Social Media Trends 2014: #14for14 (Parts 1 – 7)

social media trends 2014 parts one to seven
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It’s that time of the year where predictions for next year’s big trends begin to surface.

Last year I put together a SlideShare presentation with predictions for 2013 which saw a few materialise including the rise of semi-guaranteed social media engagement, a major overhaul to Facebook and the closer ties between physical events and online amplification.

This year’s approach is a bit different.

I’m posting in-depth features over on the Kamber Blog and will eventually package the entire series up on SlideShare in December (accompanied by audio commentary).

The special series has just reached the halfway point so I thought it was worth bringing the first seven trends together on my personal blog.

And, here they are…

Social Media Trends 2014: #14for14 (Parts 1-7)

Trend one: Content promotion budgets take a bigger chunk of media spend

social media trends 2014 p1We’ve all recognised that quality content is the real star of social media and general online activity.

In many cases, great content doesn’t achieve the visibility required to provide the impact it should and this is why an increasing amount of media buying budgets will be allocated to content promotion.

Look out for services like Outbrain to figure heavily when the subject of content promotion comes up next year.

Read the full post on trend one here.

Trend two: Niche interest networks will increase in prominence and usage

social media treands 2014 header 960We’ve seen genuine social networks like Facebook take the biggest chunk of the two-way media market in recent years.

However, our online preferences are slowly changing and interest-based networks / destinations are starting to gain more traction.

These micro-networks will never significantly bite into the market share of the Facebook’s of the world, but they are likely to get a little more attention in 2014.

Read the full post on trend two here.

Trend three: Long-time content creators will finally reap the rewards they deserve

social media trends 2014 quality content headerGoogle has made a number of significant changes to its search product in 2013 especially in regards to integration people-powered results.

Google+ has also been a big priority for Google with a number of efforts made to encourage more use of the platform.

One of the biggest changes has been the roll out of ‘author rank’ which verifies the profiles of content creators and makes their content more visible within search results.

After years of being prisoners to an algorithm, content creators are now being rewarded for their history of quality content that has been published over a sustained period of time.

It has also meant that the old school SEO methods are proving to be less fruitful.

Expect this trend to only increase in impact and talkability in 2014.

Read the full post on trend three here.

Trend four: The shortage of content-savvy digital talent gets worse before it gets better

social media trends 2014 talent shortageYou’re probably noticing a mini-trend within this trends series: The importance of content in the era of social sharing and mass self-publishing online.

The term ‘digital’ has many different definitions and they are often determined by your ‘slant’.

Personally, I see digital as a mechanism to deliver content in the right places at the right times.

While owned content is one of the oldest marketing tactics on the planet, we’ve never had the ability to reach relevant audiences in a cost effective way. Now we do.

But to be successful, you need to have a unique set of skills, including digital production, content creation, social media and SEO.

People with experience in all these areas are in short supply and as demand for these people increases in 2014, so will the frustration.

Read the full post on trend four here.

Trend five:  SoundCloud headlines the audio sharing renaissance 

social media trends 2014 soundcloud and the audio content renaissancePodcasts were one of the first examples of the relative ease in which the average Joe could create content and deliver to a potentially big audience.

There are some limitations with Podcasts and the iTunes platform which have created some barriers to entry.

But in the last few months, we’ve seen a huge increase in the use of SoundCloud which is essentially the YouTube of audio content.

SoundCloud has 250 million active users which places it 4th among the ‘big 9’ social sharing platforms, only behind Facebook, YouTube and Google+.

Expect this only to increase in 2014 as audio content becomes even easier to produce, consume and share.

Read the full post on trend five here.

Trend six:  Next year’s shiny new toy won’t fly off the shelf like it has in recent years

social media trends 2014 social media focs not excess finalEvery year a new social media platform arrives on the scene and we collectively flip out at the possibilities it may provide.

Vine was last year’s darling and it appears the hype was justified.

But, how many more social platforms can we cope with?

How much more money and resource can we allocate to another new toy?

2014 is looking like the year we start to say ‘no’.

Click here to read about the five reasons why this is set to happen.

Trend seven: Content marketing becomes THE buzz phrase but doing it right won’t be easy

content marketing gets buzzySocial media has been an enabler, fueling the brand-to-audience opportunity.

But getting traction via social media has become increasing difficult as it has become more competitive.

Simply curating 3rd party content does not have the cut-through it once had.

We’re also experiencing unprecedented changes in the way the major internet players package up their products.

The recent algorithm changes from Google are testament to this new world.

These are just some of the reasons why content marketing has become a hot topic in the last 12 months.

This hype will only increase in 2014 and we’re likely to see a number of agencies and individuals say they are experts in the content marketing discipline.

It should only last for a short period before the quality of work replaces the hype and claims.

Read the full post on trend seven here.

What’s next?

In the next seven parts of this special series topics will include probable changes to organisation structures, a possible social media backlash and changes you can expect to see from the major platforms.

If you’d like to read these as they are published, head over to the Kamber Blog.

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