2013 was a big year for social media. Twitter went public, Instagram started selling ads (gasp!), and kids started sending photos that self destructed after 10 seconds. As marketing professionals, we learned a lot about social media and how to talk to our audience. We learned what they liked and what they didn’t like. We learned that young people are moving away from Facebook and onto niche social networks like Snapchat and Tumblr. We learned that people really love photos (especially of pets) and they want more of them in their social feeds, and we learned that social media is now more powerful and influential than ever.
Here are the top 3 (in my humble opinion) most important things that happened in the social media world in 2013:
1. Content Marketing: Have you heard of a little website called Buzzfeed? Well they have completely dominated the social media scene by delivering on point content marketing. Content marketing is defined as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience- with the objective of driving profitable customer action”(Content Marketing Institute). Websites like Buzzfeed, Mashable and Huffington Post have shifted to content marketing and subsequently changed the social media-marketing arena. You will continue to see highly targeted articles filled with on point pictures and text sponsored by brands (see the Purina article). If you brand hasn’t tried content marketing yet, 2014 is the year to dive in!
2. Micro-Video is King 2013 brought us some amazing new video tools like Vine and Instagram video. These micro-video sites allow brands to deliver content to their consumers in 6 second or less. This doesn’t seem like a lot of time but some companies have come up with some pretty amazing videos. We even got involved earlier this fall, check out our micro-video here:
3. Facebook Changed Their Promotion Rules: This is a less obvious change from 2013, but it is one with a lot of impact from a brand standpoint. A couple of months ago Facebook updated their contest and promotion rules to allow people to enter a contest direct from within Facebook. Before, you had to use a 3rd party app if you were going to host a contest ( which is expensive and time consuming). Now, you can simply post about it on your wall and users can comment to enter themselves. We have seen some amazing engagement come out of this with some of our clients. We posted something last week that ended up being one of the most popular posts of all time for the page. We will be using a lot more of this in 2014 to drum up engagement from Facebook users.
In short, 2013 was a great year for social media. We saw a lot of advancements and new tools. We look forward to using what we learned in 2014.