4 Social Media Predictions for 2014

2013 was a huge year for social media. Twitter went publicYahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion, Vine was launched and Snapchat’s 23 year old founder turned down $3 billion from Facebook (yep, we still don’t quite get that either).

So what can you learn about social media from the last 12 months? Well, social media is certainly making a lot of young people very rich! But 2013 is over. It is finished. Let us look forward to 2014 - the year of social media…again.

These 4 trends are predictions we are making. We’re not being too risky. The first 3 are safe assumptions that you can use to plan a great year for your school’s marketing. The 4th prediction is the wild card. 

1. Mobile usage will increase

Two of the biggest newcomers to the social media landscape are Vine and Snapchat, two mobile apps. You could argue that Twitter is primarily a mobile company too - after all it does claim to be born mobile.

The stats are staggering - 80% of UK users access Twitter on a mobile device.

Another aspect that makes mobile hugely important for social media is the geo-location opportunities. Content is becoming real-time and location focussed.

2. Social media will become more visual

Social media is going to become less about copy and more about visuals. Photography and video are going to continue to emerge in the social space. Higher internet speeds and the lower cost of data means that high definition uploads are becoming more and more cost effective.

A great example of how social media is becoming more mobile and visual is the Guardian’s live coverage of the UK floods in December. Notice how the majority of updates are tweets from regular people on Twitter, and how many of them have photos associated with them.

Sharing infographics, GIFs, images, video and other visual content will help drive more interactions on social media. Visual content is becoming increasing ‘easier’ to create. There are a huge number of apps that allow you to simply create great visuals through your smartphone camera.

New breakout social media channels, similar to Snapchat, Vine and Instagram, will pop up throughout 2014.

3. Automated messages won’t be frowned upon

It used to be that automating tweets was frowned upon. “You can’t automate tweets, that’s not authentic!” rang the cries. I must admit, we did agree. However, fast forward to a new and improved 2014 and marketing needs to be efficient. In order to do this you need to automate some messages. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, which allow you to automate tweets, have become mainstream and very popular.

A fun example of this is how we automated tweets for Christmas Day. We simply looked at the TV guide and knew that Toy Story 3, A Muppets Christmas Carol and Home Alone 3 were on throughout the day. So we scheduled relevant and interesting tweets for specific times. This is just a simple example of how, if you know what is coming up, you can easily schedule messages. This is particularly relevant for events, as you will know what will be happening and the time that they will occur.

4. The fall of Facebook?

The outlook doesn’t look great for Facebook. Daily usage, specifically among younger teens, has decreased. That means younger people are moving to other, more innovative, social media channels. And adults tend to follow, as the late adopters.

So over the course of 2014, users won’t necessarily decrease but usage will. Younger people will continue to flock to other, newer, cooler social channels.

There we go - our 4 predictions for social media in 2014. What predictions do you have? What are you most looking forward to?

Let us know on Twitter or in the comments!