As we head into 2014, a look at what social media trends membership organisations should be aware of:
1) Content continues to reign as king
2013 saw the rise of content marketing. There are more social media channels to distribute information through than ever and increased ways to engage with your audience. Good quality shareable content is going to be key if you want your membership organisation to stand out and remain relevant.
2) Video will dominate
2013 has been the year of Instagram. The mobile photo and video sharing app has 150 million users and has been adopted by lots of the top consumer brands as an integral part of their marketing efforts. There was also a buzz around Twitter’s Vine app which shows short videos on a loop. Both of these examples (along with the original video platform youtube and its 1 billion unique monthly users) prove that video can be a great way for organisations to grab attention and raise their profile.
3) Google + will become more important
Google+ has the second highest number of monthly users across the mainstream social networks. Google revealed last October that is has 540 million active users.
Importantly, Google+ isn’t just a social network. It is part of Google’s plans to help develop a more personalised and intutitive search experience including using social interactions. Being on Google + will help your organisations reach, especially if you go through the Google Authorship process to help improve the visibility of information across all Google platforms.
4) LinkedIn will become more shareable
Throughout 2013 LinkedIn introduced a number of changes designed to encourage users to see it as an information platform, not just for connecting to people. The Influencers Program has seen some of the world’s most famous business entrepreneurs writing articles, which have been shared widely across the channel.
The Company Page functionality was enhanced by the introduction of Company Page Analytics. Econsultancy (a digital research and training organisation) reported that LinkedIn is now responsible for 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites. So it shows how important a LinkedIn presence is.
5) Collaborative action will continue to grow
The Peer to Peer movement is gaining traction. There are a number of businesses and projects that have set up online to help people share and collaborate. From things like carpooling using Liftshare to organising social events through the Meetup website and even crowdsourcing investment using sites like Crowdcube. As collaborating and sharing become more commonplace members will look to their membership organisation to offer increased ways to collaborate and share.
What do you think?
Do you agree with these trends? What plans do you have for social media in 2014? Please let us know with a comment below.
Written by Abby Wright-Parkes of Optimist Consulting, a membership, marketing and social media consultancy.