2014 Social Media Predictions from a Strategic Planning Perspective

After combing through scores of predictions on what will happen in 2014 with social media, you have probably seen a pattern. Social media and content marketing will be more about honing strategies, leveraging big data, hosting micro-videos and getting serious about ROI. But how can we distill from these predictions a manageable set of planning inputs to our operating budgets?  

To begin, let’s consider what impacts the planning process. Many of the predictions relate to strategy development across marketing, advertising and brand development. Other predictions cover the environment as it relates to user expectations, media ecosystems and changes to expect in our operating infrastructures. The rest provide insights as to what business models are likely to succeed.

2014 Social Media Summary

Strategic Summary of 2014 Social Media Predictions

Strategy

Strategy in this social media Zeitgeist can be summed up as one of streamlining and seamlessly blending into our audience’s social experience. Consider the streamlining in your plan as the typical steps taken by companies during a lean recovery state. During these maturation stages, we begin to prune away the experimenting of shiny new objects and focus more on the most likely to payoff.

This usually leads to greater attention on integration and execution and less attention on experimenting. So for many brands and small businesses in 2014, there will likely be heightened attention on what really contributed to lead generation and conversion. As a result, the merits of content that shows promise in stimulating engagement will weigh more heavily in budget decisions than the merits of content reaching the largest audience.

Consequently, engagement metrics (e.g., comments and shares) will be more important than vanity metrics (e.g., likes and followers).    The seamless blending of content into our user experience streams has much to do with separating ourselves from the clutter. One way to do this is by adding value to the content our audience is actually seeking. This should translate into more purposeful content pieces that reach our audience in the right way, at the right time and in the right mood.

social media strategy

Strategic Planning Implications from 2014 Social Media Predictions

Content Strategies

Content marketing strategies will have to be more justifiable and hyper-focused. The goal here is to boost conversion rates at the expense of more fans and followers. One way to start on track is to repurpose curated content. For example, consider how you can regularly reach a targeted audience at many points in their buying cycle by recasting your content into several blog pieces, podcasts and videos. Not all of the content has to be original.

Your audience merely wants a reliable source that answers the mail briefly and immediately. The latter suggest you repurpose the content on whatever platforms your audience prefers at the time. This leads to another planning adjustment. 2014 may be more about smart content distribution than content development. In order for conversion rates to go up, budgets will have to shift more towards channel placement.

And with pay-for-play social advertising on the rise, this will mean more investment in reaching your targeted audience. Finally, nearly every social media and content marketing expert agrees that “creating for mobile first” should be foremost in our content marketing thinking. With mobile access to social media expected to exceed desktop access in less than 2 years, expect successful brands to invest heavily this year in responsive mobile websites.

Brand Engagement Strategies

Many predict that 2014 will be the year where real-time mobile customer engagement, brand storytelling, influence marketing and share-worthiness is seen as the key to deeper engagement. With noise levels skyrocketing, more brands are recognizing that engagement will require more than promised benefits. Brands will have to inspire and entertain more than ever.

By storytelling, brands have an opportunity to develop a loyal following that is far more interested in stories than brand messages.   In addition, more brands will be expected to adopt their own media studios and newsrooms as tight control of the brand story requires a more immediate response and authentic voice to their target audience. Although the cost to operating plans seems onerous at this point, longer-term savings are likely to result as in-house control of the brand story leads to a more reliable boost in engagement.

Advertising Strategies

Here is where we see a great deal of consistency among predictions. 2014 will be the year where paid social ads will be adopted reluctantly by brands as perhaps the only way to maximize their reach in social network news feeds. At question, however, is the timing of native advertising as a core element of content marketing plans.

Sponsored or branded content will be key to separating brand stories from the noise of too many brands now competing for diminishing social ad attention. Much of this content will likely be niche-specific and of high enough quality that followers recognize immediate value. And to provide this value, brands may have to consider longer-form content. Jay Baer even suggests this will be the year that Advertorial 2.0 takes hold.

But perhaps the biggest breakthrough backed by 2013 evidence will be the widespread use of native apps. According to Portio Research, mobile apps, in general, are projected to grow in revenue from $12 billion last year, a projected to $64 billion by 2015 As more brands witness the success of Clorox, Charmin, Ortho and Columbia in advising us how to remove a stain, find a clean restroom, identify a weed, and tie a boat knot, respectively, native apps in particular will capitalize on this trend towards real-time ‘self-help’.

Marketing Strategies

As the quality of data surrounding our prospects has drastically improved, more brands will likely exploit the ability to know what audiences are doing at a certain time and place. Add to that the knowledge gained from behavioral tracking and social profiles, we have an excellent formula for hyper-targeting. And much of the technology is here to pull it off.  In 2014, however, it is premature to estimate the impact that a combined SoLoMo-Pro (social, local, mobile, information) will have on market planning.

At minimum, however, expect brands to be ramping up for the use of predictive analytics in retargeted advertising. Experience in this level of behavioral targeting can then lead the way for contextual marketing that supports a real-time and locally relevant shopping experience. Another trend to expect in 2014 is the growth in agile video marketing. Expect brands to embrace their own newsrooms as mobile users become accustomed to getting rapid response news on breaking stories.

Infrastructure

As in any plan, a survey of our surroundings help us understand the landscape of competition and technology constraints. Most likely to materialize this year is:

  1. A technology that is analytical and possibly wearable
  2. Data that is important for ROI
  3. An audience tweeting with TV
  4. A referee, called Hummingbird, that will level the playing field for true content contributors
  5. Content platforms meant for the short-lived and easily escapable
social media infrastructure

2014 Predictions for Social Media Infrastructure

Technology

Much to the credit of big data, an estimated 20% of US display advertising will involve programmatic ad buying. The rapid growth of brands flocking to the programmatic buying process will likely continue as over-stretched marketing resources seek efficiencies from automation. Social networks are dramatically changing the landscape of TV marketing and will certainly impact planning for 2014. The market for second screen for global social TV is expected to reach $250 billion over the next 3 years.

As the sale of iPads and smartphones continue to skyrocket, expect the same growth in TV viewers interacting with live show content. One area still in question is the role of wearable technologies. Glassware, smart watches and wrist-ware are still serving the early adopters in an application seeking mode. Although Google Glasses is often sported in the media as the high-concept wearable tech product of the year, its future is still uncertain. At most the market will still be in its nascent stage. So small businesses, in particular, may be wise to holding off any plans to gear up for wearable device optimizing.

Social Search Engine

Google’s Hummingbird is being greeted with mixed responses. It is good news for legitimate content providers and bad news for black hat SEO spammers. We finally have a search engine who is penalizing SEO link spamming and magical keyword stuffing. Hat’s off to Google and their semantic oriented search algorithm for coming pretty close to a fair measure of legitimate content.

Content marketers would be wise to provide high quality, in-depth content that resonates with topics most sought after by their target audience. And think video first, video second and video third. The same will apply to search algorithms inherent in the social networks and their tagging or hash-tagging formats. Those that provide engaging and highly shareable content will ultimately win out on exposure.

Platforms

Here also is where there is a great deal of consistency in predictions.  Brands should devote an inordinate share of resources to short-form visual content. Video content will benefit search. Short videos in particular will appeal to the limited attention span of today’s audience. And perhaps more than before, we are seeing evidence that consumers expect content to fit the platform.

So think erasable video on Snapchat, gifs on Tumblr, 6-sec videos on Twitter Vine, infographics on blogs and photo rich content on Facebook. At the same time, brands inundated with multi-platform involvement are turning to fusion marketing to integrate their traditional and digital marketing tools.

By working off one platform or dashboard, they hope to manage and benefit from multiple campaigns launched from one place. Investments should also be considered for the development of niche oriented apps. This growing field of Friend-of-Mine apps is likely to materialize this year as more consumers recognize the value and handiness of self-help mobile apps.

Success Models

A successful business model could be summed up as serious and laser-focused. Successful brands by the end of 2104 will likely attribute their success to hyper-targeting. Rather than seeking new ways to acquire fans and followers, this will be a year of measuring, re-calibrating and reloading.

2014 Social media predictions

Business Modeling Implications of 2014 Social Media Predictions

Common to most business models will be a subscription-based approach to engagement. This bodes well for email marketing services and will likely put in question the need for RSS. Brands will be looking at courting highly qualified leads with pinpointed solutions to each need across the entire buying stage. Big data and closed loop analytics will then validate what tactics worked best toward conversion. And if not conversion, expect brands to measure retention and influence as a proxy for business to come.

This will also be the year that brands formalize their involvement in content marketing. The arrival of more Chief Content Officers and more formalized social business set-ups will likely pave the way for new social talent and enterprise-wide collaboration on social intelligence gathering and social listening. More importantly, 2014 will likely see PR and customer service finding their way into social media marketing

Companies will capitalize more on the power of employees as brand advocates. And with this greater commitment to a social business, more pressure will be placed on marketing, in particular, to validate a greater amount of budget requests with hardcore ROI measurements now available from online tools and cloud-based databases.

Social Experience

Of all the crystal ball predictions, this area of planning is perhaps the least suspect. Here is what we know for certain. Millenials, in particular, are flocking to ephemeral media sites in droves. Facebook’s offer of $3 billion for Snapchat was just topped by Google for $4 billion. So it is safe to say, Millenials want erasable media.

2014 Social Media Predictions

User Experience Implications from 2014 Social Media Predictions

We also have ample evidence to suggest that the deteriorating attention spans of Millenials will accelerate the arrival of contextually relevant content. So expect location based services to rapidly adopt social context as well. And as the momentum of early adopters builds, inside shopping assistance will become an expectation.

In the interim, many predict that Twitter Vine will flourish in this next year as applications for “how-to’s,” and “where to find” will augment the earlier and more limited functions of geo-targeting. Now imagine what this does to our customer service departments as target audiences become addicted to getting what they want NOW.

Finally, consumers will recognize all the more in 2014 that the power of conversation rests in their hands. Brands will have to compromise their desire for storytelling with allowing fans an opportunity to share their experiences. In return, fans will expect to be inspired and entertained if brands want their continued involvement. This will pressure more brands to step up their social customer service as fans will expect immediate reaction to their socially registered complaints.  

Summary

Arguably, 2013 was a lackluster year of new technology. Wearable technologies were a disappointment; and perhaps the only shiny new object warranted our attention was Snapchat. Instead, we witnessed the maturation of content marketing and how the social dominion went from publishing to sharing to repurposing curating content. Much of this new wave emerged from the media fatigue that forced many brands to adopt smarter and more proven approaches to their social media marketing efforts.

That is why many experts are predicting 2014 to be less about breakthroughs and more about hyper-targeting, optimizing and fine tuning strategies.    What’s more, plenty of evidence is mounting that marketers will be less concerned about reach and more about impact as executives press them for measured results. Much of this impact will likely come from legitimate, high quality content as Google’s Hummingbird algorithm makes it increasingly more difficult for SEO spammers to muddy the waters. 

So which of these predictions will likely present the biggest challenges to entrepreneurs in 2014?

28 thoughts on “2014 Social Media Predictions from a Strategic Planning Perspective

  1. The biggest challenge for Entrepreneurs will be for their brands to effectively use social media outlets to create marketing opportunities without turning the social experience into just another average advertisement. Social media users go to these sites to interact with their communities not to be sold to. If not careful, brands could push away potential customers. I think as the business environment becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, few leaders express confidence in their companies’ ability to adapt. Consumers are getting used to getting what they want when they want it, the challenge for brands in 2014 will be to keep pleasing the consumer at all times and wherever they are located. Delivering the information based on location will be key but it will also be a challenge. I think also it is difficult for Entrepreneurs to come up with something visually stimulating , since people no longer like to read, what other social media sites could be created after Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , Tumblr and even Snap chat for marketing strategies.

  2. I think that freemiums are a great way to advertise your product. These kind of promotions give potential customers the opportunity to test out a product or service before they actually buy; which essentially gives them the ability to compare, for example, the upgrade to LinkedIn Premium as to the general LinkedIn that is available to the general public.
    Freemiums have the potential to be great tools for many different kinds of companies, so I do feel as though they will grow in popularity once marketers see the benefits of using them.
    Time limited formats seem as though they may show the most promise considering you get to see what you will be getting with an upgrade to a premium product or service compared to the general product or service. Once you have a successful encounter with the premium version of a product or service, you will most likely not want to go back to the general version. Therefore, you will be willing to invest the money into something that you feel as though is worth the “premium” access.

  3. Infrastructure
    The biggest challenge from a strategy strategic planning perspective is Erasable
    Media. Social Media like SnapChat is becoming increasingly popular with their
    content being erased once viewed. SnapChat most recently was offered both a three
    and four billion offer, however they declined. The biggest challenge for social
    platforms like SnapChat is how will they bring in revenue when the content of the
    user is erased. Unlike Facebook, which takes users past likes, interest, posts, etc and
    then packages this information to companies. So they can in return pay to market
    directly to those who are most likely to buy their products.
    Success Factors
    In order for companies to be successful at email campaigns from subscription
    based models they will need big data analytics to be able to hyper focus their target
    customers. Big data analytics is both an investment from a financial and resource
    perspective. Additional head count will be needed to implement, maintain and
    analyze the data. However, if implemented correctly your conversion rate could
    increase and a company could expect more revenue and understanding of their
    customer base. Given the investment needed, this will be a big undertaking in 2014.

    Strategy
    A current trend is paid social advertising and I believe this will represent the
    biggest challenge from a strategy perspective. Paid social advertising is a financial
    and resource investment. Companies like Facebook have already implemented a
    way for companies to pay for social advertising. This should expand to other

    Social Media Predictions
    companies as they figure out their revenue model like Twitter and Snap Chat. Social
    media has the ability to help companies target potential customers more easily by
    using algorithms to understand their customer’s content. However, paid
    advertisement as a revenue stream could pose a big challenge for companies with
    erasable media.

    Social Experience
    As customers move from Customer Service to short how to’s that offer instructions
    in real-time reveleance this will create a huge paradigm shift. If customers become
    more addicted to getting what they want done now, then this will effect a rather
    slower response time seen from Customer Service. Customer Service will need to
    adapt to this change. Companies will also need to make a financial investment and
    shift resources.

  4. According to this blog on strategic planning perspective, a certain the social media marketing will present pattern in which both social media and content marketing will increasing adapt strategy honing, leveraging of big data as well as hosting of micro videos in addition to putting more emphasis on ROI (Jim, 2014). According to this school of thought, the planning process will give a great impact in relation to strategy development across marketing, advertising as well as billboard development. Also, another challenge will come from the relationship between the environment and the user expectations, as well as the changes that the social media world expect to generate from operating their infrastructures.
    For example, one of the biggest challenges regarding marketing strategies, the prospective quality of data is likely to improve as more brands try to exploit the ability of exploring the audience does at certain time in certain place (Jim, 2014). Through the knowledge of behavioral tracking, such as social profiles, social marketing will generate an excellent means of hyper targeting, which can be, analyzed through the use of technology. Never, the less it is not yet clear what the impact of combining marketing strategies and social local, mobile information will have on market planning.
    In the other hand, between the predictions of the strategic planning and the social media prediction wrapped in 13 oxymoron, the most likely to present entrepreneurs with the biggest challenges in 2014 are the predictions of the strategic planning. Strategic planning serves as a successful rode mad for entrepreneurs and marketers to follow which will create a lot of issues and confusions compared to social media prediction wrapped in 13 oxymoron’s since it will be most difficult to differ from such predictions what is the most manageable set of planning inputs that gives the best or the greatest returns to their operating budgets (Jim, 2014).
    Again, most of the aspects of social media strategic planning perspectives are based on the effectiveness of the planning process which in most cases depends on appropriate development of good strategy across all the aspects of marketing, advertising as well as brand development. In addition, such are totally affected by other predictions over the environment in relation to user expectations, media ecosystems as well as the state of the delivery infrastructure in order to succeed.

  5. Entrepreneurs will face many challenges in 2014. These will include how their
    business model develops and utilizes a strategic planning process that enables the
    company’s infrastructure to facilitate a relationship with their customers and potential
    customers through positive social experiences via social media that produces a successful model at the end of 2014.

    Infrastructure: I believe entrepreneurs in 2014 will have a challenge dealing
    with Platforms. In-house marketing has to focus on mobility and app development.
    Because the belief that app development is costly and they have no clue where to
    start…this will deter entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur has to recognize that an app for
    their business or promotion or whatever it may be can be a game changing marketing tool to drive traffic and revenue for their business.

    Strategy: Most entrepreneurs will likely have very small marketing budgets. So
    their strategies have to provide the company with the biggest bang for the buck! I believe entrepreneurs will have the biggest challenge with Brand Engagement strategies. New companies tend to still no be focused on the bigger picture. Entrepreneurs will have to differentiate themselves from their competitors to garner relationships with potential customers. The company will have to focus on storytelling that communicates the brand message without sounding like an actual brand message.

    Social Experience: Many entrepreneurs forget about the importance of offering
    great customer service. It is going to just be about identifying and resolving service
    failures because their customers are going to let the world know what happened
    regardless through their own personal social media outlets. Providing customer service
    will be inclusive of providing their customers with opportunity to share their experiences
    with the brand. The entrepreneur will have to embrace both the positive and negative
    experiences. The company has to nimble enough to respond quickly. This may very well
    be the biggest challenge for a small company with limited employees.

    Success Models: Primarily focusing on new entrepreneurs, the biggest challenge
    is how to use Big Data to their advantage…how to decipher through information and
    interpret it to successfully influence the bottom line. Lissbeth McNabb states, “This is
    precisely why in 2014, business leaders should begin to deploy big data-enabled solutions instead of big data as a solution.” The entrepreneur will have to recognize that their business model has to include a strategic plan with a hefty marketing budget to capitalize on the potential revenue and ROI from internet and social media marketing.

  6. The biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014, in my opinion, is to explore the social media in the right way. It is not only about having a blog, an Instagram account, Pinterest or a Facebook page, being part of the social media world is just a small part, capturing the attention of the consumer and keeping he/she interest is the real job. Is not about quantity, but quality of the post and the reach.
    Giving insights of the business and interesting information seems to be the key, sharing the customer valuable information to help in the daily life and curious facts.
    In the realm of strategy, being able to link the content with brand is very important. The consumer must be able to associate the brand product or service to the branded content shared and recall the information later when needed, linking it to the brand. In term of infrastructure, the most important thing is to have a secure, fast and easy to use mobile platform, to facilitate the consumer contact with the brand any time, anywhere.
    Nowadays, customers need to sense that they are part of the process and not insignificant, they want to feel respected and be certain that they are unique and valuable, in order to have a close relationship with the consumers, the company must let the consumer be in charge.

  7. Advertising strategies may seem to pose the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014 because of the changes that one will have to encounter with the “ separation of brand stories form the noise of too many brands now competing for diminishing social ad attention,” as mentioned in the article. The allowance of filtered content will almost push many entrepreneurs to find other avenues to advertise because of the competition between them and bigger branded companies. Although these type of advertising strategies is very beneficial to followers, allowing them to find exactly what they are looking for without being inundated with other unnecessary information that they may not need. Entrepreneurs now may have to follow this trend of coming up with niche-specified topics for their products or services that will allow them to be able to target followers specifically in order for their products or services to be constantly seen.

  8. In 2014, the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs would be their strategy, more specifically the advertising and marketing. An entrepreneur has to make sure that they target the right audience. They have to learn how to capture their consumers’ attention, whether they are using mobile apps or billboard ads. There will be many competitors who will have similar strategies, so as an entrepreneur you have to make sure that you have the right strategy that fits your business and that is unique and will stand out. When advertising and marketing a product or brand, it is very important that you identify your customers and communicate to them in an effective way.

    As far as infrastructure, technology might be a challenge because there would need to be a constant update to keep up with consumers. Nowadays people can be seen using some sort of handheld device, such as a smartphone or IPAD, which makes everything more convenient for them. Social networks have become so big and that seems to be the first thing that people go to if they ever need help with anything. It has become the reason why people are always on their phone. Entrepreneurs are going to have to know how to communicate to their customers and think of more innovative ways to keep their customers attention. Although there have been many technological advances, the use of smart watches and glassware still poses the issue of whether it is a good investment since “its future is uncertain.” The only problem I see with technology is that it is not always reliable.

    The biggest problem with the success model would be accountability. Entrepreneurs will need to make sure that their content is relatable to their customers. It will also need to be credible. The entrepreneur needs to make their audience feel as if what you are providing them has value and benefits. If entrepreneurs are trying to build a relationship with their consumers, then they are going to make sure that they fit their needs. Using employees for participation and involvement is a good idea because it will create more innovation and creativity. Accountability would be an entrepreneur’s biggest issue because they would need to be consistent and build that trust from their audience.

    The biggest challenge for the entrepreneur would be the social experience, more so brevity. Keeping an audience attention is sometimes very difficult. Today more people are interested in reading blogs that has visuals and little writing. Rather than listening to an hour-long webinar, people are more interested in micro-content. Since people are always on the go, they prefer brief reading and short videos to keep them entertained. I believe that Twitter would last for a while only because there is important information within a tweet. Tweets get straight to the point and provide good content for people. It is quick, but may not be that much reliable.

  9. In my opinion, I feel that the strategy prediction may present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014. When I think of the word entrepreneur I think of someone with great leadership skills, innovative ideas, and eagerness to be efficient. Although this maybe key qualities in a entrepreneur, they may find themselves as a little fish in a big pond. Entrepreneurs tend to be the ones who always start their own path, and with strategy usually going in favor the organizations with the deeper pockets, they may have to find creative ways that are cost effective and time efficient. With most entrepreneurs already at a lost because they’re short on cash and time, they may have to look into grass roots strategy, such as sweeping the smaller scale canvases such as community newspapers and events. That way, their strategies to compete in the market are kept at a nominal expense and until they become a top competitor in their market, can build upon their strategy by focusing on niche marketing.

    Infrastructure maybe one way I predict entrepreneurs may have a huge advantage coming into 2014. So many major organizations may have a hard time of adapting to the sudden change of most marketing taking place over the web. What may take a large organizations years to adapt to may come a little quicker to the entrepreneurs of 2014.

    Social experience will pose a threat to the entrepreneurs of 2014, but I predict it will only be because of the mesh of advertising in online marketing today. With the average web user on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Tweeter concerned with the level of enjoyment they get from being social with their peers by using these websites. Entrepreneurs may have to break through with a different form of marketing that will distinguish their message from the rest of the mesh advertising on these social websites.

    The success model I predict will bring about a positive change to the entrepreneurs in 2014 because of this model’s dynamics to focus on the specific audience. I feel the entrepreneurs of 2014 need to take a grassroots approach to marketing and the success model shows that because of its laser like marketing. In the success model, I feel you should no longer target the masses, you should target the audience that has an interest in your niche and market to them for the sake of building brand loyalty. That brand loyalty from your target audience built through the success model will now let your target audience bring in the masses thru the age old never failing form of marketing, word of mouth (or in this case word of web).

  10. After reading this article I think that the strategy prediction will present the biggest challenges to entrepreneurs in 2014. Entrepreneurs will have to constantly adjust their marketing, advertising, brand engagement, and content strategy based on new predictions happening. For example company have to focus their brand engagements on mobile interactions since people are now constantly on their phones.

    One prediction that I would apply to strategy is paid trust. Companies will have to pay in order for fans to notice their ads in their news feed. Pay-for-play social advertising is a really good way to boost your ads and get more followers. I am currently running a Facebook fan page and what I have noticed is that the only way I can boost the page is by promoting the page by paying for it. Sharing the page is just simply not enough.

    For infrastructure I would apply the social technology prediction. Technology keeps growing and growing each day. It is rarely to see someone walking around with a phone that is not a smartphone. Children are already getting phones at a very young age. Wearable technology such as glassware, smart watches and wrist-ware are already in the making. Companies will also have to devote some time in developing short-formal visual contents. Today’s audience now have a short attention spam so in order to attract their attention social media content will have to keep the content short.

    As for social experiences I am predicting longer but shorter content. It has been noticed that people now have a short attention span. This might be due to all the new apps that are available. For example snapchat where you can only see a picture for a few seconds before it disappears. Or instagram and fine with 15-second videos. Audiences might get use to these short time periods. Watching a long video might begin to feel boring. Making short videos will engage more people but at the same time how much can you show in 15 seconds? The longer shorter content would be to show the audience a short teaser first of they can except in the longer video. This way the audience can prepare themselves that there is a longer content coming up.

    For a success business model it is important to build a strong relation with your customers. Customers are an important aspect to focus on in a business, as they are the one that make it possible for you to have a business. The best way to have a good relation with your customers is by edutainment. Engaging, entertaining and educating are a good interaction between customers and a company. Customers like to feel important. Engaging

  11. Infrastructure: The biggest challenge for 2014 in terms of infrastructure will be platforms. Marketers will need to adjust to the new trend of increased smartphones and the shorter attention spans of millennials. As consumers gravitate toward short, erasable videos like those on Vine, marketing strategies must align. Moreover, the trend of mobile apps has been growing exponentially. Incorporating applications that relate to the consumer and provide them with help in doing day-to-day tasks will be crucial. Creating platforms that coincide with the mobile, fast-paced lifestyles of consumers will pose new and unique challenges to companies throughout the world.

    Strategy: Strategy is likely to present a big challenge to entrepreneurs for 2014. With the transition from vanity metrics to engagement metrics, marketers will have to focus on getting consumers involved in their fan pages as opposed to solely having them “like” or “follow” a page. This will prove to be significantly challenging in the integration of marketing strategies that enable a company to maintain customer engagement. With the abundance of surrounding noise and clutter, companies will have to provide added value and meaningful content that is being demanded by consumers in a way that is differentiated from competition but entertaining at the same time.

    Social Experience: Customer service will be a great challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014. As consumers become more accustomed to instant gratification and real-time responses to their concerns, managers will face a different set of difficulties related to customer satisfaction. Both positive and negative feedback will be viewed by countless people with a level of transparency that is greater now than ever. Marketers will have to respond to these changes by adopting employees in their department that solely focus on customer relationship marketing through social media networks. This will also need to be done in a way that actually addresses customer concerns while maintaining a positive image of the company and its credibility.

    Success: Within the success model, the prediction of accountability will face the greatest challenge for entrepreneurs in 2014. Marketers will face the task of generating precise ROI measurements and providing them to company executives. As this information will be readily available through online tools and cloud-based databases, marketing teams will have to deliver results that are now much more measureable than they were before. They will need to rely more heavily on employees as brand advocates and focus on maintaining a positive social image through its various social channels.

  12. Limited free speech has become a social media oxymoron. Individuals that represent brands tend to use social media to speak up for or against certain social issues must tread water very lightly. Their personal opinions too often are associated with their brand associations. These days we are experiencing limited use of free speech in open social media outlets. With social responsibility becoming more of an expectation, consumers want to hear how their brands are supporting such efforts. However, being too vocal or negative can tarnish or become a detriment to a brands image, as it may offend opposing or liberal supporters of that brand.

  13. As an entrepreneur, the biggest challenge within these 2014 Social Media Predictions would be my brands ability to keep up with all of the overwhelmingly rapid technology changes and advances. Many small business owners already wear several hats within their company including the marketing and advertising director. With these changes to social media marketing, it may become necessary for us to hire Chief Content Officers just to oversee this department which would add to budget cost. I myself am trying to keep cost down. The biggest challenge with 2014 infrastructure predictions for entrepreneurs would be the focus on Big Data Analytics. Some entrepreneurs may lack the internal skills to analyze large amounts of data from a variety of sources to uncover hidden patterns of consumer’s behaviors. This lack of necessary analytical skills will result in the small businesses having to take on the high cost of hiring an experienced analytics professional. Entrepreneurs’ biggest challenge with the 2014 strategy predications would be paid social ads perhaps being the only way to maximize their reach in social network news feeds. Also, native advertising being the core element of content marketing plans. Once again, because many entrepreneurs are trying to keep cost down, they are not willing to pay Facebook for social ads and I do not feel they is a need too. The Social Experience predictions of 2014 I believe will be beneficial for entrepreneurs. Small businesses are striving to improve brand transparency with consumers, therefore, the entrepreneur and brand representatives are going to offer more personal, inspiring, engagement with fans and provide immediate responses to their socially registered complaints. The biggest 2014 Success Models Predictions challenge would be the entrepreneurs ability to hire a Chief Content Officer who is thoroughly familiar with content marketing and would be able to provide precise ROI measurements.

  14. In 2014 entrepreneurs predict there will be opportunities in the areas of infrastructure, strategy, social experience, and success model when it comes to social media. Within the article titled, 2014 Social Media Predictions from a Strategic Planning Perspective, we receive key information that details how each category is determined.

    Of these four categories mentioned above, I would predict social experience would present a challenge. In today’s businesses, the Millennials are starting to drive the work force to direct communication without the storytelling. As part of that generation, we rely on feedback to navigate the direction of the “user’s experience” when it comes to implementing the next “big thing”. With communication playing a dynamic role in the social experience, we see advertising focused on direct relationships with the customer and target market. When we connect with our audience we start to build relationships because the user has become involved and feels self -empowered.

    Creating the infrastructure for the product or service may oppose a challenge. First, we must be capable of providing what the customer needs. One of the biggest challenges the customer needs is a way to stay connected. Yes, we have smartphones and tablets at our disposal, but what else is coming. As we develop a way to bring new ways of innovations to market, we must think how the infrastructure behind all of these products or services will play a key role to the customer’s engagement. We have to be ready to anticipate what form of imagery will stay embedded in the minds of our audience when they see this new idea.

    The next question to look into is strategy. What kind of content would be displayed to the consumer. The benefits of smartphones and media services, and most important data connection, will serve as key players. As entrepreneurs, we need to attract the customer with what interests them; for example food, clothing, electronics, and so on. How can this be done? This can be implemented through application based advertising via smart device, location based (example iBeacon), social media services, and TV media. There also needs to be results that reflect how well the service benefited the customer.

    The most important ingredient to success, is that we must be better listeners to our customers. Today, localization marketing is being used by large and small retailers. What may sell in one location, might not sell in another. Retail buyers, especially ready-to-wear buyers must continually analyze sales to determine what to buy – size, color, silhouette, etc. contribute to better buys if the retail buyer understand and identifies the store’s customers.

    To succeed in any business there is always a success model which focuses on the relationships, enterprise, accountability, and business. How does this oppose a challenge is simple. As a business thrives, they require the interest of the customer, the retention of its customer base and the reliance of new customers. In order to keep those inquiries high, the business has to offer more services for its current and potential customer base and that would require accountability on the business to seek what the consumers want. They have to be able understand what there competition is doing and find a solution to make it more simple for the user.

    Retailers and marketers alike know that it costs more money to acquire a new customer than to lose a customer. So, it is imperative to understand your market, whether it is primary, secondary, or an identifiable market in which to grow.

  15. 1) Answer which of these predictions are likely to present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014?
    Infrastructure will likely present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014. Technology can be expense and new entrepreneurs will be up against established and likely better funded companies that have histories. How can the entrepreneur compete for new customers and obtain data content to help the entrepreneur find those new customers?

    2) Make sure to apply one prediction for each of a) infrastructure, strategy, social experience and success models (about 100 words per each fo the 4 categories).

    Strategy
    With the forecasted dramatic increase in sales of mobile devices throughout the world, I agree with the prediction that there will be an app explosion in the coming year. DIY and how to apps will likely lead the pack. I predict that brands will use outbound communication to (hype target) their niche customers. Predictive analytics and GPS/location software will help companies locate and monitor customer’s habits and interests for specific targeting of consumables goods. I predicate a marriage between credit card companies and social media companies to further drill down and identify what and how we spend our money on.

    Infrastructure
    My prediction is wearable devices will run their course quickly in the way of the blue tooth ear device; not nearly as many people walking around now days as there were 2-3 years ago, the novelty faded and I predict the same for other wearable devices; personal I don’t want to be that attached to technology. . I forecast a rise in consumers wanting more short lived content apps (e.g. Snapchat, Vine, etc.). We want to express ourselves and interact with live show content but not wanting to leave a carbon footprint on the web. Death of TV advertisement in on the horizon as more and more of us shift our attention to our mobile devices during commercials. I, for example this week had Google+ up on my iBook, Twitter on my iPad and Facebook on my iphone all running while watching TV. During commercials my attention shifted to these mobile devices and away the commercials.

    Success Models
    As more and more eyes shift from the TV screen to their mobile devices (MD), companies and brands must get to know their customer more intimately. The great thing about mobile devices it that they allow companies the opportunity to get to know user in greater detail than TV could ever allow. TV can only show what types of programs are being watched in the house, but not who in the house was watching them. MD provides more specifics on the person and affords location analytics in most cases. Armed with specifics on the user, companies have the knowledge to hyper focus and be more efficient when courting new users/customers. In 2014 there will be an explosion in social intelligence growth and blog community (in both the number of Blogger and first time visitors/users of blogs).

    Social Experience
    The thirst for erasable will continue, one only needs to look at the unstoppable popularity of Snapchat and Vine to understand that. As more and more reports regarding NSA and other government and some private companies prying into e-mails, texts and other personal conversational vehicles; millennial and their successor will seek out more privacy. With the plethora of information in the clouds, brands will need to be timely and relevant with their product but not overbearing as this will be a detractor. Brand transparency is the future.

  16. 1) Answer which of these predictions are likely to present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014?
    Infrastructure will likely present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014. Technology can be expense and new entrepreneurs will be up against established and likely better funded companies that have histories. How can the entrepreneur compete for new customers and obtain data content to help the entrepreneur find those new customers?

  17. STRATEGY
    In 2014 Brand engagement will be a particularly hard challenge. The challenge will be to create communities that are self-regulating, where members engage with each other as well as the brand. If the community depends too much on the brand’s interaction and response, it could turn social media interactions into the equivalent of the dreaded customer service phone call.

    INFASTRUCTURE
    Programmatic buying processes to cut the over-stretched marketing budgets may be a bite in the ass by the end of the year. While these systems can help marketers make sense of the wide range of info coming in, customers are looking for a human experience. Over use of technology to place people in little boxes may land the wrong way on customers, particularly millennials who are rebelling against big data by leaving data gathering sources like facebook. The point of social media is human connectivity and interaction. Brands taking over news feeds and streams with their “pinpointed” advertisements at the exact right moment to the exact right person could be helpful at first but if not managed could turn out to be overbearing and repulsive to customers, leading them to leave the social media outlet all together. In that case everyone loses.

    SUCCESS MODELS
    The biggest challenge to being a successful business model for 2014 will be letting go of control. Successful brands will have to give up the reigns and let the customer decide, how often they interact, how well the company is doing, and when the customer should buy. Successful brands will be patient brands who give more value to customers in content than they receive in sales.

    SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
    The largest challenge will be for brands to effectively use social media outlets to create marketing opportunities without turning the social experience into a bombardment of commercials. Social media users go to these sites to interact with their communities not to be sold to. If not careful, brands could push away potential customers.

    The year, for all brands, will be a balancing act.

  18. The most imminent challenge to small businesses and entrepreneurs will be competing with the presence of ‘Advertorials’; as stated above, 2014 will be the year where paid social ads will be adopted reluctantly by brands as perhaps the only way to maximize their reach in social network news feeds. The leeway in this scenario comes from the consumers that see through this, and do not sense any authenticity, or are turned off my the ‘paid advertisement’ fine print in the corner of these ads within their news feeds. The ‘innovator’ consumer will always lead the way and their influence will push and pull the dynamics of this. For a smaller brand, reaching out to smaller online publications and matching up with a similar target audience based on a detailed media kit may be that best way to get into an a blog or e-magazine editorial with an integrated feature/mention. Or, just create engaging, original content that spreads like wildfire; but that’s easier said than done.
    With respect to infrastructure, Native apps will become more necessary as time goes on, and a healthy portion of any given company’s marketing budget will have to go towards this. Through my personal experience with retailer apps, such as ‘Zara’ and ‘Urban Outfitters’, I’ve found that it’s just an easy, uninterrupted shopping/ browsing experience, that feels more exclusive than online shopping. With my experience doing Quality Assurance for iOS apps developed for Ethicon ( A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), I know that it takes a dedicated team working around the clock to handle the de-bugging; more of a company’s budget will have to be allotted to hiring the right team to carry it out. Besides an IT team, customer service will have to be handled around the clock, as an online store or accessibility to a brand is 24/7. This is another increase in budget; essentially raising the barriers of entry to e-commerce.
    In 2014, the small chunks of video will probably garner more and more attention from the millennials that need instant gratification. I can admit that I’m now getting bored with pictures on Instagram; I’m more likely to just skip past them and tap on a video. If I feel that way, I’m positive that others do as well. For a growing brand or entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to showcase a lifestyle associated with the brand/ product.
    Lastly, I agree that vanity metrics won’t account for much past the perception of a large number, high conversion rates are essential, and targeting engaged consumers that will actually buy means more to a company than perceived popularity. This is where that laser-focus on the niche market is essential for the smaller business.

  19. Devon Nicholson
    1/13/14
    Internet marketing

    I believe the prediction that will have the most issue this year will have to be the unwinding fatigue. It is just like the prediction stated. “The reduced attention span of consumers is pressuring brands to consider shorter bursts of video based content.” Here in lies the problem already. We’ve begun to rely too heavily on “how” technology provides us in formation rather than what information is provided. Too often do we see articles, news feeds, and editorials being swept under the rug or passed by because it is “too long.” The current consumer isn’t looking to be engaged with any long term piece of information. It needs to be bite sized, easy to digest, and distract them from the long an arduous tasks of their every day.
    The Infrastructure surrounding this prediction is heavily dependent on the technology we have access to. In the last few years we have taken the desktop or tower pc and made it mobile and easily accessible. All of the information we need can is available in the palm of our hand. As technology becomes more efficient it becomes more compact. Device shrink, screens shrink, and the interface shrinks as well. Companies pay attention to this. Look at how information is shared. A conversation between two people can now be delivered with fewer words. Websites have modified layouts to support the smaller screen sizes. Even lines of code have shifted in order to fit this new bite sized infrastructure.
    It doesn’t stop at just how readily we can access information, but the speed in which we can access it. That is essential to the entire face of the digital marketing strategy. What is it about this piece of technology that makes it unique? Simple, how easy is it to use, how quickly can I learn it, and how soon can I start using it. We’ve managed to do this with everything from cooking, to automotive repair, and even art. Programs with a slow learning curve like Photoshop for example, have been replaced by applications like Instagram where one doesn’t have to spend hour setting different shades and textures to change a graphic. With Instagram, you just slap a filter on it. That is the premier thing in the app’s marketing. Right on the page, full of user generated content, are countless filters. Now anyone can be a “fancy photographer.”
    This leads into the success model. The problem with this “unwinding fatigue” is this. How do you remain relevant? It is difficult because with the way system is set, monopolizing on a trend is easy and leaves very little room for competition. Example: Vine. Vine offers the user 6 second bites of information. Vine now has the trend on it. The competition, Instagram, allows the users video feeds at a 12 seconds. That’s twice that of Vine, but Vine remains the most popular. Why? Vine has made the 6 second video so viral, and so powerful, that it is the norm. It is almost impossible to see a 6 second clip without connecting to vine, and anyone who follows suit will fall flat on its face.
    The biggest danger to the trend would have to be how they handle the social experience. Users will only become more detached as the year continues. As information gets smaller and smaller and attention spans wane, the need for communication will completely disappear. If information can’t be obtained, processed, and passed on within a matter of seconds, over time, it will lose its value. The crisis in country A involving X government against Y revolutionary movement threatening the very fabric of the global economy will never get the right coverage because celebrity B has a picture of their new designer handbag.

  20. As discussed in my earlier comment, the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs will be the social experience and keeping up with real-time responses. Likewise, technical infrastructures, big data analytics and the like may be almost unattainable to a budding entrepreneur with limited budgets. However, entrepreneurs should be able to pull ahead of larger competitors when it comes to creating and maintaining online marketing strategies and success models. Entrepreneurs do not have the same bureaucratic red tape prior to posting on social media or creating and sharing a content-based message to a particular hyper-focused target audience. Thus, entrepreneurs should have a competitive advantage in these areas.

  21. In 2014, the prediction that will be the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is the high availability for customer service providing immediate responses to consumers’ posts, questions and complaints. Entrepreneurs are typically the “Chief Everything Officer” of their companies. They spend their time not only creating and providing the goods or services that is the inspiration for their business, but entrepreneurs also may act as the bookkeeper, receptionist, file clerk, IT tech, marketing pro, assistant, etc. As such, it may be difficult for entrepreneurs to stay on the cutting edge of technology and social media, identify and properly market to their online target audiences as well as provide real-time responses to consumers’ inquires. Entrepreneurs do not typically have the same marketing budget (or any other budget for that matter) as larger companies that have the financial wherewithal to staff appropriately to provide real-time responses to consumers. A single platform concept would be more ideal for an entrepreneur seeking to reach and respond to consumers across several social media outlets.

  22. 1. Answer which of these predictions are likely to present the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014?

    I think from all the prediction the one that presents the biggest challenge is open secrets. Mentioned in the blog “Organizations today are arguably more concerned about data security than ever before”, this is a big problem for entrepreneurs because customers have a hard time trusting new organization with their credit card information look what happened to target a big company that has been open for many years. Entrepreneurs need to make sure that customer information is held privately. With all the new technology like cloud resources to help with their social media, entrepreneurs need to beware of hackers.
    1. Make sure to apply one prediction for each of a) infrastructure, strategy, social experience and success models (about 100 words per each fo the 4 categories).

    Strategy
    One prediction that can apply to strategy is Smaller Use of Big Data. The predictions a lot of organization need to be aware of social media and content marketing for smaller devices because many predict that 2014 will be the year of mobile customer engagement. Now a day consumers are using smaller devices like tablet, IPAD and cell phones so websites and marketing ads should be able to be viewed through these devices with no problem for the consumer.

    Infrastructure
    Many predictions that can apply to Infrastructure are Personalized Anonymity, Erasable Relationship and lastly longer but shorter content. Organization need to focus on the brand and put it in short-form visual videos. In 2014, videos will become more popular most consumers prefer watching a short video then watching a lengthy video. Video platform will be the right way to go for the branding as well as using multi-platform. Mentioned in the blog “working off one platform, they hope to manage and benefit from multiple campaign launched from one place. I think if organization connect all there social media and put the same videos, this will be very important for branding because not all consumers have the same social media.

    Success Model
    One prediction that can apply to strategy is More exact estimate. This prediction will help give organization a more precise ROI measurement. This will help marketing, budget what they need on certain campaigns. Especially knowing the ROI will be easier for companies to know what kind of social media works more than others and what doesn’t work for their organization.

    Social Experience
    Two predictions that can apply to social experience are Erasable relationship and Social Technology. Erasable relationship will become very popular in 2014. I currently don’t use Snapshot but a lot of my friends do and they love it. They love the fact that they can take an embarrassing picture or video and it disappears in seconds. Sooner or later organization will start to use snapshot when they have something important to say or show and don’t want it to get out to the public. Lastly social technology is taking over the world at dinner time its more common for family to be on the phone looking at social media or even texting instead of having a conversion with eachother.

  23. Strategy:

    I believe that for the strategy section the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014 will be advertising. Obviously, as we become more ingrained with using social media, mobile devices, and other computing electronics in our daily lives, advertisers will need to come up with ways for there ads to stick out and not be washed out by thousand of other ads. The major challenge I believe for advertisers is to integrate there ads in a tasteful way so customers will not be turned off by them when using their computing devices for daily activities.

    Infrastructure:

    I believe that for the infrastructure section the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014 will be platforms. Because of the multiple ways people exchange information today, I believe entrepreneurs will have a difficult time managing all their different avenues of reaching their customers; whether it is through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and dozens of others. As you can see it will be very difficult in the future if there is not a single platform that can be used to organize or change content for all these communication sites.

    Success Models:

    I believe that for the success model section the biggest challenge to entrepreneurs in 2014 will be relationships. As I stated in a pervious post, today’s consumers are more fickle than ever. For this reason I believe it will be difficult for entrepreneurs to build relationships with there customers. This is even amplified since tastes, fades, a technology are continually changing at a rapid speed.

    Social Experience:

    I am not sure that for the social experience section that relevance will be the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs in 2014 but it will be the most time consuming. Millenials grew up with technology and we are used to getting or information and news immediately and at a continuous stream. This will create a challenge for entrepreneurs because with everything else their preoccupied and have to deal with it will create more tension and strain. They might potentially have to create a specific department to continuously update its content.

  24. For the strategy category, I think the prediction that presents the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is that “2014 may be more about smart content distribution than content development.” Startup companies have a smaller budget than the competition and need to be smart about how to reach their target audience. As stated on this page, the rise of pay-for-play advertising makes it that much more important for entrepreneurs to carefully distribute the right content to the right people. In my opinion, this will be the biggest challenge of all.
    The most challenging prediction in the infrastructure section in my opinion is the one caused by Google’s Hummingbird. This is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge though. Entrepreneurs need to format their websites so that they are truly user-friendly and even interactive in order to rank higher on the search engine. Old SEO strategies will not work as well as they have in the past and therefore startup companies need to take advantage of this opportunity.
    The success models section presents some very influential predictions and perhaps the most challenging to entrepreneurs is the rise of “social intelligence gathering and social listening.” Smaller companies will find it crucial to maintain a close relationship with customers and quickly adapt to changes in preferences. By keeping up with customer expectations and using this information to design new marketing strategies, entrepreneurs will be able to outperform the competition.
    In the social experience category, an important challenge is presented when you consider the prediction that costumers have shorter attention spans and want information readily available. Entrepreneurs need to find ways to appropriately and immediately advertise to potential customers through in-store ads or helpful apps that get the brand name out there. Small companies need to build up an engaging and loyal customer base through storytelling and audience involvement.

  25. Infrastructure: Social search engine: Google’s Hummingbird is a new algorithm that weighs the relevance of any page depending on what the user searches. This new algorithm and other SEO (search engine optimizations) will be one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in 2014. As the costumer gets more difficult to please and demands more relevant, reliable information to be available to them, brands will need to create content with value to the consumer to be able to make the top of the list in search engines. Brand’s content has to be relevant, fresh and reliable, this way the consumer will not have to deal with spammers and non- useful information.

    Strategy: Brand engagement strategies: Consumers today are giving value to brands that they feel understand them and that interact with them. Storytelling for brands will be a challenge for entrepreneurs this year. Brands will have to find an inventive and engaging way to attract their costumers. It will be about staying fresh and current. It will be about engaging the consumer and inspiring them. How to stay fresh and current to gain and keep their costumers? This will be the challenge for brands in 2014.

    Social experience: Relevance geo-targeted: Geo-targeting is the delivery of specific information to a consumer depending on their current location. With consumers getting used to getting what they want when they want it, the challenge for brands in 2014 will be to keep pleasing the consumer at all times and wherever they are located. Delivering the information based on location will be key but it will also be a challenge. This means that costumer service of brands will have challenges with the growth of consumer needs and wants to be immediate and in location.

    Success models: Precise ROI measurements: In marketing, ROI (Return On Investment) has to be measured. This has always been a challenge in marketing, how do you justify the money spent for marketing? How do you measure it? There are formulas to calculate and measure the impact of marketing in a brand. Today with social media marketing this will be more challenging, but it should be measurable as well. Social media marketing can best be measured by the audience reach a brand has and engaged is the costumers with the brand. These can be measured by tangible numbers (analytics). Since marketing involvement will require more money, the pressure will be to justify the usage of it and more ROI measurements will have to be provided to do so.

  26. Most challenging prediction for Entrepreneurs in 2014 – Social Experience will be the most challenging prediction in 2014 for entrepreneurs. Once an entrepreneur determines their target audience then trends in the avenue of hyper-targeting which is virtually eliminating the marketing of the other 90% of consumers out there, they then must understand that the consumer a. is going to drive your brand through sharing, comments, and interaction and b. Does not want a trail of that to be out there for others to see very long. An entrepreneur, especially one starting out has no trail, no following. They require buzz and validity to make their product or service branch out and reach a broader audience. For that person to begin marketing to an audience knowing it will be short-lived and must reinvent itself quickly to make it flourish is very daunting. The entrepreneur or at least that person’s company controls all strategy, infrastructure, and success models; however, social experience is where the entrepreneur must release control of his product, service, brand and let the consumer take control. This is very scary for someone that has taken the chance to branch out and create a product or service without the net of a parent company to reap the rewards of their successes or sustain the impact of their failures.

    Apply Prediction for Entrepreneurs:

    Strategy – Marketing – Entrepreneurs who are building their websites will need to be mindful of the mobile experience that is growing at a rapid rate. Entrepreneurs will have to develop marketing strategies and applications that target mobile consumers in the moment. A company’s goal should be to reach the consumer in the moment that they need the product. An email that shows up in their inbox at 6:00am about the wall clocks that they were looking for online is a good reminder and may produce an inquire or sale but to be able to send them an ad as they are driving within a mile of your shop could pose even more benefit. Costs of this increased level of marketing will have to be taken into consideration but the potential long term success and the understanding that competition may already be using this method pushes the priority level up.

    Infrastructure – Platform – Entrepreneurs must put a great deal of focus into 1. How their message or product is being viewed and 2. For how long. The more product and material floods the prospective customer’s ipad or iphone as they walk down the street, their attention span for viewing is diminishing with it. Consumers cannot watch your two minute ad because they just want to hit “X” and get back to their Black Eyed Peas streaming on Pandora. But can you keep that same consumer’s attention for 4 seconds? 5 seconds? 6 seconds? With something quick and witty. Yes, you can, Entrepreneurs must focus on short and witty to grab the attention of a consumer that received 4 other product hits during your 6 second ad.

    Success – Employee’s job titles will be staying the same but an entrepreneur must understand how his or her customer service rep must have an understanding of social media marketing and brand advocacy. This will be critical to advanced successes as businesses become more complex and focused on social media marketing. Existing employees will need to be cross trained in the new skills required and when hiring new personnel a focus on social media understanding will certainly need to be in the job description.

    Social Experience – Entrepreneurs will have to become creative and quick in their social media marketing to impose a good social experience for their consumers. Consumers will be more involved in the life of the brand and entrepreneurs will have to live with the fact that the legs of the brand are being guided by the comments and sharing of their consumer and the consumer also desires for the comment and share to vanish. So while the entrepreneur focusing on trying to grow his or her brand and make it flourish, the erasable content will continue to put them back at square one.

  27. I think the prediction that poses the biggest problem for entrepreneurs in regards to infrastructure in 2014 is big data analytics, primarily Google’s Hummingbird. This system has had mixed reviews so far because it is difficult for entrepreneur’s to fully understand it. Hummingbird will be extremely beneficial long-term to stop black hat SEO spammers, however, it poses a threat currently for valid content marketers to fully comprehend the changes to the algorithm and determine the best strategy to get their content SEO optimized. Most marketing and social media strategies can only be validated through trial and error and Google Hummingbird will be no different.

    The most difficult strategy for entrepreneurs in 2014 will most likely be brand engagement strategies. Engagement on social media is one of the most productive and important aspect of social media. While entrepreneurs are just beginning to dissect the results, because of the consistent time and effort engagement required, it is commonly overlooked. Customers will develop stronger brand loyalty by interacting with the brand rather than merely viewing content. This year, brand managers will need to strategize and devote significant amounts of time towards engaging in order to produce the desired results.

    A complicated task for entrepreneurs in regards to social experience in 2014 will be brevity. Entrepreneurs have spent years researching data on their customers and on their brand and the best strategies to narrowly target their audiences. However, this accumulates into a lot of information. Since consumers no longer want to read, it will be up to the entrepreneurs to strategize how to best deliver their message in the shortest, most succinct and most visual way. Consumers no longer want an article, but a picture or a phrase that will tell them all that they need to know.

    In regards to success models, entrepreneurs will find accountability in determining proper measurements of social media to be the hardest task in 2014. Entrepreneurs and analysts around the world have still not determined precise ROI measurements for areas in social media, most particularly engagement. In order for marketing customers to accept the usage and budgeting for social media marketing, they will need these measurements to validate its importance. As social media channels are constantly changing and evolving, determining these ROI metrics becomes increasingly more difficult. Entrepreneurs have a difficult task in 2014 of finally getting these metrics established and shared.

  28. I find the oxymoron “social media privacy” becoming extremely more relevant as social media networks continue to alter their settings to make privacy options less available to users. Consequently, this is occurring at the same time as users are starting to realize the consequences of the content they share. Facebook has been especially focused in attempting to make user’s pages more visible than they would like. This can be attributed to the fact that it is contradicting for users to expect to keep their pages private when the objective is to be social. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly more important for users to pay attention to the content they are sharing and should assume anyone can see it.

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