fined more than $5,500 for his Twitter outburst against two journalists. To put it mildly, the end result was one which displayed that no one wants a “Warner moment” of their own. Not everything has to be made public.
9. Genuineness will be that much more important on social media. It is important to be yourself on any networking platform, though to a degree that you do not simply post anything that comes to mind. It’s important to have a cognitive filter so that you can come across as not only personable but professional. You will not attain a strong digital presence by one blast of outrageous content after another. Stay cautious and, before long, you’ll feel as though you truly earned your social circle.
10. Don’t forget about certain networks. Case in point, Google+ has been heavily supported by the well-known brand but how many people were going to latch onto it as well as expected? With YouTube all but requiring Google+, it expectedly earned backlash, especially with the video website’s commenting system becoming nothing more of a mess. Fortunately, YouTube appears to be making matters easier, implementing a comment system that creators will have better control over. Early into 2014, it’s a welcome start.
Reports from reliable sources are coming in that Facebook has put a Craigslist-style app on the fast track to be developed and launched as soon as possible. The project, tentatively named Marketplace (not to be confused with the failed app of the same name that was recently shelved) will allow users to socially share and even pay to promote classified ads that people would normally put on Craigslist such as job listings, products for sale, and housing.
In so many ways, 2008 was a predictable year. When the year began, the economy was heading in the wrong direction, while Twitter was being born into “wow, this is way cool.” The Republican Party was one political faux pas after another, while smart phones were going from luxury to necessity with each new glorious app and feature.
Google was at its peak with no place to go but down. The automotive industry was already feeling like a step-child before they became an orphan. The Dark Knight was phenomenal while Speed Racer was phenomenally bad.
None of these things were surprises, but there were a few unexpected happenings. Gas peaked (for now) and bottomed out just in time for holiday travel. The Detroit Lions were worse than anyone thought a team in 2008 could be. John McCain fought back from obscurity within his own party to win the nomination, then threw us a VP curveball that flew over the catcher, over the ump, and on towards the talkshow circuit.
2009 seems to be starting with quite a bit more uncertainty. How will it end up? Nobody knows, of course, but at least we can speculate. I would like comments, please, with your predictions of what 2009 will be. Here are a few to get it started: (more…)