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What Will Change in Social Media in 2014

New Year, New Plan: What Will Change in Social Media in 2014

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost finished with the first month of 2014. It’s a new year, and a bevy of changes in all aspects of our lives will doubtlessly come with it. One realm not left untouched by the new calendar is that of social media. This shouldn’t be surprising for those familiar with the field–it’s perhaps one of the most vibrant of all, constantly changing to keep up with the public’s desire for fresh updates. For this reason alone, social media managers can never rest on their laurels; here are four tips to consider as you continue into a new year of online branding.

1. Get Graphic

With images, that is. Imagine what it’s like for your readers to scroll through a text-heavy Facebook or Twitter feed and see the page broken up by an eye-catching photo. It certainly makes your content more visually appealing, but it also makes it more shareable. Considering that Facebook posts with attached photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-throughs (according to Kissimetrics), it’s worth the effort to find an image that relates to the sentiment you’re sharing.

This doesn’t just apply to major brands, either. Take, for example, Safer Brand, a company that manufactures organic pest control and gardening products. You might expect a business with this sort of focus to have a bare-bones social media plan. Safer Brand, however, accompanies the majority of their Facebook status updates with images. One such post meant to point out the differences between organically grown vegetables and processed ones garnered 36 likes and 23 shares thanks to a cheeky picture they attached to their status.

2. Say Hello to Automation

It’s surprising that so much of social media has thus far been manual. However, in 2014, social media managers will have many of their monotonous tasks made obsolete by automation. Tweet timing and other tactics will be taken care of, which will make it easier for marketers to use social media to connect and communicate with their customers. These genuine posts, comments and responses will only enhance the public’s perspective of your brand.

3. Interaction Is Key

In a similar vein, it will be important in 2014 to share content that’s interactive. Take BuzzFeed as an example. The website famous for creating top-X lists has made an obvious effort to make their site more interactive by incorporating personality quizzes into their daily slate of postings. Of course, businesses will need to adapt interactivity to their social media plans, but the fact still remains visitors want to do more than just read; they want to be active participants.

4. Count Google+ Back In

Google+ didn’t quite take off like some people suspected it would when it was launched in 2011. But don’t rest on this social media site, especially considering that it’s second only to Facebook in its amount of active users (540 million). The site gives brands another avenue through which they can communicate with those who use their products, as well as those who have the potential to use their products based on their interest in similar ones. It also allows all current and potential users to connect, and what does any social media manager want to create more than a close-knit community of brand ambassadors?

By following the path on which these tips lead you, you will expand your social media presence and advance your efforts to make your brand more appealing on the Web!

Scott + PageScott Huntington is a writer, reporter, and social media marketer. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington

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