It’s obvious that social media is evolving at the speed of light. Platforms are constantly changing to accommodate user habits, satisfy shareholders and maintain a competitive edge in a dog-eat-dog industry. So as a business, where do you spend your time? Where do you put your resources?
Video in Social Media
Video is a phenomenon at the forefront of social media trends. Especially services like Vine and Instagram’s new video service. Millions of people devote hours and hours and hours to watching quirky 7 or 15 second videos on these networks. There are even professional Viners out there who specialize in making videos for companies. As a brand, this is an excellent chance to show your creative side. For next to no investment, a company can start an account on one of these social networks and put together a video. If it’s good enough, it will get some interaction and get shared. If it’s really good (which isn’t that hard if you’re thoughtful), it will get shared a lot and garner your business some well-deserved exposure online.
Integrated Social Campaigns
Some people may remember the subtle way the Internet started to invade our lives. Back before and during the dot-com boom, we started seeing companies on television including URLs in their marketing. It was becoming more important to let people know that the business had resources and valuable information on a website. Fast-forward 15 years and social media has become the ubiquitous symbol of the information revolution. Even if a company isn’t actively promoting a presence on a social network, they at least have icons present in their advertising.
The simple fact is, more and more people are using social media networks to communicate. It is not just a novelty anymore, but a practical means of connecting with friends, family and old acquaintances. Instead of picking up a phone, people are sending instant messages, tweets, or status updates. For many people out there, if a company doesn’t have a presence on the web in the form of a social media account, they aren’t relevant. More than having logos in their offline ads, businesses are combining activities in social media with campaigns that occur offline and vise versa. Sometimes these are meant to drive engagement online or off.
Less Checking In?
Social Media Examiner reported earlier this year that use of geo-location websites like Foursquare had declined from 17% of respondents in their survey saying they used the websites to only 11%. Some are noting that these types of websites are starting to split up and focus on niche markets. Also prevalent are geo-location services right inside of the social media platforms we are already on. You can check in just as easily on Facebook and let all your friends and acquaintances know where you are instead of logging into a whole other account to do so. Some networks will even add location data for you without you even thinking about it. The novelty of “checking-in” at a location and receiving recognition in the form of virtual badges and trinkets seems to be wearing off.
Social and SEO
This is less of a trend and more of a reality. There is not really a question anymore as to whether social interactions influence rankings in search. They do. For example, if you are logged into a Google account, and are at least somewhat active on Google Plus, when you search for something that your network has interacted with in some way (whether plus-oneing, commenting or sharing content), it tends to show up in your feed as relevant to your query because of content as well as because someone you are connected to also found it relevant enough to interact with. That same result may have never been seen by you or other users that were connected to the people that interacted with it but because they did, Google thinks you might find it useful, as well.
It isn’t as clear how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any number of the other social networks that are out there impact search. One thing is very clear, though – Google and other search engines are constantly searching for ways to deliver more relevant content to their users, and one way of doing that is listening to what the people you are connected to are doing. In theory, people who are connected to one another tend to like similar things, have similar interests, and think in similar ways at one level or another.
What trends do you see forming for social media for the rest of 2013? Do they help you? Hurt you? Join in the conversation by commenting below.