This Trending Thursday, we're looking at 2014 to see what social media trends are coming over the horizon.
Some networks are here to stay and will continue to grow while others are already stale.
With Garden Media's 2014 Guide to Social Media Trends, you can begin to see where to budget your time in the upcoming fiscal year.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 social media trends of 2014.
1. Social Media is Now a Must-Have.
For your garden business to be successful, you can no longer chose to opt out of social media.
A whopping 97% of marketers now integrate social media into their plans, so if you're not on social media, your company is behind your competition.
Why, specifically, does social media matter?
Improve social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm).
Improve brand awareness
Increase customer loyalty and trust
Improve audience reach and influence
2. Google+ Will Grow.
Photo courtesy of 8Gram Gorilla
While Facebook and Twitter always seem to lead the social media pack, it's actually Google+ that has the 2nd highest number of monthly users, not Twitter.
Plus, Google+ has a huge impact on your company's social signals and SEO. And, you can host Google+ hangouts to increase engagement and get face time with your audience!
Within the next year, companies will truly take hold of the SEO power of Google+.
3. The Shorter, The Better.
Graph courtesy of Media Post
In 2013, we saw the rise of 6 and 12 second videos thanks to Vine and Instagram. Now, longer videos have to work harder and harder to hold the audience's attention.
Plus, with the inception of Twitter, headlines and content have also gotten shorter.
Micro-bloggers paved the way for micro-video, which will grow exponentially in 2014.
4. Visuals > Everything Else
As our attention spans grow shorter, readers are drawn to visual story telling and images over the written word.
Pinterest and Instagram have become outrageously popular, and your garden brand needs to have a presence on these sites. Especially since Pinterest is a great medium for the visually-stunning gardening world. Plus, Instagram hooks up to your Facebook to keep your content and images fresh.
And, visual stories told primarily through GIFs or images with just a short caption really work. Need proof? Just look at the success of Buzzfeed.
5. Foursquare is Finished.
Image courtesy of Foursquare
Foursquare's traffic numbers have been stagnant in 2013 to put kindly. Their concept is no longer relevant since many other social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram now offer options to take locations.
Plain and simple, if your garden business is using Foursquare, factor it out of your 2014 budget, and focus your time on rising social media networks that still have location-based features!