It’s time to stop thinking about social media and actually get your business involved. Social Media Today says the total number of Facebook users is almost three times the population of the U.S. That platform alone contains a huge market you’re missing out on. Add to that the people on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, and those business not on social media are handing customers to their competitors. Make 2014 the year you dive into social media and take your business to the next level, before it’s too late.
A Year Full of Images
If 2013 was the year of content, then 2014 will be the year of images, says Forbes. The demand for images has increased and network-savvy businesses are discovering how to get their messages out to people. Designers, architects and artists are using Pinterest to gather followers for their unique works. The home improvement retailer, Lowe’s, uses several different Pinterest pages to highlight everything from closet organization to decorative ways to light your home. Once you’ve created the perfect images and videos to reflect your business, products or services and culture, set up an automated Mozy online backup to archive all of your important media.
People are interested in seeing images that portray a lifestyle. These are images that show how people use your products and services to have a better life. Everyday people enjoying your products are the images that get shared across the social networks.
Moving on to Movies
Another trend to pursue in 2014 is the micro-video. Videos have become an important marketing tool. People want to see “how to” videos and information on unique ways to use products and services. If you don’t have a YouTube channel and aren’t regularly posting videos, then you’re missing out on valuable customer interaction.
Micro-videos are becoming popular through services such as Twitter’s Vine and Instagram. These videos are typically 10 to 30 seconds and often made with a smartphone or tablet. Create marketing campaigns that ask your customers to submit their micro-videos to your social media website. For example, people could submit videos of their pets enjoying your new line of treats or people on the slopes wearing your newest ski fashions. Lifestyle micro-videos target the growing market of mobile device users who can spend a few seconds watching them on their smartphones and tablets.
LinkedIn is your social media gateway to B2B customers. In Q3 2013, LinkedIn reported nearly 260 million members across the planet. Its goal is to be the premier source for professional content. Mashable notes a recent Fruit of the Loom campaign on LinkedIn. The company sent a message to LinkedIn users who had gotten a new job in the past 30 days. The message was for an offer to pick up a complimentary item from the Fruit of the Loom line. The promo stated that wearing their product could put them in a great mood for their workday and new position.
Looking at Google+, Again
The re-branded Google+ appears to be making a splash, with a Burst Media survey revealing 540 million G+ users. Social Media Today even suggests that it could be the Facebook of 2014. Of special interest is the way Google+ will be authenticating content. Google Authorship will tag your online content with your Google+ profile. People searching for content will then see a listing of all of your content across the web. Create a Google+ account for your business, begin creating circles of friends and followers, and start posting useful content tagged by Authorship. It’s like free SEO of your content.
Streamline Your Operations for Social Media
Managing your social media efforts can take time, but with the right tools, you can streamline your work. Incorporate tools such as Hootsuite to manage all of your social media campaigns from one dashboard. Get regular updates on your social media traffic with SproutSocial. All of these tools will help your business be more efficient at building your image on your social media platforms.