The Future of Social Media Marketing 2013: Engage!
The Future of Social Media
Social Media Marketing in 2013, is bound to be full of surprises. That said, there are opportunities for speculation and predictions especially for purposes of aligning brands to better engage their clients.
The first prediction that is closely aligned to how fast web content is changing is that Social Media Marketing in 2013 will rely more on visuals and video to get audience involved and listening (a.k.a. ENGAGED). This can be closely related to the unprecedented growth of Pinterest and Instagram and the burgeoning new culture of content curation.
Marketers will need more compelling graphics, photos and videos to stay in the eyes of their audience. Edgerank on Facebook, will be the force to beat when Social Media Marketing targets Facebook users. And more visually compelling content will keep the audience interested and the posts relevant enough for Egderank to display.
Content for all platforms
Until now Social Media Marketing efforts have been targeted at chaining content to a website. In 2013, content created may have to be chained to trending topics and provided across all platforms. Content creators will have to push content across the internet based on trending topics and not necessarily on a website-e.g. through emails and social media. Content will be structured and delivered through an ecosystem that includes personalized addresses and what the client is doing.
The role of the chief story teller
Social Media Marketing may witness the birth of a new role–that of a chief story teller for brands. Stories prepare people emotionally to receive a message. And that is what brands are continually identifying as the next vehicle to their destination. Coca-Cola already rebranded their site into Coca-Cola journey, tapping into the potential of Social Media marketing by tapping great story tellers to lead the idea of curating consumer experiences.
Journalism is back
Only in a different role and in non-traditional institutions. Angling themselves for better results in Social Media Marketing, companies will consistently hire journalists to head their public relations and consumer engagement divisions. This may be welcome news in an industry that was thought to be waning in the wake of citizen journalism. It may be a while before such a trend becomes the norm, but this may be sooner than later–a stance advised by our next prediction.
Rates and Reviews
Love it or hate it, rating and reviewing content, companies, etc has a major influence on how users think/shop today. At least that’s what Google thought with their purchase of Zagat. Describing themselves as the world’s original provider of user-generated content on trusted and accurate restaurant ratings, Google immediately gave a clue to most social media marketers that user generated content is the future of Social Media marketing, and they are with it.
Not only does this mean fresh content daily, it is better than advertising because people can relate to their friends and what they have to say concerning brands that they themselves are interested in engaging or buying from.
Doing More with Less
Social Media Marketing has seen a lot of quantity in content in the year past. This could could be largely due to ‘self-discovery’ for the brands that stopped at just wetting their feet and actually took a plunge into content creation for social media. In the year ahead, content creation will move from quantity to quality content – thankfully. This means that storytellers will spend more time creating just a few well designed, perfectly targeted content that they will re-use across the major platforms. It will mean that Social Media Marketing teams will also have to develop a mission statement if they haven’t already, and refine their goals for developing winning content. Inevitably, this content will have to be availed in different formats such as audio, video and live interaction so that the efforts are sustainable over the long haul.
Higher degree of skill
With social media’s growing influence on organic search engine traffic, there may be pending challenges for unpolished Social Media Marketing teams even as Google’s standards for quality content are enhanced. As a result content creators may have to copy US standards for writing to achieve scalability and consistency.
More businesses will recognize their need for fresh content as a cornerstone in the Social Media Marketing strategy, and this will mean a more vibrant content marketing scene. Of course mainstream advertising will begin its expected slow death as brands create content purposefully for their online audiences with preference over TV and paper advertising. Some will argue though that this is the year when TV reinvents itself and becomes social and internet savvy. We will wait and see.
Mutual Win-Win content
How about that for a difference in how the consumer luring art will change. Mutual cooperation between different erstwhile competitors may emerge with both sides developing Social Media Marketing content that is mutually beneficial. That will be the greatest surprise of all!
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