Wondering what the social media marketing hot spots are for 2014?
This is meant to be a "cheat sheet" for the new marketer, but small business owners and entrepreneurs should find this helpful as well. A quick guide that could save you some time, and lead you to what's new, exciting, and where you can gain good traction in social media marketing during 2014.
The Eyes Have It
2014 is the year to "go graphic." Brands should amp up their graphic content plan, and do their storytelling with delicious imagery and colorful infographics.
This is the easiest way to delight and entertain. There so many tools and platforms available to make this easy that were not around even two years ago!
A graphic content plan is just one part of an online marketing plan and social media strategy. You'll want to be sure to begin with the big picture so you can ROCK the smaller components like the Super Bowl.
Follow Your Knows
It is wonderful is you can utilize a graphic designer for your graphic content. If you cannot, create it yourself!
Creating graphic content does not have to be hard. In fact, it can be quite easy.
New Marketer Tip: Know which tools lend to your content creation talents to feature your brand in the best light.
Here are a few easy enough to maneuver, that I use them frequently:
Photopin is also a great vault of creative commons images that are free to use, as long as you follow the instructions for attribution.
The Human Touch
It's not social media without creating a two-way dialogue with your target market. Smart social media marketers will hang out where their audience is, and where they find new fascination.
"Hot spots" to watch in 2014:
Google+ Communities have been around for awhile, but they are more tested and true at this point. Plus, Google+ is wonderfully graphic! A built in graphic editor right on the platform. People really react well to the graphic presentation there.
Just like LinkedIn or Facebook Groups, there are a lot of relationships to be made on Google+ Communities! The platform also lets you edit posts more freely than on other platforms, and also segment post types into conversation categories. Whether you host the community or participate in others, brands can do well here if they join the right communities for their niche.
Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest is just simply delicious. Eye Candy for every niche! If you have not yet explored Pinterest and pinned your first pin, you may want to set a timer during your first few visits there – It's so easy to be wooed by the lovely images.
The subtitle implies it – Group boards are the equivalent to groups or communities on other platforms. To participate, you can host a group board, or accept an invitation to pin on one. Here, exchange recipes, share ideas on a topic, and have fun. It is a great way to meet new people and attract new followers for your own boards. The key is to balance the number of pins with the number of comments you make on other pins.
Yes, it's owned by Facebook. That's actually part of the appeal. Instagram is very mobile oriented, so you can show a very human side to your business brand.
It's actually a mobile app, on your mobile phone, and you can syndicate your photos to a Facebook Profile or Page, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, mixi, and even Foursquare and email. The app features make even the most novice of photographers look like an artist!
The really neat thing is that you can also create fun video on Instagram – Up to 15 seconds in length. Customized filters were created just for this video feature. So you don't have to be a professional videographer to make your brand look awesome! Post photos or video for all of your followers to see, or send direct to up to 15 followers at a time.
The beauty of it is that you can make wonderful connections and nurture relationships because the platform is still not yet overpopulated. In my opinion, this is THE social network to watch in 2014.
This is another mobile app. And, gaining popularity like wildfire! The average user is youthful, but more and more brands are realizing the potential here.
Like Instagram, you take a photo with your mobile phone, and you forward the photo to a list of select friends, or all of your SnapChat contacts. Once they receive the image, they hold their finger down on it for a number of seconds to view it, and then the photo disappears. You pre-determine the number of seconds. And, you can also write a message on the image before sending.
It's quick, easy, and fun! Great for brands with a young audience, or self-employed entrepreneurs wishing to nurture relationships with their contacts.
Notice, all are quite visual, and provide newer avenues of fun for the user.
Just as you need to have an over all strategy, you need to keep your social listening ears on and listen to your audience. In other words, track their reactions to the graphic content you post. Do more of what your audience likes and tweak away from content they don't seem to like.
Also, if after a few months your efforts do not seem to be rendering progress on a specific channel, consider the reasons why. Do not be afraid to stop utilizing a channel for awhile. You can always return at a later date.
Your 2014 Social Media Marketing Cheat Sheet For New Marketers.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Now it's your turn…
Did I miss any online social hot spots on my list above?
What have you tried that worked well?
Please put your questions or comments in the comments box below!
I am the Founder and CMO of Idea Girl Media - A Social Media Marketing Agency that works with business brands, non-profits & public figures to achieve social media success and positive online reputation. I am humbled to have received a 2013 Small Business Influencer Honorable Mention Award, and a commendation for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media from the State of Ohio Senate. My insight has also been featured at Social Media Today, SteamFeed, AOL Small Business, as well as Forbes and Business Insider. Non-fat lattes, travel & quick wit make me smile, and I am always enthused to meet new people!