Social Media Predictions Wrapped Up in 13 Oxymorons

Had your fill of Social Media Predictions? Some say this is the age of advocacy and experience marketing. Others say it’s the year of proprietary audience, content purpose, content quality and SoLoMoPro. One thing is for certain. This is the year of the oxymoron.

2014 social media predictions

Definition of an oxymoron: two opposing words or concepts.

If you assume that most social media experts are correct in their predictions, then we are likely entering a year of:

  1. Open Secrets
  2. Personalized Anonymity
  3. Erasable Relationships
  4. Paid Trust
  5. Unwinding Fatigue
  6. Longer but Shorter-Form Content
  7. Smaller Use of Big Data
  8. Interrupting Permission Marketing
  9. Edutainment
  10. More Exact Estimates
  11. Social Technology
  12. Acting Naturally
  13. A Pretty Ugly Facebook

In summary brands should focus on building lasting, but ephemeral relationships using outbound techniques for inbound marketing in an anonymous, but highly personal media. What’s wrong with this picture? 

Open Secrets

Call it social privacy, the term itself is a contradiction. But consider this paradox in objectives. Organizations today are arguably more concerned about data security than ever before. From Edward Snodan’s Big Brother NSA revelations to’s security concerns and Target’s massive data leaks, security breaches have made more brands sensitive to their domain privacy.  

At the same time, they are embracing cloud resources more than ever to help scale their social media participation. It sounds like they are taking measures for their public space to be private and their private space to go public?

Personalized Anonymity

Following the Weinergate saga and other public snafus, consumers are also getting sensitive to their social privacy. The early successes of Snapchat and Whisper are testimony to the rising popularity among Millennials to erase any potential of wrongdoing or less than desirable make-up.

social video fo predictions

Personalized Anonymity

At the same time, we expect high-context content to reach these audiences with hyper-targeted precision that is now possible from knowing what they like, where they are, what they are doing and who they are with. So are we trying to find out as much as we can about anonymous fans?

Erasable Relationships

And don’t forget to build lasting relationships and lifetime value with these folks before the media expires. You have 6 seconds to make that happen on Vine. If they are using ephemeral media, you better hit the resend over and over and over.

Ephemeral Media: This Tape will Destruct in 5 Seconds
oxymoron for 2014 social media predictions

This tape will self destruct in 6 seconds.

Paid Trust

Most agree we now have to pay-to-play for fans to notice our posts in their News Feeds. But wasn’t the purpose for maximizing organic reach to reward routine engagement of communities with relevant content? In return, these brands would be rewarded high exposure from those that supposedly know, like and trust the brand. So doesn’t ”pay-to-play” imply “buy my trust?”

Unwinding Fatigue

A common complaint cited in many 2014 social media predictions relates to social media fatigue. The reduced attention span of consumers is pressuring brands to consider shorter bursts of video based content.

But wait. Don’t forget to pack more into our audience’s decompression time. Podcasting and wearable computer technologies are expected to rise in popularity as burned out content users seek more ways to cram in content at the gym, in the car and on the couch.

Interrupting Permission Marketing

Do you remember the early definitions of inbound marketing or permission-based marketing? We were avoiding the use of interrupting and non-permissive advertising techniques which were more about “telling us” rather than “inviting us.” The concept relied on the use of social media and content marketing to earn the attention of prospective customers.

This contrasted to the more interrupted style of broadcasted, outbound marketing. But with a deluge of competing content, many brands are quickly resorting to the promotion of links and social ads to their content. i.e., we are using outbound approaches to trigger our inbound marketing.   

Longer but Shorter Content

Many experts predict 2014 will be the year where attention span deterioration forces a greater consumption of short-form, video content Consumers will expect 15-second Instagram videos and other micro-content. And many experts agree that short-form will trump long-form in viewership and engagement. 

At the same time, top social media forecasters are predicting an inordinate rise in longer-form content as brand publishers response to what Google’s search algorithms prefer in their high quality content assessments. So the long and short of it is:  ”Tweet a teaser to your richer media experience and more complete brand story where and when Google’s Hummingbird and a more available audience will give you the time of the day.”

Smaller Use of Big Data

Big data is the arguably the most cited trend in 2014 social media predictions. We have reached a point where massive amounts of contextual, historical and real-time data will be married to predictive behavior models for the perfectly hyper-targeted and behaviorally matched content.  And all of this will be consumed on a smartphone, wristband or tiny watch.

Big Data in Social Media

Big Data for Smaller Screens


Marketing in the year 2014 is often referred to as the age of engagement, entertainment and education. So we are being entertained and educated at the same time? How cool is that? Why couldn’t Sister Jolene understand that? We were only disrupting her teaching in response to the entertainment value she apparently didn’t recognize.

More Exact Estimates

Almost every 2014 social media prediction claims this is the year we crack the social ROI code. Really? So through native ad tracking and other big data revelations, we will now know the return on influence?

Granted our measurement methods are far more precise than what we could muster up from traditional advertising. But even the most trackable content marketing program requires a great deal of time to get real data. The most we could probably expect from recent advances in closed loop analytics and big data are more exact estimates.

Social Technology

This is perhaps the ultimate oxymoron. If anything, the emergence of wearable and other social technologies has hijacked relationships and promoted an anti-social atmosphere. If we are truly saddened by the hyper-texting culture witnessed during Thanksgiving dinner, imagine the deterioration of intimacy and conversation when Google glasses hit the market.

Act Naturally

With videos taking over content marketing as perhaps the most often cited 2014 prediction, brand publishers will have to develop a personal touch. One way to avoid the often criticized “corporate-speak” demeanor is to make a personal connection through a likeable persona. And to do this effectively, many social video experts suggest that we simply act naturally.  Got it? 

But aren’t we then acting? Or are we being natural? Or perhaps we are innately acting out our alter egos in a staged enactment of who we really are not but could be in a contrived natural setting. Maybe we should just be ourselves.

Pretty Ugly Facebook

We knew it was a matter of time before the once darling of the social media world lost its luster. Millennials, in particular, are flocking to Tumblr, Snapchat and even Twitter as their distrust and dissatisfaction with Facebook grows. And by earning the lowest score in the business value, marketers have expressed their disappointment in Facebook as well.

And with the recent strides made by Pinterest, a revamped Google+ and a LinkedIn Pulse/Slideshare/Hootsuite make-over, it’s no wonder Snapchat refused to bite on a $3 billion offer from Facebook. Only time will tell if pay-to-play will be the bane of its legacy. But for now, Facebook is looking pretty ugly.  

So what can you add to this year’s social media oxymorons? 



40 thoughts on “Social Media Predictions Wrapped Up in 13 Oxymorons

  1. I think there is not so much to do with so many social media companies around the world now. Unless, companies will think about redirecting their profile into database like their do before, that will help a better relationship among social media. Another oxymoron I noticed from social media prediction planning is that all social media will certainly one day unify them to a better communication system. Wilt the emerging technology, we may see that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn will have a closer relationship, for better communication

  2. The future of TV is very connected with the future of mobile. Once brands can figure out how to sync messaging across the TV experience to the mobile experience, that’s when things will start to get interesting. On the Go Viewing HBO was one of the networks to recognize how viewers habits are changing, resulting in the launch of the HBO GO app, which enables subscribers to watch its programming from a variety of devices. Mobile users have also embraced services such as Hulu to access TV programming from their mobile devices. Privacy is always the biggest concern, when you hear stories of people being hacked. Every time you search online for the best restaurant deal, share good news or bad with your Facebook friends, or tweet to your followers, your “audience” is bigger than you know. That’s because you’re every online move leaves cyber footprints that are rapidly becoming fodder for research without you ever realizing it. Using social media for academic research is accelerating and raising ethical concerns along the way, as vast amounts of information collected by private companies — including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter — are giving new insight into all aspects of everyday life.

  3. Public Privacy

    What I can add is finding a solution for privacy. Nowadays, you try to be within the social media, but at the same time you do not want all your stuff to become public because of the majority of hacks, so everybody sees it and you are not able to get it private again.

  4. Privacy is becoming increasingly more public in a number of avenues.
    Within social media many platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and
    Snapchat have options to keep content within a set group public while this
    information remains private to those outside the group. Even if your intent is to
    keep you information private, the NSA spying, an increasing number of hacks and
    Social Platforms leaking information during software updates it’s making private
    information more public. And once this information becomes available it’s very
    difficulty to make public information private once again

  5. As we enter in to the New Year 2014, most social media market experts predict new oxymoron will change the way companies use social media marketing right now, specifically on the way social media users express their feeling and thoughts towards companies, products and services. The idea is to create a stronger relationship between brands and costumers by making their message disappear on the web after a short period, which obligates costumers to keep posting their opinions again and again on the social media channels. However, other schools of thought fell that in contrast, the year 2014 will witness more confusion on this area because this focus will make users less brand royal and with it will lead to more erasable relationship between costumers and brands making them change their brand loyalties and switching to other competitors brands easier.

    1. I share your sentiments, Daniel. It is difficult to see how disappearing media will allow enough history evidence to support a lasting relationship.

  6. Who doesn’t check reviews before buying a product or service? Social media serves as a tool to guide and make up consumers mind, through what friends, fan and followers say and do. Everything is linked to the accessibility of the social medias and their influence. Free contend is here for everybody, and this mean companies have to pay attention to each detail.

  7. In addition to the already existing facebook, twitter and instagram, an influx of new social media apps allow for the term humble narcissism to take place among users. Many users tend to keep the trend of over exposing themselves with the veil of appearing humble or holding some type of humility that can be hidden through their words. Allowing the user to post an abundance of pictures of themselves but yet talk about how ugly, they feel pushes the audience to post positive comments or even add more likes to make the user feel good about themselves, when in fact they may be vain in nature and just seeking more attention. Most of the existing social media only allow for “likes,” and comments can always be erased, so therefore feeding the narcissist nature of some users.

  8. With so many people in today’s society concerned about the scrutiny of web security, one oxymoron comes to mind – secure database sharing. Many organizations and companies used web based worksites to share, manipulate, and transfer data throughout their many departments and chambers. While most companies have benefitted greatly from their use of database sharing thanks to the ever changing web technologies that make jobs and people more efficient, the security of it can still be highly compromised. The more eyes that have access to any database will always pose a threat to the security of a companies data.

  9. I agree with the social oxymoron. Now a days people in general are asking for privacy through privacy agreements on social cites. Yet most people post Instagram images on everything that they do or make FaceBook posts about the way they are feeling and why they feel this way. There is no way privacy and social media can go hand and hand because there are reposts and posts about everything at the touch of a button. These posts and hashtags have a huge impact on the pay for play marketing because companies and strategically place ads and surveys on where the most users are that relate to their content

  10. I agree with social technology being a big oxymoron. People are becoming more and more anti-social due to all the social media and technology. It is so common now to walk by a restaurant and everyone at the table is on their phone and not communicating with each other. Eating is also not the same since Instagram came along. Before you would get your food and started eating. Now when the server comes with the food, people start taking a bunch of pictures, upload to Instagram or any other social media and when they are finally done posting they decide to start their meal. There is barely any networking going on now a day everyone is just on his or her phones. My parents are pretty strict about phones; we are not allowed to use them while eating at the table or when we are out in restaurants. So whenever I go to have lunch or dinner with friends it is already a habit to put my phone away. But my friends are constantly on their phones and when you talk to them they do not even hear you, which can be really frustrated.

  11. 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.

  12. Unwinding Fatigue is probably this year’s biggest oxymoron! Social media audiences once turned to social sites like Facebook and Twitter to unwind from the daily tension of their lives, however, now these sites have become battle grounds for brands seeking to win popularity amongst these innocent consumers. Social audiences think they are going to set down, relax and check out what content, pics and videos their friends have posted or twitted for the day, instead they get lost in all the non-permissive advertising and sign off of these sites with more mental exertion than when they signed on.

  13. The Social Media oxymorons your presented made very good sense…when you sit and really absorb the information presented. Last year we saw an increased instance of Cyber Bullying, which translates into another oxymoron…Social Media and Civility or Courteousness or Consideration or Respect or Politeness or Good Manners. Enough already, you get the point? 2014 will present more of the same.

    When many of us were youngsters, bullying happened on the way to school, at school, on the way home from school, and in our neighborhood. Now, individuals are experiencing “cyber bullying”. Somehow these individuals don’t identify stalking and posting nasty rumors or comments on an individual’s page as bullying! It’s easy to post comments anonymously…Many states have adopted laws against cyber bullies called “Anti-bully laws”. These laws are bullying the bullies instead of attacking the problem head-on.

    In essence, when we read comments for the various articles we can see traces of our lack of civility. These individuals hide behind bogus screen names and attack the writer, blogger, or individuals that are identified in the article. This is all backed by “free speech”, but someone has to pay! We no longer Respectfully agree to disagree or give anyone else’s opinion Consideration. Social Media and Civility are like vinegar and water. When the bottle is opened it can lead to instances of Cyber Bullying. What is an oxymoron anyway?

  14. “Imprecise Science”

    Social marketing is a fascinating yet imprecise science. Science is understood to be a reliable and teachable body of knowledge. In social marketing, there are no absolutes that are transferable. The world is fascinated with social media; and businesses are obsessed with developing a social marketing strategy, yet it does not lend itself to a precise and teachable understanding of its impact on business. It is therefore, an imprecise science; a project in development. The dynamics of infrastructure, technology, SEO and efficacy measurements are so fluid that they do not lend themselves to finite guidelines that are transferable from person to person. Therefore learning is a limited to a sharing of past experiences; hopefully recent ones given the segments rapid evolution.

    Recent trends in social marketing indicate effectiveness will depend upon personalized, hyper focused and contextual relevant messaging. True learning may only come from applying prior experiences to the specific task at hand. One must have a grasp of general social trends and apply them in a creative, personalized and authentic way. What is more important, the art or the science of this process?

  15. Passive aggressive behavior can be generally described as a non verbal aggression that sometimes results in to negative behavior. Passive aggressive do not always mean you are angry and resentful. One can appear as if they are friendly, polite, kind, and down to earth. When marketing online with consumers you do not want to exemplify passive aggressive behavior like: non communication when there is something problematic, procrastinating with consumers updates, suggestions, and feedback, and ambiguity not fully engaging in conversations with targeted online consumers. The reason why you do not want to demonstrate passive aggressiveness when communicating with consumers online because you do not want whatever you are trying to say at the time come off as being rude or just not helpful to the consumer. Its can possibly destroy one’s business.

  16. Cloud Control.

    The glaring oxymoron in 2014 is the push for data storage on secure “cloud” servers. Cloud-based applications and/or data storage companies claim that the information you store on their “cloud” will be safe, secure and solely in your control. The problem is that no one really knows what the “cloud” is and where the “cloud” is located. One thing is certain, you are not in control of the “cloud.” Without complete control of your cloud data, don’t be surprised if the cloud causes a catastrophic thunderstorm dispersing your data throughout the online universe.

  17. Stagnant Content Maturation

    Call it the age of (flashback of the Viagra commercial) what is old is new again. Myspace out, Facebook in. Facebook is now old, replaced by Instagram and twitter. Instagram vitality is ending; Snapchat is the new rage. Wait 10 seconds later and Snapchat disappears overtaken by Vine. In present form, social media has reached its maturity. Old applications are just being refurbished and repackaged under a different name/app. Entirely new content is not being created. Social media is in a trough. Like a high-rise one floor built on top of the other, old content is being built upon, but entirely new content/ideas are not being created. We are living in an age of stagnant content maturation.

  18. An oxymoron for online marketing would be the Inconspicuous sales pitch. I’m an avid follower of fashion and music blogs/ communities, and I can’t help but dissect an editorial and try to piece together the ways I’m constantly being promoted material or coereced to buy a product. It’s not necessarily a negative thing; it goes hand in hand with “Acting Natural”. For this reason, I think that more “under the radar” communities like Tumblr, and Soundcloud for music consumption are going to have to work hard to maintain that “share-what-we-love for free” model. Although recently, tumblr has adopted paid ads, and promoted blogs; it is still not a part of everyday life the way Twitter and Instagram, or Pandora is for its users.

  19. A New Classic

    Does this not remind you of the saying, “out with the old, and in with the new”? In the case of the following a new classic, we can think of this as an innovation to the wheel. As this generation looks into the future, we must learn to create imaginative strategies that enrich the lives of others, build a relationship with our audience, and symbolize the companies brand image; however, one still must start with the foundation of marketing. According to an article posted on Marketing TechBlog, Classic and Digital Marketing were compared in 10 different ways. Although they were similar in engagement they had a different approach.

  20. Virtual Reality

    As society transitions into a more technologically advanced, smartphone-dominated world, the marketing channels through which consumers are targeted will gravitate towards a seemingly “virtual reality.” With longer workdays, shorter breaks, and the challenging task of maintaining an adequate work-life balance, marketers in 2014 must create brief, attention-grabbing advertisements that leave a mark in the consumers mind.

    It is estimated that over 91% of American adults have a cell phone. Will we begin to witness the next wave of marketing and consumer outreach through these means? Can companies get their messages across effectively while provoking consumers to make desired purchasing decisions? Companies in today’s competitive market will face these new challenges and must generate effective solutions.

  21. Today a lot of people are so immersed with modern technology. I believe that virtual reality is going to become a new trend in 2014. People always want to be in an environment with which they can be in control of and feel as if it is real. Now since Google is coming out with the Google glass, it will become a new trend and become popular. Google glass allows you to take pictures, record videos, and get directions to a location. Instead of wearing a helmet, you get to wear a pair of glasses with an optical head-mounted display. These glasses are considered to be a wearable computer.

    1. Everything is becoming so technology based that eventually people would not know what reality is. It is already happening because people are always on their phones or tablets.

  22. Social media = less results and filled airtime.

    Now a days social media sites are basically the same. They are filling airtime. By filling airtime I mean they truly just aren’t helping individuals with the task of making a name for themselves. People often do this in order to make a long lasting impression and get an audience “hooked” on their personal brand.

    As opposed to cyber friends or followers, real friends can actually aid you in performing a physical task. An example of this would be make you food when you are sick, get you a cup of water when you are thirsty, or take you out when you are upset. Social media connections can act as friends too. You can inform a brand of a potential client or about a job opening in specific work fields.

    I think this would be a good week go through your friends/ followers and see if there’s anything you can do for anyone. You might end up with a real friend which in turn could just be more valuable right now than the financial ROI we’re all waiting to see come from personal branding and social media hype of 2014.

  23. Exclusive Mass-Marketing

    I personally believe exclusive mass marketing will be a social media oxymoron for 2014. In todays society customers a very fickle; it is no longer effective to send out hundreds of thousands of standardized news letters, e-mails, offers and etc. Today customers want to feel somewhat important and not just like another number. This can be done through personalized emails or special deals, granted some retailers do this to their top clients. However, at the same time retailers will not what to alienate potential new customers by making them feel like their just another number.

  24. A new oxymoron for 2014 social media will be the way people login to different website. Technology is on the rice and it’s hard for people to keep track of all their user names and passwords which is why most new websites are allowing you to login with your social media login information. For example, when logging in to a game (candy crush) they will ask you if you would like to connect through Facebook and that’s how they capture the customer information. It’s basically more convenient for customers not having to enter their home address or email address; everything is capture in their social media account. As the years go by, many businesses will start using this form of logging in their websites. But it make me question what happens to those individuals that don’t own any social media, it won’t be convenient for them.

  25. With so much to speculate about changes in the way society views social media, one oxymoron that comes to mind is “encrypted file sharing”. Organizations at every level now use supposedly secure database websites to share, exchange, and transfer data. Although this form of data file sharing is essential, and most organizations go to extensive lengths to secure these files, the more people that have access, the less secure it becomes.

  26. Certain Uncertainty:
    We encounter constant technological advances and new changes quickly become obsolete. It has become extremely difficult for people, even experts, to correctly predict and anticipate the direction of new trends. The only thing that we can safely say is that we will not be able to determine, with great certainty, what the future of social media holds. Analysts can track patterns and trends but realize that there is no way for anyone to fully predict the precise direction of social media in the near future. Certain uncertainty describes how we can try to anticipate the future but must understand that all predictions are merely conjecture and nothing is for certain.

  27. I would argue that the “Original Copy” is an oxymoron worth adding. In this year we can expect lots of small companies and start-ups attempting to capitalize on the revival or expansion of old ideas. The influx of YouTube product review channels, the indie development craze are essentially taking what was once red and painting it blue. I believe branding is taking on a new form and it’s no longer about creating something that is “new” but ‘improved.” A more specific example would be a social networking application that allows users to upload and share content. The “original copy” would be if a competitor offered the same feature, but the user could also edit and create new content in addition to uploading.

  28. Another oxymoron I would argue is Closer Further relationships. Social media develops relationships between people of all kinds and from all around the world and allows them to communicate through social media. It has gotten to a point where people post their thoughts and feelings on Twitter or Facebook instead of picking up the phone and telling their family and friends how they feel , or parents spying on their kids seeing what they are up to instead of just sitting down with their child and having an honest conversation. Although social media brings peoples together developing closer relationships it furthers people from one another. People are avoiding direct communication and looking to social media to express themselves therefore developing closer further relationships.

  29. Passive Aggression is my new oxymoron for the 2014 Social Media Predictions. It was stated that marketing is going to be narrowed and more focused in 2014. As opposed to a company blasting their product or information onto the market and hoping for a positive response, companies will go after smaller, more specific demographics that fit their audience profile or buying trends. While companies are backing off in their approach (increased emphasis on emails as opposed to “in your face banners and ads”), they are making a more aggressive approach in emphasizing focus on a smaller, more targeted audience.

  30. Imposed Suggestions

    Facebook paid- ads are presented as suggestions on your News Feed but they cannot be removed from it. They make the “suggestion” for you to like a page but do not give you the option to close or delete the ad. Also there is no option for not receiving this kind of advertisement. Since the beginning Facebook made a big effort to protect the privacy of its users by allowing them to customize privacy settings. However now they violate this trust by forcing you to see advertisement that was not requested in the first place. Time will tell if people can adjust to this imposition or Facebook will reconsider its strategy and looks for smarter ways to become profitable.

  31. 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.

  32. “Social media marketing” is THE oxymoron. Social media is supposed to be about connecting people and sharing common ideas. It is also to maintain existing relationships. Its about creating a bridge of communication between people. Social media is supposed to be used to create relationships based on trust.

    Marketing to me is the complete opposite. Its about creating a “relationship” with a hidden agenda. Its about creating some sort of fake trust, to later try to persuade you to buy their product or service.

    But for some reason, it works, people love to be a part of a group or niche in some social media platform, whether it is facebook, twitter or instagram; there will always be people who will bite the hook.

  33. Another oxymoron, which I noticed from your work in “2014 Social Media Predictions from a Strategic Planning Perspective,” is Hyper-Focused Multi-tasking. You predicted that brands will be looking to develop and use dashboards or multi use applications that allow them to manage all the different social media outlets to reach their clients everywhere via each particular customer’s favorite platform type. Yet, these interactions are to be focus and highly tailored to the individuals and the platform itself. As demand for seamless, personalized interactions increase, so will the need for the proper technology tools to implement such conversations. Thus the creation of the Hyper-focused Multi-tasking enabling apps.

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