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Social media trends: the year so far

by  David Dwyer on  02/07/2014    2194 Reads

A look at the latest social media trends in the first half of 2014

With the year now halfway through, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the trends in social media that I’ve been watching on behalf of all Inspire clients – past, present and future – for the past six months.  
 
As we all would have predicted, in 2014 social media has become an even more essential part of the marketing toolkit for promoting business websites and increasing traffic. No major new service has come along to challenge the dominance of Facebook and Twitter, so it’s important to keep posting your business updates to both on a regular basis. The nature of both sites means that your news may well go global, increasing traffic to your site, and hopefully, on that back of that, sales. 
 
Incorporating engaging and up-to-date company news into your website continues to grow with businesses becoming better informed about the benefits in particular for search.
 
So far, so much as I expected. But one trend I’m still keeping an eye on is the rise of private networks. Unlike ‘open’ social media like Twitter and Facebook, private networks are just that: private. They restrict access to certain groups, and thus help keep trolling and general abuse to a minimum. They also increase your business’ chances of connecting with customers who might have similar attitudes, needs and approaches to yours. I suspect that over the months to come, private networks will continue to be and become important ways to help businesses connect to more specialised, but smaller, audiences. 
 
The last trend I’ve noted this year shows no sign of stopping: the rise of content. Websites are no longer just places to buy, book or make contact; they’re places for customers to get expert, informed information through their owner’s blogs or FAQs. Many website owners now connect their blogs to social media, making it even easier to keep customers in touch with their expertise and opinions 24/7. As access to broadband improves, video is becoming a more effective way of getting the message across to online visitors and keeping them engaged in the face of sometimes global competition. A great example of this is Vine with its short 6 second looping videos.
 
But in short, keeping websites up to date – both in terms of basic data (opening hours, range of goods and the like) and content that can then be pushed through social media – is my key message for the first half of 2014 – and unless something else comes along out of the blue, likely 2015 as well!

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.

 

Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos

 

Developer SOS, Inspire Web Development, Inspire Web Services, Search Engine Optimisation (Web Copy), Social Media Tools, The Evolving Web, Website Copywriting
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