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5 social media marketing trends we can expect to see in 2014

31 December, 2013

We are literally a matter of hours away from 2014, how exciting! I hope you’ve all had a brilliant Christmas and are looking forward to all that 2014 has in store. As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to not only be reflective, but also look to the future.

So as we say goodbye to 2013, and I think about the trends in social media we’ve witnessed and been a part of this year, I’ve also compiled a list of my top five predictions as to where we’re headed in 2014.

1) Visual content will continue to grow

One of the most consistent trends this year is the increasing focus on the sharing through videos and images rather than the more traditional text posts via Twitter or Facebook. Video marketing is already popular but I predict it will only continue to increase in popularity – becoming a critical piece of any digital marketing strategy jigsaw.

And it’s not hard to see why – videos can convey a message one hundred times more powerfully than text. Twitter-owned Vine is a shining example of this and has dominated the video-sharing trend in 2013.

Vine logo

Vine, together with Facebook’s introduction of video sharing via Instagram, mean that video is not only first choice for people to share their own personal moments with friends but also a key tactic that brands can use to reach and engage with consumers.

Tumblr, Path, Slideshare, Mobli and other image-based social media sites will continue to grow, and as a result, businesses will have to carefully consider the ‘shareability’ factor of website and blog content in order to maximise all social media content marketing efforts.

2) Social media investment is a “must” not a “nice to have”

The majority of businesses already understand the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy. The benefits of social media are numerous, including: improved audience reach and influence, increased and improved brand awareness, advertising via word-of-mouth and an increase in customer loyalty and trust.

For those businesses that have previously seen having a social media strategy as a “nice to have” in 2013, I think the emphasis will move towards it being a “must have” in 2014. And it’s all about choosing the right social media platform to reach your particular target groups.

With the positive impact of social media on results in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue, I predict more and more companies will see the importance of hiring full time social media managers or strategists.

3) It’s all about Google+

Google+ has already made its mark prior to and throughout 2013, but is likely to increase in importance next year, as Google ranks content shared through Google+ more highly than content shared through other comparable social media platforms.

Google+ logo
As Google uses the platform to collect personal information, Google+ is quite a force to be reckoned with and should not be considered ‘just’ another social network. Google+ is proving to be an integral part of Google’s master plan in terms of social signals, SEO and providing a more personalised search experience.

Google Authorship makes this particularly apparent and I imagine as 2014 comes to a close, it will be considered a key factor to Google’s search ranking algorithm.

4) LinkedIn to uphold its position as number one networking platform for professionals

I still believe that many people underestimate the power of LinkedIn and may be surprised to know that it still upholds the position of the number one social networking site for professionals with 238 million users.


image courtesy of

LinkedIn is moving from its previous positioning as ‘just another networking site’, towards being considered the largest sources of content creation and curation for professionals, via the launch of its Influencers program.


The advantages of using LinkedIn will become enormous for B2B marketers as it continues to grow and attract even more users. I personally invest a lot of time into LinkedIn and posting in groups etc. People are often surprised when I tell them a large proportion of my new business comes through LinkedIn – but you need to invest time into it to really see the benefits.

5) The decline of Foursquare

Foursquare has a tough year in 2013 with declining traffic numbers and difficulties in raising capital. Likely this will continue into 2014 as it just cannot compete with the big players.

With the vast majority of people using Facebook which comes complete with its own ‘check in’ app, as do social networks Instagram and Twitter, it is not surprising that Foursquare’s potential users end up turning to the other, more convenient and popular networks.

So, in conclusion (as discussed earlier in the blog), while most businesses understand the necessity of having a social media strategy, I predict that in 2014 they will also learn to understand the necessity of committing the necessary resources and expertise to their social media marketing plans.

It’s also exciting to consider which up and coming networks might become a force to be reckoned with in 2014, and which we will potentially be discussing this time next year as they grab a share of the market – a lot can change in a year.

Are there any trends you think will emerge in 2014? Which social media platforms do you think have had their day?

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