Important Social Media Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2014


There was a tipping point last year that has major implications for business and brands. It will impact publishing and marketing strategies and tactics in the future. One of the worlds biggest music stars ignored the traditional mass media product launching process. She bypassed the “normal” mass media release of a radio campaign, multiple TV appearances and retail and consumer brand promotions. Instead she announced it on Instagram to her 8 million followers with the word “Surprise” and proceeded to launch the 14 songs and accompanying 17 videos on iTunes. It was a success and it exceeded the album downloads of the previous album which had used the traditional marketing model. Its a trend that is not going away anytime soon. Build your own networks now! Businesses who are relentless in building a following on social media are in fact creating their own publishing platforms, growing their marketing channels and content distribution networks. It is a digital asset that grows every year. Over time it can can provide huge leverage and marketing independence if done right. So with that in mind let’s have a look at where the major social media networks are up to at the start of 2014. Social web demographics Social media is a blur of tweets, shares and content. No longer is it just used by the young and the restless. It is global and embedded in every corner of the web. So some questions. Which age groups are using social media, what countries are big Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare users and what percentage are using mobile to access social media? This is the who and the where of social media users. 72% of all internet users are now active on social media 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage The 30-49 bracket sits at 72% 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media Time spent on Facebook per hour spent online by country. Here are the top three. USA citizens get the top gong at 16% followed by the Aussies at 14 minutes and the Brits at 13 minutes. 71% of users access social media from a mobile device. The paradigm of social media only being used by the younger generation should be put to rest now. Facebook Facebook is still the biggest kid on the block, but there are some pundits predicting that by 2016 Google+ will surpass Facebook on “social sharing”. Here are some of the latest figures to mull over. There are now over 1.15 billion Facebook users One million web pages are accessed using the “Login with Facebook” feature 23 percent of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers Google+ Prying the numbers out of Google for Google+ has always been a challenge. A bit like getting a date with the prettiest girl in the class. Not impossible but it doesn’t happen very often. So what are the latest numbers? There are now over 1 billion with Google+ enabled accounts It has reached 359 million monthly active users Google+ is growing at 33% per annum. The 45 to 54 year old bracket increased its usage on Google+ by 56% since 2012 When you consider that Google+ has only been around for less than three years, then it is a success on many levels. So Google must be happy with with its investment, which is north of $500 million that it initially invested in Google+ Twitter Twitter has to be taken seriously. Last year it took off its short pants and become a public company. So what is happening in the Twittersphere? There are now over 550 million registered users 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 215 million monthly active users Twitter has also made some changes in the last few months that has made it more visual and engaging. Business should no longer be ignoring the 140 character pip squeak. The others We haven’t mentioned some important social media channels. These include. Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare and many others. This year expect the visual social media networks to hit more home runs. Keep an eye on these two: Pinterest with 20 million active monthly users Instagram with 150 million active monthly users. Here is an Infographic from Search Engine Journal that provides a visual medium for the social media facts and statistics you should know in 2014. Social Media Facts and statistics you need to know

Social Media Facts and statistics you need to know

Is This the Next Big Thing in Your Content Marketing Strategy?


Categories: Content MarketingEmail MarketingSocial MediaSocial Media Marketing

Is This the Next Big Thing in Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Most marketers approach the new year with a burst of resolve and a vow to tick off items on their marketing wish lists. But the digital world is evolving so rapidly that many marketers are left wondering which trends and technologies will endure beyond 2014, and which will just be flashes in the pan.

My big prediction for 2014 is that “consumers will become the new content marketers“. We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king” countless times, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that user-generated content is heir to the throne.

The explosion of mobile and mobile-focused networks like Vine and Instagram have made it easier than ever for consumers to create and share video, giving brands the opportunity to aggregate this content into powerful and authentic brand messaging. On Dec. 17 Facebook announced it will begin supporting video advertising for both mobile and desktop social users, further underlining the emergence of video as a powerful tool that crosses the boundaries of advertising, social media and both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing.

Here are four ways that you can empower consumers to become content-producing brand advocates in 2014 when planning your content marketing strategy:

#1. Tie social to traditional advertising

In 2014, bust social out of the silo by weaving a social layer across campaigns to inspire audiences to create and share content.

Include hashtags in your TV ads, print ads, in-store displays, and events to drive more conversation. Get even more participation by offering coupons or prizes.

Digital and social are transforming TV ads too. Recent research from Nielsen found that 88 percent of marketers believe that integrated multi-screen campaigns will become very important in the next three years. To compete, marketers must extend their TV ad campaigns across multiple channels — like real-time video ads and hashtag campaigns on social media. This year, watch for new and compelling ways to engage your consumers across all devices and screens. Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts are already using Vine videos in Monday Night Football television ads to tie together social and television advertising.#2.

#2. Connect the dots between social and email

Email and social are two powerful channels with a symbiotic relationship. In combination, they build, target and convert brand audiences, turning thousands of fans into loyal brand advocates.

According to a recent report from ExactTarget, 70 percent of marketers find product or prize giveaways to be an effective tactic for audience acquisition. These incentives prompt fans to opt into email lists, creating lasting relationships with customers like never before.

For example, Giant Eagle ran a Facebook sweepstakes for free tanks of gas, and included a call-to-action to sign up for their email list. By touting access to “exclusive offers,” they received more than 45,000 email opt-ins.

This year, kick performance up a notch by collecting user preference data to get unique insights about the interests of your consumers, and use them to create lists for targeted content and offers.  This will help optimize campaigns and increase revenue.

#3. Embrace social’s role in driving commerce

Still believe social media is just about engagement? That’s so 2013. Companies are now driving sales directly from social channels, and that will only grow in 2014.

One increasingly effective social commerce tactic is mobile couponing. With the explosion of smartphones, Business Insider predicts that 47.1 million consumerswill use mobile coupons in 2014. Offering digital coupons through social channels also adds a viral component. Fans and followers feel compelled to share your deals — an impulse you can stoke with incentives for referrals.

Meanwhile social merchandising — collecting, displaying and curating user-generated content regarding a brand’s products — has blended the capabilities of social marketing with the conversion potential of social commerce. Brands can encourage consumers to submit and share attractive, creative and authentic product information or purchases that link directly to trackable transactions.

Social data gets a lot of buzz. In 2014, we’ll start to see its practical application in driving commerce. Brands will seek user input via social channels to make product and marketing decisions. By building user content and feedback into their business model, they can make a measurable impact.

Online retailer ModCloth has found success in applying user data to inform their inventory decisions. Their “Be the Buyer” program allows consumers to vote for the designs that ModCloth will sell on their site. Items created as a result of the “Be the Buyer” program sell twice as much overall as other inventory.

#4. Increase the frequency of your social campaigns

A few years back, brands ran a single marketing campaign for months on end. But the rise of social has turned brands into publishers, constantly cranking out new content and campaigns. Moreover, social gives brands the freedom to create and launch campaigns on the fly — amplifying everything from product launches to flash sales. To stay competitive, you need to run multiple, frequent campaigns that engage multiple segments of your audience.

But don’t limit your campaigns to Facebook. As Pinterest, Twitter, and other networks build their user base, you’ll need to engage and convert those audiences too. You should have distinctive campaign strategies for each network. Consider cross-network campaigns that pull in entries from multiple networks, like Vine, Instagram and Twitter, via a hashtag.


100 קישורים שיזמים חייבים להכיר


הרשת מלאה בכלים שימושיים ליזמים שיקצרו להם את העבודה בדרך למיזם. החל מיצירת מוצר דמה ועד העלאת מוטיבציה, כל הכלים נמצאים שם ברשת.

כדי לעזור לכם לקצר את תהליך העבודה ולייעל אותו, ריכזנו בפניכם מאה קישורים רלוונטיים. הרשימה הזאת היא כמובן רק הקצה מכל הכלים שקיימים ברשת. אנחנו מזמינים אתכם לספר לנו על כלים נוספים שאתם מכירים וביחד נבנה את רשימת הקישורים המלאה ליזמים.

בהכנת הכתבה השתתף עידן מאיר מ-Hubanana, מתחם היזמות ברעננה. תודה עידן!

אז קדימה, הכינו את הדפדפן להתמודד עם כל הטאבים –  מתחילים:

בניית עמוד נחיתה ופלאייר

LaunchRock: הפלטפורמה החביבה על יזמים לבניית עמודי נחיתה.

Lander: בניית עמוד נחיתה וניתוח הנתונים לגבי הגולשים המגיעים אליו.

LaunchGator: הכנת עמודי נחיתה מעוצבים, שיתוף וניתוח גולשים.

unbounce: הקמת עמוד נחיתה עם אפשרות לביצוע testingA/B.

smore: בניית פלאייר.

מדיה חברתית


Buffer: ניהול כל ערוצי המדיה החברתית במקום אחד, עם אפשרויות תזמון פרסום והפצה יעילים.

HootSuite: דומה ל-buffer, עם תצוגת הפידים שלכם ברשתות החברתיות.

Oktopost: סטארט-אפ ישראלי שמציע ניהול וניתוח ביצועי מדיה חברתית.

Buzzilla: ניטור וניתוח פעילות ברשתות החברתיות/

Tint: הצגת הפידים שלכם במקומות אחרים, כמו הצגתו באתר או באפליקציה.

tweepi: ניהול חשבון הטוויטר, ניקוי משתמשים לא אקטיביים, וקבלת נתונים על ביצועי החשבון.

Fake Followers Check: בדיקה כמה עוקבים מזויפים יש לכם בחשבון.

tagboard: מנוע חיפוש לתגיות ברשתות החברתיות. דרך מצוינת לבחינת נושאים חמים.

Topsy: מנוע חיפוש בטוויטר המאפשר חיפוש נושאים חמים, וזיהוי אנשים משפיעים.

PeopleBrowsr: פילוח ציוצי טוויטר לפי קהילות.

אימייל מרקטינג

Powerinbox: מעשירים את תיבת האימייל ובין היתר הופכים את הניוזלטרים לאינטראקטיביים.

Mailchimp: ניוזלטר מעוצב ללקוחות שלכם. עד 2,000 כתובות אימייל – בחינם.

MadMimi: יצירת אימייל שיווקי. עד 2,500 כתובות – חינם.

inwise: שירותי דיוור בעברית המיועד לעסקים קטנים-בינוניים.

VIPlus: מערכת דיוור ישראלית וניהול מועדוני לקוחות.

ניתוח התנהגות גולשים

MixPanel: ניתוח התנהגות גולשים למובייל ולווב.

AppsFlyer: מדידה וניתוח של קמפיינים ברשתות פרסום שהובילו משתמשים לאפליקציה.

ClickTale: ניתוח “אזורים חמים” בתוך אתרים.

Google Analytics: הכלי הנפוץ ביותר לניתוח התנהגות גולשים באתרים ובמובייל

KISSmetrics: ניתוח מה עשה כל גולש באתר (via צוות “מובייל ובירה“).

Localytics: ניתוח בזמן-אמת של התנהגות גולשים באפליקציות ווב ומובייל.

סקרים ומשובים מגולשים

SurveyMonkey: אם לא מתחשק לכם להשתמש בכלי הסקרים של גוגל, “קוף הסקרים” הוא הכלי בשבילכם.

PickFu: קבלת משובים כתובים מגולשים רלוונטים וגם מאקראיים.

קישורים וקיצורי קישורים

roojoom: קבצו כמה קישורים תחת קישור המספר סיפור אחד.

gibbon: שתפו ידע באמצעות יצירת קורס קצרצר. קצרו כתובות url ומדדו לאחר מכן את ביצועי ההקלקות על הקישור.

Wibki: רכזו לכם את כל הקישורים שאתם צריכים לפי נושאים בסידור ויזואלי.

חיפוש ומחקר שוק


NerdyData: חיפוש שורות קוד.

Quixey: מנוע חיפוש לאפליקציות.


Alexa: ביצועי אתרים ברחבי העולם.


Open Site Explorer: מנוע חיפוש הבודק קישורים לאתרים.

SimilarWeb: מדידת ביצועי אתרים מכל העולם.

Quora: לכל שאלה (יזמית) תשובה.


MockFlow: יצירת הדמיה ראשונית לאתר שלכם.

balsamiq: כלי לבניית מוקאפ במהירות.

Business Model Canvas

Lean Canvas: הכנת הצגה ויזואלית של המודל העסקי להפשטת ההסבר למשקיעים.

Canvanizer: הכנת תוכנית עסקית.

מציאת שותפים

joyinapp: מצאו אנשים שיעזרו לכם לפתח אפליקציה.



קבוצת שותפים לסטארט-אפ בפייסבוק


Meetup: עקבו אחרי הקבוצות במיטאפ וחפשו את אירועי מציאת השותפים הייעודיים, או סתם פגשו אותם בנטוורקינג לפני הרצאה מקצועית.


Fiverr: עבודות פרילנס כמו הכנת לוגואים, הקלטות, וידאו, ומשימות פשוטות ב-5 דולר בלבד.

99designs: מכרזים לעבודות גרפיות.

Elance ו-Odesk: שתי סוכניות הפרילנסרים הגדולות שהתאחדו לאחרונה.

Xplace: אתר פרילנסרים ישראלי.

הקמת אתרים לפי תבניות מוכנות

Webzai: בניית אתרים לפי תבניות מוכנות.

Wix: שחקנית מובילה בתחום בניית-אתר-תוך-רגע.

Weebly: שחקנית נוספת בתחום הקמת האתרים בתבניות.


Ad Networks לאפליקציות

אם אתם מפתחים אפליקציה תרצו לפרסם אותה בערוצים רבים כדי להגיע למשתמשים. הנה כמה רשתות פרסום גדולות (תודה לגלעד בכר):

inmobi  | adfonic  | chartboost  | millennial  | todacell

בלוגרים ו-influencers


Blog Release: הפיצו את הודעות ותוכן לבלוגרים רלוונטיים.

triberr: קהילה של בלוגרים ומשפיעני-רשת (בחו”ל) המשתפים מהתוכן שלהם.

Beta צרפו את הסטארט-אפ שלכם לאתר ותישלחו לרשימה של בטא-טסטרס.

lissted: מציאת אנשים משפיעים ברשת.

followerwonk: מצאו משפיענים בטוויטר לפי נושאים.

twtrland: ערכו חיפוש לפי כישורים, שמות או מקומות ומצאו קהל רלוונטי בטוויטר.

תוספים שימושיים ל-gmail וקיצורי דרך

Rapportive: מצאו כתובות אימייל של אנשי מפתח בחברות


yesware: שפרו את המכירות שלכם עם מעקב אחר ביצועי שליחת האימיילים שלכם


ifttt: צרו אוטומציה לפעולות היומיומיות שלכם, או בקיצור – if this then that


Is it WordPress?: בדקו האם האתר שמצא חן בעיניכם בנוי על וורדפרס.

What WordPress Theme is it?: בדקו איזה עיצוב מופיע באתר שמצא-חן בעיניכם.

וורדפרס – הקבוצה החדשה: קבוצת פייסבוק פעילה עם יותר מאלפיים חברים שמסייעים זה לזה עם פתרונות מידיים.


ColourLovers: יותר מ-3 מיליון פלטות צבעים שיעזרו לכם בבחירת צבעים בעיצוב

Kuler: יש לכם צבע אחד ומחפשים להתאים לו צבעים מתאימים? הכלי של אדובי לשירותכם.

IconFinder: מנוע חיפוש לאייקונים.

Stylify Me: עוזר לכם לאפיין את העיצוב שאתם רוצים לאתר

אינפוגרפיקה יצירת אינפוגרפיקות אינטראקטיביות לשילוב באתר. יצירת אינפוגרפיקות בהזמנה.

PicktoChart: הכנת אינפוגרפיקות בעיצוב (בתשלום חודשי).

מצגות הכנת מצגות בקלות מבלי להתעכב על סוגיות עיצוב.

prezi: הכלי האלטרנטיבי להכנת מצגות הפאואר-פוינט הסטנדרטיות עורכים פרזנטציה אונליין? שתפו תמונות בזמן אמת.

ניהול משימות


Kanban Tool: ניהול משימות צוות ויזואלי שעוזר לדעת מה כל אחד בצוות עושה.

Podio: ניהול עבודת צוות עם ממשק ויזואלי נעים ומושך.

Trello: ניהול משימות במשותף עם חברי הצוות.

ooVoo: שירות וידאו צ’אט שמאפשר לכם לנהל שיחות ועידה בווידאו עד 12 משתתפים.

אתרי מימון-המונים ליזמים


OurCrowd: פלטפורמת השקעות המונים בסטארטאפים ישראלים.

IsraCrowd: מימון המונים לחברות סטארט-אפ ישראליות.

PublicGains: פלטפורמת מימון המונים ישראלית.

KickStarter: אתר מימון המונים אמריקאי, המוביל בתחום.

Indiegogo: המתחרה המוביל לקיקסטאטר, שגם בו ניתן למצוא פרויקטים של יזמי סטארטאפים.

Quirky: העלאת פרויקט עם אפשרות לרכישת המוצר הבסיסי בהזמנה מראש.

ביצועי אתר  ושרתים

PageSpeed Insights: כלי ניתוח הביצועים של גוגל. מאפשר לאחר הבדיקה לראות מה התקלות והצעות לשיפור.

WebPageTest: בחינת זמן טעינת אתר.

SpiceWorks: ניטור תקלות בשרתים וניהול תחום ה-ITבסטארט-אפ (תודה לפלג לילה מ-restartIT על המידע).

Zabbix: ניטור ביצועי השרתים בארגון.

nagios: ניטור בזמן אמת של ביצועי השרתים.

מוטיבציה ומנוחה

OhLife: כתבו לאני-העתידי שלכם אימייל. דרך מעולה לעורר בכם מוטיבציה פעם בכמה זמן.

Relaxed: לפעמים צריך לנוח קצת. עם רילקסד תוכלו להודיע על חופשה ברשתות החברתיות כך שלא יפריעו לכם. נקו את תיבת האימייל שלכם מכל ההרשמות המיותרות שאתם לא קוראים.

עכשיו תורכם. ספרו לנו בתגובות על הכלים וקיצורי הדרך שאתם משתמשים בהם ביומיום ונוסיף אותם לרשימה.

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יובל מעוז

StartIsrael – פורטל היזמות של ישראל

כתבות נוספות שעשויות לעניין אותך
מה כבר אפשר לחדש בתיבת האימייל?

מה כבר אפשר לחדש בתיבת האימייל?
לא, נחש פיתון לא אכל שיכור שנרדם בהודו

מרחבי הרשת
לא, נחש פיתון לא אכל שיכור שנרדם בהודו
(חורים ברשת)
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10 סטארטאפים ששווה לעקוב אחריהם ב-2014
המילה האחת שמשנה את כל הדיונים בחברה
מציג 1-8 מתוך 8 תוצאות.
8. רויטל ליבפרנד
2014-01-06 17:58:39
אתר נוסף מומלץ
ממליצה על , אתר המרכז ביקורות והמלצות מלקוחות למוצרי תוכנה לעסקים
7. יוסי
2014-01-05 22:39:08
תודה תודה תודה
למרות הכרותי עם כמה מהאתרים שהוצעו, כמה כיף לראות מישהו שמרכז את הכל בצורה מסודרת עם הסבר קצר ונותן כלי עבודה ליזמים. תודה רבה
6. רונה
2014-01-05 19:05:44
פוסט מצוין \ עוד אתר מידע לעסקים
5. אביתר
2014-01-05 21:24:27
כלי מדהים להקמת אתרים רספונסיביים
כדאי להכיר את folyou. כלי יעיל במיוחד לבניית אתרים שמותאמים אוטומטית לכל פלטפורמה ולכל סוגי המסכים. מאפשר לבנות אתר סופר-מקצועי במינימום מאמץ. ההתנסות בחינם לגמרי והעלות לפרסום האתר נמוכה. שווה לבדוק
4. שי
2014-01-05 15:23:18
עוד קישורים למי שמפתח תוכנה
ניהול דרישות, בדיקות ובאגים
3. אורן
2014-01-07 00:05:22
עוד אתר ל ביצועי אתר ושרתים
2. רמי
2014-01-05 15:09:20
עוד אחד ל-ad networks
אני גם ממליץ על רשת תוכניות שותפים שמתאימה גם לסלולר וגם לפרסום אונליין ואופליין שיכולה לשרת המון בעלי עסקים קטנים וגדולים כאחד.
1. ניר
2014-01-07 00:00:44
אהבתי מאוד, אני הולך להשתמש בכמה מהקישורים…
הוסף תגובה
תוכן * אין לשלוח תגובות הכוללות מידע המפר את תנאי השימוש של StartIsrael לרבות דברי הסתה, דיבה וסגנון החורג מהטעם הטוב.
אדריכלי האקזיטים של 2013: “כישלון של עסקה הוא כישלון אישי שלנו”

עורכי הדין בעסקות הענק של השנה החולפת בהיי־טק הם הרבה יותר ממנסחי חוזים – הם אלה שמנווטים בשלום את הצדדים לעמק השווה ■ TheMarker אסף את שבעה מעורכי הדין שהובילו את העסקות הבולטות של 2013
סמסונג מציגה: טלוויזיה שמשנה צורה וסדרת טאבלטים חדשה

סוני הציגה סמארטפון חדש בגודל 4.3 אינץ’ ■ חברות הטכנולוגיה מייצרות טלוויזיות חדשניות ויוצרות שותפויות תוכן עם גופי המדיה החדשים
חוואווי מציגה: סמארטפון לסלפי המושלם ובטריה ענקית שתטעין סמארפונים לחברים

עם סמארטפון חדש, חוואווי מתכננת למכור 80 מיליון יחידות ב-2014 ולהשתלט על עולם המובייל ■ כיום היא יצרנית הסמארטפונים השלישית בגודלה בעולם
תוכנית הפרי־פייד הסודית של פלאפון: 65 שקל לחודש ללא הגבלה

התוכנית, שמחירה נמוך יותר מהחבילות ללקוחות האשראי הרגילים, תוגבל לארבעה חודשים, ולאחר מכן המחיר יעלה ל-129 שקל בחודש


Social Media Marketing Trends in 2014: The 10 Biggist Predictions


 Social Media Marketing Trends in 2014: The 10 Biggist Predictions

The 10 Big Social Media Marketing Trends in 2014

The age of innocence is over. Social media is moving from adolescence to post pubescent, facial hair growing adulthood.

In 2008 when I started on Facebook and Twitter it was fun, frivolous and social. Social media was unencumbered by the past, was encouraged by the future and treated as a toy by the big end of town. Automation was frowned upon and yelled down.

Today the legacy players in technology,  IBM, Oracle and Adobe  amongst others have built and are evolving “Enterprise Class” social media marketing platforms and infrastructure. Facebook and Twitter have become public companies and social startups are not just seen as the playthings of geeks.

It’s become serious business.

So what’s this mean to you?

It means many things and will impact at various levels and intensity across business, marketing and publishing. It will affect your planning, how you resource and even your corporate culture.

The game is still changing and you will need to continue or even start to adapt and evolve.  The old analog paradigms of print and mass media marketing and publishing are being pushed and pummelled. They are being held more accountable and measurable.

Social media maturity means implementing processes and platforms. Boring at times but efficient.

So what are the emerging social media marketing trends in 2014?

#1. Pay to play

Facebook likes were the start and the finish of Facebook marketing. Obtain 100,000 likes and you could reach a big crowd. Facebook becoming public means the shareholders want a return. That means that free reach is diminishing and paying for it is almost becoming the necessary evil.

Twitter has developed self serve ads like Facebook over the last 12 months in the USA and is now rolling it out into the UK and beyond. Yes, even Pinterest’s first promoted pins and advertising went live in October 2013.

It is becoming pay to play on social. The free lunch is much looking a touch smaller.

#2. Planning becomes a necessary evil

No longer is it enough to say that you do social media marketing because you have a Facebook and Twitter page. The increasing complexity means you need a strategic social media marketing plan. This means  defining your goals, audience and allocating a budget and appropriate resources just for starters.

It’s now time to write that social media marketing strategy.

#3. Brands out-publish traditional publishers

Social media has given us the power, platforms and world reaching networks to all become publishers. Innovative and creative brands and businesses are realizing that social media and content publishing are synergistic cousins and cohorts. Create multimedia content and share it on social networks and you start global conversations.

Brands such as Red BullGeneral Electric and Lorna Jane are becoming media companies and publishers with powerful results. Red Bull even has its own media company with nearly 150 employees. The humble blog  is leaving its training wheels in the shed. Content is now where it’s at. Mass media is starting to struggle to compete with the amplification and viral velocity of  social content driven by the crowd. Octoly discovered that 99% of brand conversations on YouTube are created by fans and followers.

Crowd sourced marketing is now becoming the norm rather than an afterthought.

#4.Visual social takes center stage

Visual social content  is now a serious contender in social media marketing due to the convergence of a few factors.

  • The rapid market penetration of smart phones and tablets
  • The widespread availability of high speed wireless networks
  • The decreased cost of data that makes high definition uploads cost effective
  • The emergence of focused visual media social networks such as Pinterest, Vine and Instagram

Add the emergence of visual content marketing platforms such as Shuttlerock and it’s a trend that is helping companies drive brand awareness and sales.

#5. Social mobile is now mandatory

The rise of mobiles and their almost universal acceptance and use means that optimizing your social content for mobile is vital. This runs on a few levels.

This includes:

  • Make sure your blog is viewable on mobile devices by using responsive WordPress templates
  • Visual content such as images and video needs to be made easy to view on smart phones and tablets

12 months ago it was a nice to have but is now becoming essential.

#6. Social media automation is no longer a dirty word

Automation used to be a dirty word on social but doing “social at scale” means that you have no choice. New emerging startups such as Sprinklr are helping brands do social and digital marketing efficiently. Traditional technology companies such as Adobe, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce are acquiring and integrating Enterprise class social media infrastructure into their product offerings.

This trend is also seeing the maturing of previously free platforms such a Hootsuite to grow up and offer platforms that offer a solution and one portal for your social media marketing.

#7. Wearable social takes big baby steps

Google glass is offering the promise of  doing social at the blink of an eye and with the movement of lips. 2014 will see the emergence of wearable technology that takes social out of your hand and onto your wrist and face. Samsung is also in the game with other startups trying to get a position on the starting line. The other vendor to watch here is Apple. Will they or won’t they play?

The two other important questions on this trend are, “what will be the adoption rate?” and “what will be its impact for social media marketers?” Look forward to reviewing the numbers in 2015.

#8. Google+ starts moving content

Facebook’s necessity of monetizing its social network to appease shareholders and become a sustainable business could be creating an interesting tangential sideshow. It could be pushing users into Google’s arms by using Google+. Google plus is not a source of revenue and doesn’t need to make money. It is helping feed the search beast’s golden search goose called “Google Adwords”

With over half a billion user and growing it is now becoming a vital cog in SEO, social media marketing and content moving. My blog has seen an increase of over 300% in content amplification on Google+.

Google  plus needs to be on your social media event horizon.

#9.  The increasing authority of online influencers

Klout and Kred were two of the first movers to allocate online influencers some credibility. This was at first seen as imagined rather than true and authentic. As online influencers in their niches have grown tribes and followers on social networks brands are starting to come out to play.

Brands have done this in the past on traditional media and that is why mass media influencers such as Tiger Woods is sponsored by Nike.  This is starting to happen on social media. The question isn’t “should we?” It is more about  ”how can we?

The power of the social micro niche influencer on a global scale is now becoming evident and real. Expect to see this trend become more visible in 2014.

#10. Brands start ignoring mass media in larger numbers

The first inkling of this was seen when Beyonce launched a new album in December last year. She ignored the traditional mass media release of a radio campaign, multiple TV appearances and retail and consumer brand promotions. Instead she announced it on Instagram to her 8 million followers with the word “Surprise” and proceeded to launch the 14 songs and accompanying 17 videos on iTunes.

A success?

The unofficial numbers are said to be 365,000 album downloads on the first day and 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours. Beyonce has her own distribution network and its called “social media”. The power of  her fans and crowd sourced marketing is now apparent to all. An interesting question here is “does she need traditional mass media?”

Expect to see to see more of this in 2014.


Social Media Is Not the Savior, But…


ImageIt’s still surprising how many businesses are ignoring social media. I’ve heard the various arguments against – that it’s a fad, that it’s mostly kids (nope), that there’s no significant value-add – but none of these stack up in the face of ever-growing data to the contrary. I’ll admit, even I was once sceptical of the benefits of social media. I viewed social media as complimentary to traditional media channels, nothing more. It would never overtake traditional press and broadcast platforms. It would never become a critical pulse for business. I was wrong. And now, while I can understand where those opposing views stem from, my response to these people is that you’re viewing social from the wrong perspective. In 2014 it’s going to be more important than ever that your business has an active social media presence. Here’s a couple of the points to pass on to the unconvinced as to why social media is more valuable than they may think:

1) Don’t think in terms of immediate value, but in potential value. Some brands might be able to ignore social media, go on about their business as they always have, leave those new channels to others. Some brands can do this and suffer little negative impact, but the more important element here is that by ignoring social media channels, you are missing out on massive opportunities that are waiting to be taken up. There are millions of conversations happening on social media everyday, some of themare relevant to your business. By ignoring them, maybe you’re not losing anything from what you currently have, but you are missing out new opportunities. Having a dedicated social presence takes time and investment, but it has the potential to produce amazing results, many of which you wouldn’t even be aware of if you didn’t actively track and participate these conversations. Or, in more immediate terms, there are opportunities out there, right now, that you’re not aware of because you’re not actively participating in social media conversations. They’re going on as we speak.

2) People say things like ‘Likes’ don’t mean anything – ‘anyone can press the ‘Like’ button because it costs nothing and there’s no commitment’. This is true, pressing ‘Like’ or re-tweeting something doesn’t translate to direct revenue for your business, but that’s not necessarily the point. The first relevant point of these endorsements is the data you gain – you can see what gets a response and use that in future planning. But more importantly, as soon as someone presses ‘Like’, they allow you access to their NewsFeed – you can advertise to them directly (though NewsFeed algorithm changes have affected this). Maybe they ignore your messages, maybe they ‘un-Like’ your page, but it’s a way in, a starting point for future conversations. Social media is about relationships and you need to establish the network before you can sell to it. Re-tweets spread your message, giving you the data and expanding brand awareness via the extended followers for every re-tweeter. It’s not money in the bank, it’s the start of the conversation, which is, potentially, just as valuable. Latest studiesclearly show ROI is improving for both B2B and B2C companies, those results are only going to improve.

3) The amount of readily available consumer data is of significant value to your brand. You would have heard all the reports of the amount of data people are putting online. Big data allows you to target your message more than ever before and the degree to which you can focus your advertising is amazing, and can produce amazing results. A simple example – a friend of mine is in a band and they were recently touring interstate. Their band is not well-known, but they have been compared to another, very well-known band. In order to get the word out about their upcoming gig, they advertised on Facebook – they were able to target all users who were fans of that more well-known band within a 100km radius of the venue where they would be playing with sponsored ads that appeared in those users’ NewsFeeds. The result? They sold out the show in record time, the first show they’d sold out in that state. This, all by utilising data readily available via social platforms. If your brand isn’t considering how they can utilise this, you really need to think over your strategy.

These are just some of the reasons why social media is crucial to the future of business. Social platforms continue to grow and diversify. If your brand is not active on these channels, not investing in social media management and monitoring, you really need to be asking whether you can afford to let these opportunities slip. And whether your competitors will approach things in the same way.

Maybe time to add another resolution to your 2014 list.

The 10 Best Social Media Predictions for 2014

Übersicht der Marketing-Instrumente

Übersicht der Marketing-Instrumente (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers make adjustments to their products and services to adapt to the changing needs of their customers. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page or email me at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In my years in marketing and media relations, I’ve learned there is one constant: change. If you can’t embrace it, you will wither on the vine. Peeirng into the crystal ball of 2014, I found some excellent prognostication from people that know much more than I do on what’s next in social media marketing. Here are the ten best I’ve found so far.

1. More real-time marketing. From John Kultgen on PR Daily. When the Oreo Super Bowl ad went viral, the wheels were turning in marketers’ heads everywhere.  Kultgen says, “The brand set a new standard for extremely timely and relevant content. Sporting events, awards shows, and season finales became the source of inspiration for many brand’s posts throughout the year.”  Real-time marketers will help fans engage in an experience. Savvy brands will learn how to do it well, not a la Kenneth Cole.

crystal ball

2. Whether your real time is faster than my real time will no longer be the problem. From Marketing Profs. “Marketers will begin taking advantage of new capabilities that enable them to act on insights in the very moment they need to act. Speed of delivery will no longer be the problem. The real opportunity is whether an experience can be delivered when it counts for the business—and when it matters most for the consumer.”

3. Word-of-mouth marketing will take off. From Jason Falls on Social Media Explorer. Falls say that consumers will continue their migration away from sponsored messages and banner ads. “We don’t want the blinking lights of Times Square. We’d rather have the relative peacefulness of a stroll around Greenwich Village.”  Falls says marketers are going to have to migrate to Snapchat, Path, Vine, and any other network that connects people but doesn’t have an established business model. But beware, “you’ll only be there for a year or two before the ads emerge and consumers migrate again.”

4. User-generated content will be the hot content commodityFrom Marketing Profs. What many already know, most will start taking advantage of: user-generated content creates loyalty, puts the fan/customer in the driver’s seat, and generates sales. Every fan wears a marketing hat. Rick Mulready dubbed this “embracing fandom” on Entrepreneur.

5. Short form content will dominate. From Julie Fleischer, Director of Media & Consumer Engagement at Kraft (via Content Marketing Institute).  Fleischer predicts that short form sound, sight, and motion will deliver greater viewership and higher engagement than long-form. She predicts, “ brands will compete over who can tell the shortest stories with the biggest impact.” Consumers will be the winners.

6. Niche interest networks will increase in prominence and usage. From Adam Vincenzini on PR Daily. Even though they will never significantly make a dent in the market share of the big channels, they will get more attention in 2014 as marketers who want to stay fresh look to engage the crowd that embraces innovation and change. It’s all about learning to ride the wave.

7. More visual, less text. From Jessica Smith on Social ‘N Sports. Smith cites how images have changed the way we digest social: “photo albums, pictures, and video get 180, 120, and 100 percent more engagement respectively (Facebook).”  We’ll have to push ourselves to keep up with all the channel settings that will enhance visuals for maximum engagement. Note recent Twitter changes.

8. Erasable media. From Dave Kerpen on Inc. Kerpen predicts our desire for the ephemeral will give rise to new channels and move current mainstream social media networks to adopt a disappearing content function. Kerpen attributes this to our increasing desire to personally share with one another. “This means that you’ll have to be prepared to have the results of your hard work in content marketing literally vanish.”

9. Social listening will become a requirement, not an option. From Pam Moore on Marketing Nutz. Moore says, “Brands of all sizes will start to understand that they must invest in social listening strategies, tactics and technologies to truly understand, inspire and connect with their audiences. Managing and protecting brand reputation must start from the inside out.” Preachin’ to the choir.

10. Investment in social media will become a necessity, not a luxury. From Jayson DeMers on Forbes.  As demand for good content and measurable results increase, brands will move from spreading social media duties across existing positions to hiring social media managers, according to DeMers. The era of assigning social media duties to a “tech-savvy, passionate” staff members is over. When companies need outside help, they will be looking for agencies that know social media business, not just social media tools.

There you have it. What’s your best guess at 2014? The comments are yours.

The Benefits of Quality Content and Genuine Social Engagement


The Benefits of Quality Content and Genuine Social Engagement

ImageWith every algorithm update, Google is making SEO more and more complex. The company has expressed its desire to improve the quality of their search results, filtering out spammers and content of lower relevance — but how that ‘relevance’ is determined is becoming increasingly difficult to understand to a definitive degree. The elements that are regularly highlighted by Google are ‘quality content’ and ‘genuine engagement’.

The issue with quality content is that it’s less scientific. Less certainty in the process means more research, more work and, ultimately, more investment to ensure best results for your online presence. This can be a frightening prospect for companies — you can’t just go to Google Adwords and ensure all the relevant search terms are included on your webpage, you need people to be actually reading your content to up that relevance rating. Real people and real engagement.

The one metric that is totally clear is the need for social engagement. How many ‘Likes’, ‘re-Tweets’, webpage links — these elements are being weighted more heavily by search engines. The social media aspect, which used to only form a part of the SEO puzzle, is becoming more influential. The idealistic result of this is that users get a better quality experience all round, but the underlying motivator is that, over time, organic results will be diluted to the point that brands will have to pay to get best ROI. The only way to combat this is to create great, sharable, engaging content and become an active participant on social platforms. But what’s the best way do you do it? How do you know that the content you’re investing in will give your company the best results? Here are a couple of points to keep in mind:

  1. Quality content is what your clients want to read, not what you want to tell them. You can’t just load up your company website with a heap of updates on what the company’s doing, how you’re helping clients, etc. These are all sales pitches and, in the majority, these won’t be widely read. You’re caught up in the corporate culture and the internal wins and losses, so the temptation is to write about them, show the people how good the company is, sell them on that culture that you, yourself are invested in, but you need to take a step back and think about what the clients want to know. What are the articles you’re reading each day? What is of interest to you, as an industry expert? What are the things clients need your services for? If you are not an industry expert, not following all the relevant influencers in your field, then you need to be and you need to be viewing their insights from the client’s point of view. Inform clients of industry trends and updates, write about positive stories in which your brand has had an influence, but always be wary of the sales angle. Social media is about building relationships, rather than booking sales. The more you’re able to establish the first, the easier the second will become.
  2. Content that gets highly shared is content with heart. Real stories, real storytelling, actually getting to the humanity of something, rather than corporate messaging. All businesses affect the lives of real people, many in very positive ways, and these stories are gold. They are not only great to tell, but they show the genuine passion of your brand. If you can express that passion in an engaging way, you can create strong, shareable stories that will help expand the reach of your business, which has benefits across all aspects. Take time to think about different angles to your corporate stories, try and find the heart and humanity in what you do as a company and where your brand is able to help. And again, make it story first, corporate messaging second. You don’t need to sell to your clients straight up, you’re working to establish a connection, to communicate on a deeper level.
  3. Take time to engage in your online community. It’s one thing to use Twitter to respond to client concerns and queries, but you shouldn’t stop there. Look to have a presence on all social media platforms and in their respective communities, become part of them, participate where you can. You’ll often see a company representative drop into a conversation on Twitter or Facebook with no real introduction, saying ‘give me a call at *** and we can help you out’. This is not real engagement. You’re likely to build better customer relationships if you talk to people on a human level, offer advice and links to online articles (not necessarily your own company content) and show them that you’re the expert in your field. The opportunity to convert these contacts into clients will come, you don’t need to rush it. By being present and being a trusted part of the conversation, you will establish better relationships for ongoing business. And be honest and positive, at all times. Going online and trashing your opposition, using a half-truth to initiate a business conversation — these tactics do not benefit the establishment of ongoing partnerships.

As with anything, the approach you take will vary dependent on the industry, but the way to solidify your online presence, making your company more resilient to SEO algorithmic changes and enabling you to make best use of social media, is through the creation of engaging content and the establishment of trusted networks. It takes time and investment, but it will pay off, over and over again.