1. The Rise of Short Lived Social Networks
Facebook offered fleeting video and image sharing social network SnapChat $3 Billion! I don’t think it is worth what Facebook offered; however, it is clear that there is a space in the market for networks where content literally vanishes seconds after being received. The reason for this being so popular is that it brings back fun and spontaneity that has been lost in the now commoditized world of social networking. Keep an eye on SnapChat for 2014 and for competitors coming on the scene.
2. Social TV Comes into Play
Now more than ever, reality TV have been using their audience to influence how a show not only works but how the results actually turn out. The American version of The Voice actually allow Twitter users to vote on who should be saved out of the bottom three in the competition. In 2014, we will start to see real-time content chosen by viewers on TV.
3. Social Media Advertising
We have been subjected to mainly Facebook ads over the last year; however Twitter have now joined the social network advertising and I’m sure Pinterest and Google+ will follow suit. Online banner ads are now being ignored by social users compared to news feed and promoted post adverts. Promoted Tweets show 15 times more engagement than banner ads.
We are in a new era now where we are a socially active country, checking into locations through Facebook and Foursquare, all through our mobile. There will be 1.4 billion smartphones being used in the world by the end of this year… that's 1 in every nine people owning a smartphone. We are extremely attached to our phones and this is affecting not only our online social habits, but our buying habits too. 2014 will see a lot more small businesses offer their customers discounts for “checking into” their store from their smartphone on a social network.
5. Social Influence Rewarding
2014 will see the introduction to social influence rewarding. The likes of Klout gives you a (albeit slightly inaccurate) social influence score based on your online activity. Celebrities are getting paid to promote products and services on their social networks and it won’t be long before the popular online influencers follow suit. If they have an audience who trusts their authority, they can sell almost anything to them and get paid for it.
6. You Become Your Brand Advocate
By this I mean you are the one who drives your business forward and encourages others to do the same. You are going to be the person who empowers everyone else, including your staff, to see the business from your perspective. Don’t let negativity cloud your judgement, if you don’t believe in the business, no one else will.
7. Social Search Engines
Social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and family; most platforms now have advanced search functionality. Facebook, since showing interest in buying Opera last year, have advance their search functionality, especially since Facebook Open Graph and Hashtags were introduced late this year. Twitter has now changed their approach and is now allowing users to engage more with conversations and pictures.