March 4

4 Social Media Trends for 2014

2014 is going to be another year where social media is very important for every business’s marketing plan. Based on Exact Target’s 2014 State of Marketing Report (shows top marketing objectives, priorities and concerns for 2014), there are four areas that you should be paying special attention to right now:

1. Social Listening

Social listening offers the opportunity for brands to interact directly with their consumers. According to the Exact Target study, only 31% of marketers think that social listening is fully effective, which is predicted to rise this year.

If you want to see results, you’ll need to listen and respond strategically.

  • Understand while listening- It’s crucial to understand the full picture before you respond. Try to figure out if positive feedback is due to great advertising or a great product.
  • Consider the context of online updates and conversations- Find out if your consumers are reaching out directly to you or talking with their friends about you. Remember that it’s their context that matters, not yours. Make sure your response fulfills their expectations.
  • Demonstrate how listening builds relationships- Make sure you don’t intrude on consumers’ conversations. Your consumers are still sensitive about their privacy so stay conscious that you’re not invading theirs.

2. 57% of Marketers Using Social Advertising

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others are daily social network destinations for millions of U.S. consumers who spend on average, 37 minutes per day on these channels.

Social advertising can be tricky and don’t be surprised if what used to work starts failing. It’s very important to stay informed on the most effective ways to leverage social advertising. Here is a good starting point for social ads:

  • Establish marketing goals
  • Set your budget
  • Know your audience
  • Pick the social channel
  • Know the different types of ads
  • See what your competition is doing
  • Optimize your landing pages
  • Create ads
  • Test and measure ads

3. Email and Social Integration

One may think that with all these social media networks, email is dead. Well, saying that email is dead couldn’t be any more false. In fact, 68% of marketers still say that email is core to their business. Some may even say that social media has made email more powerful than ever.

Make sure you understand the relationship between social and email. Email marketing gives your brand the ability to stay top-of-mind with existing customers. Because you have an email connection with your customers, you can encourage them to follow you on all of your social networks.

Here are a few tips to help your company integrate your email and social media marketing:

  • Incorporate your most popular email content into status updates & vice versa
  • Use the email subject line to optimize Facebook ad headlines and vice versa
  • Test image effectiveness via email and incorporate it into status updates (and vice versa)
  • Tease upcoming emails through status updates

4. Getting Your Social Media Dream Team

An average social media team has three or fewer people. A team dedicated to social media is very successful. If your budget doesn’t call for more than one person on your social media team, here are some tips to help reach success:

  • Have a strategy: It’s important to know what your goals are and choose social networks wisely
  • Create a workflow process: To be most effective, schedule out time each day to focus solely on social media related activities
  • Quality content: Creating original and quality content is crucial and should be done on a regular basis