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7 Hot Predictions In Social Media For 2014

7 Hot Predictions For Social Media in 2014

We are coming to the end of 2013 which is a scary thought considering I remember last New Years Eve like it is was yesterday! Social media has been THE hot topic for 2013 and I can’t see that changing. Here are my 7 hot predictions in social media for 2014.

1. The Rise of Short Lived Social Networks

I don’t know if you are aware but Facebook offered fleeting video and image sharing social network SnapChat $3 Billion! I don’t think it is worth what Facebook offered however it is clear that there is a space in the market for networks where content literally vanishes seconds after being received. The reason for this being so popular is that it brings back fun and spontaneity that has been lost in the now commoditized world of social networking. Keep an eye on SnapChat for 2014 and for competitors coming on the scene.

2. Social TV Comes into Play

Now more than ever, reality TV have been using their audience to influence how a show not only works but how the results actually turn out. The american version of The Voice actually allow Twitter users to vote on who should be saved out of the bottom three in the competition. In 2014, we will start to see real-time content chosen by viewers on tv.

3. Social Media Advertising

We have been subjected to mainly Facebook ads over the last year however Twitter have now joined the social network advertising and I’m sure Pinterest and Google+ will follow suit. Online banner ads are now being ignored by social users compared to news feed and promoted post adverts. Promoted Tweets show 15 times more engagement than banner ads.

Promoted Posts

4. SoLoMo

We are in a new era now where we are a socially active country, checking into locations through Facebook and Foursquare, all through our mobile. There will be 1.4 billion smartphones being used in the world by the end of this year… thats 1 in every nine people owning a smartphone. We are extremely attached to our phones and this is affecting not only our online social habits, but our buying habits too. 2014 will see a lot more small businesses offer their customers discounts for “checking into” their store from their smartphone on a social network.

5. Social Influence Rewarding

2014 will see the introduction to social influence rewarding. The likes of Klout gives you a (all be it slightly inaccurate) social influence score based on your online activity. Celebrities are getting paid to promote products and services on their social networks and it won’t be long before the popular online influencers follow suit. If they have an audience who trusts their authority, they can sell almost anything to them and get paid for it.

6. You Become Your Brand Advocate

By this I mean you are the one who drives your business forward and encourages others to do the same. You are going to be the person who empowers everyone else, including your staff to see the business from your perspective. Don’t let negativity cloud your judgement, if you don’t believe in the business, no one else will.

7. Social Search Engines

Social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and family, most platforms now have advanced search functionality. Facebook, since showing interest in buying Opera last year, have advance their search functionality, especially since Facebook Open Graph and Hashtags were introduced late this year. Twitter has now changed their approach and is now allowing users to engage more with conversations and pictures.

Facebook Open Graph

Do you agree with my 7 hot predictions for social media in 2014 or do you have your own thoughts?

21 Twitter Tips: Twitter For Business Best Practice

Twitter For Business Best Practice

When it comes to Twitter, most people find it hard to really maximise all of the tools available to benefit their business. To help you really understand how Twitter can work for your business, here are 21 tips to help you build your best practice around Twitter.

1. Have a Purpose

When it comes to starting a Twitter account, you need to have a goal in mind. Your purpose could be to increase sales, to find more customers or even both. Once you have this in mind you know where you what you want to achieve.

2. Focus on Your Passion

If you have a business, it will be in a sector you are passionate about so you will need to communicate this to your audience.

3. Defining Your Brand

It may be as simple as taking a pen and paper and defining your brand with those around you. This is a crucial part for your online marketing strategy and without a defined business, you will not achieve your purpose.

4. Learn the Basics

It may sound silly but you really do need to know the basic best practices when it comes to Twitter. How to follow, how to Tweet and How to RT are three very basic but very important actions to take inside of Twitter

5. Profile Image & Header

For you to really sell your brand on Twitter, you need to have an engaging profile image and header. These should be two different images. Your profile picture should be a logo and the other should be a lifestyle image.

6. Find Your Keywords

If you have defined your business, you will know what keywords to use when writing your Twitter biography and sharing information. If you need to do this research but don’t know where to start, use Google Adwords.

7. Do Your Hashtag Research

A twitter feature you will need to learn how to use is the hashtag. The use of the “#” symbol before a keyword creates a hashtag which can then be searched and monitored. Use this to your advantage and monitor your keyword hashtags to find potential customers.

8. Share your Twitter Account on Social Media

There may be people who like your Facebook page who are not connect with you on Twitter. Make sure you capture these by sharing your Twitter username on Facebook.

9. Twellow

Twellow is a great tool to use when trying to find people in your industry to follow and connect with on Twitter. Use your industry keywords to find those relevant to your business.

10. Favoriting Tweets

When you “favourite” someone’s tweet, they will receive a notification of this and because you have acknowledged their profile, they are likely to follow you back. This a great way to increase your followers list.

11. Create Lists

Creating a list allows you to fine tune into certain accounts so you can drown out the constant noise on Twitter and just listen to what is important to your business. Use this to keep on top of what clients and industry experts are saying.

12. Two Ears, One Mouth Rule

Make sure you listen and research before you speak. It is better to listen twice as much as you tweet, this way you can keep your followers engaged with you and share only relevant information.

13. Social Media Scheduling

Using a tool like Hootsuite will allow you to schedule tweets when you are unable to do them in real time. This is a great way to manage your time on social media.

14. Original Tweets

Yes, it is great to retweet and reply to tweets but you also need to be creating your own, original tweets to keep users engaged with you.

15. Curate Great Content

Although mentioned about, you need original content, it is also good to share great content. This way the content creator will see you have shared their information and most likely thank you for this on social media.

16. Share Facts & Statistics

You not only want to engage with your audience, you also want to educate them. Make sure you share facts and statistics that will make your audience engage with you.

17. Duplicate Content

When posting on social media, the chances are your tweet will only reach a small fraction of your audience. Make sure you use the same tweet each day, at a different time to get the best click rate.

18. Share Different Types of Content

Just writing tweets will not keep your audience interested, you need to make sure you are sharing video’s and images too.

19. Use the Direct Message Feature

Using the direct message feature allows you to privately communicate with another account. This is a great way to build a working relationship and also builds trust for your business.

20. Use Other Networks to Leverage Your Tweets

Share your Twitter content with your audience on other networks by re-posting your tweets on Facebook and LinkedIn, when appropriate. You also can embed a tweet into your blog or website.

21. Use Klout to Measure Your Social Media Score

It may not be 100% accurate but using Klout to measure your social media score is a great way to see if your online profile is where you would like it to be. A score over 60 means that you are doing very good indeed.

If you would like to get sales and accelerate your business on Twitter, I will be running a special 2 hour webinar on the 9th December 7pm-9pm. Spaces are limited to only 20 people so click here now.

How to Create a Successful Multi-Channel Experience

As a business, you will need to find a successful way to grow your brand. Offering your consumers a multi-channel experience is a great way to do this. What better way to promote yourself or your brand than on Social media?

Having spent the last 5 years focusing on how Social Media can increase sales and brand awareness, I wanted to share with you some great case studies that have happened to me over the past four weeks that proves how successful a multi-channel experience can be.

First, I used an online application called Slideshare which allows users to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios. I spent over four hours creating a Facebook for Business presentation for one of my trade show seminars. Once I had finished it, I uploaded it to Slideshare. After three days and 115 views, I noticed on my twitter mention stream, the below tweet.

Slideshare had actually chosen my presentation as “Presentation of the day”. They have over 73,000 followers on Twitter alone. Within three minutes of their tweet, my presentation went from 115 views to over 8,000. This one tweet was so powerful from Slideshare because some of their community went on to ‘pay it forward’ and the presentation now has grown to 12,500 views. (Picture below)

I then went on to write a blog based on the Slideshare presentation which further validated the power of social media. The “Facebook for Business” blog attracted more attention from my readers and as show below, it was shared over 130 times, generating more views of the presentation via the blog.

In the blog, I shared a link to a Facebook for Business webinar, based on the original presentation. I took this blog and ‘pinned it’ to my Pinterest account. This was then picked up by one of my followers and ‘repinned’ to their board.

Not only did that person sign up to the webinar, and attend; one of their followers who saw the ‘pin’ on their board, signed up to the webinar. This allowed me to capture their email address and add that my database. The same happened inside of Twitter. One of my followers retweeted my tweet and she, along with two of her followers signed up to my webinar.

I then received an email from an event organiser in Slovakia who saw my presentation from one of their followers who retweeted it, and contacted me. I am now asked to speak at their event later this year. I was also contacted by a TV personality who has asked for my help in generating traffic to their online store. I also shared the presentation on my Facebook Fan Page and Google+ Profile.

After seeing how much interaction I had around my Social Network accounts, I decided to check my Klout score. I was pleased to see my score had jumped up and I had become a strong influencer of Facebook.

This marketing was 100% free and started in one place. Social Media works as snowball effect if utilised to its fullest. I have proved that anything is possible with Social Media if you use the right networks and the right tools.

Harnessing the power of Social Media: what is your social capital?

Ever seen a friend ‘check in’ to Pizza Express on Facebook and through – I could do with an Il Padrino with extra anchovies right about now?

One consequence of social media is the increase in social influence. Every Tweet or Facebook post consciously or unconsciously has an impact on those around us, whether in thought, behaviour or actions. The more weight, or influence, you carry in this arena, the more you have what is now termed as ‘social capital’. And to add to the pressure – we’re now scored on it.

Eminent Harvard political scientist Robert D Putnam believes social capital can be measured by ‘trust and reciprocity’ between peers and within communities, but as abstract, subjective concepts it’s hard to see what that looks like – especially digitally. But it can be done – and online companies are springing up to help people do it.

Klout, for example, measures influencers on topics across the social web – from Barack Obama to Korea, photography to Libya – and gives them a Klout score from 1-100. This is based on factors like the size and combined influence of your engaged audience and the actions your activity generates (such as tweets, likes and comments). So, essentially, they know what they’re talking about, what everyone else is talking about, and whether they’re talking about you.


So how can you improve your social capital? Two top tips are:

Look at your strategy. Or if you don’t have one, devise one. All content – every tweet, post, comment, recommend or like – should be part of your bigger picture. How does it shape the social persona you want to portray? Is that hasty tweet going to support all your hard work – or undermine it? Think about where you want to be in the world of social media and the strategy you need to get there.

Taking it to the next level. Not happy with the rung you’re sitting on, on the ladder of social influence? You can only get higher with a helping hand from those around you. The key to social interactions is engagement, increasing not only your social value, but that of the people and communities you engage with. See your activity in terms of investing in the value of the areas you operate in, rather than in terms of boosting your own standing, and you’ll reap the rewards.

Social capital in the only currency that counts in the social media world. Invest wisely.

Exciting News From Facebook, Magento & Amazon

Some further exciting e-commerce news from the past days.

Magento mobile

Magento has announced their launch of Magento mobile:

“The product includes a new administrative manager (which we wrote about earlier this week), a native iPhone app that is fully customizable (colors, images, buttons, etc), and a service where Magento manages the submission and maintenance process for the iTunes App Store.”
_magentomobile

Amazon Webstore

Amazon has introduced with Amazon Webstore a completely customizable e-commerce platform. Details to be found on Amazon Strategies:

“It is essentially a 100% stand alone store. It’s not like Target.com where you know from the look and feel, and especially checkout, that this is an Amazon-cloned experience.”

Facebook Credits

Interesting relationship that Eric Eldon conjectures on Inside Facebook: Facebook’s ambition in regards to Credits (their virtual currency), points towards a business model where the usage of the platform may become mandatory. Facebook is predicting high revenues coming from the taxation of Credit driven transactions:

“[If] Facebook is planning to make this much money from Credits, the implication is that the company is trying to make the platform very successful overall. Otherwise, if it kills the platform, it will not be able to make a third of its revenue from Credits.
[..]
If Credits is to account for a third of Facebook’s revenue in the next 12 months, like Parker said, another implication is that the mandatory roll-out is coming sometime very soon.”

Payvment

Payvment, the inter-network e-commerce solution for Facebook, plans to diversify after their last successful financing round: The APIs from MasterCard will be incorporated as alternative payment methods to PayPal. According to own statements, the MasterCard payment method will be very helpful for the planned internationalization. Furthermore, Payvment wants to extend its offering to other networks beyond Facebook:

““It’s always been plug-and-play for networks,” [Payvment-CEO Christian Taylor] says. “We never had a goal of being a company that just sat on Facebook.””

Zappos API

Zappos. The online retailer started with shoes and expanded into a universal retailer and social web company. Now they have introduced an own API. The roadmap sounds exciting and covers exactly what one would want to have in an API in this industry:

“In our upcoming releases, we are going to have a lot more fun things. APIs such as “What are the most popular products right now”, “What was just bought in my city in the last 5 minutes”, etc. But we also want to hear from you all on what features you would like to see. So keep the feedback flowing.”

Read more: Extras: Magento Mobile, Facebook Credits, Zappos API http://www.optaros.com/blogs/extras-magento-mobile-facebook-credits-zappos-api#ixzz0q9YYMRVZ
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Warren Knight thanks www.optaros.com