Stephanie Moritz, head of PR and social media at ConAgra Foods and an instructor with the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), says that many social media features will evolve to meet the needs of both companies and consumers. In fact, Moritz has seven specific predictions:
- Social Pay to Play: Brand social media will continue evolving to look more like media. This will force brands to upgrade their content, make tough decisions on pay-to-play, and be selectively opportunistic on what remains truly social.
- Longer Video: Longer form social video will see a resurgence thanks to Facebook's new video offering.
- Google Gets Serious: Google will get serious with YouTube and Google+, with the former being the first to see some major changes.
- Social TV: Buzzwords such as "Social, Twitter and Facebook" coupled with the word "TV" will increase exponentially in marketing-focused conversations.
- Facebook Monetizing Graph Search: A monetization scheme for Facebook Graph Search will begin to materialize.
- Instagram: Instagram will have a huge year in terms of growth (and more ad dollars will follow).
- Pinterest IPO: Pinterest will set a date for their IPO (even if that date is 2015)
- Channel Diversification: There will be greater brand diversification with presence across all social channels as well as new ad offerings and options.
EContent talked to Moritz about some of her predictions.
Q: Consumers are getting savvy. What advice do you have for brands when it comes to creating better quality content that consumers won't tune out?
A: Always start with the consumer in mind when developing content. Ensure that the content has a clear purpose and is relevant, interesting, compelling or entertaining and something consumers will want to share. Content should be fun and engaging and not static. There should be something in it for the consumer.
Q: Do you have advice for how to decide what remains "truly social"?
A: Good content that is shared organically is truly social. However, even truly social content may need a boost to cut through the clutter and noise. That is where paid steps in and can help quality social content be seen by a much larger audience.
And if the content is not worthy of organic sharing? Then there is no amount of paid amplification that will result in moving the needle in regards to sales or true impact.
Q: You say that "Buzzwords such as ‘Social, Twitter and Facebook' coupled with the word ‘TV' will increase exponentially in marketing-focused conversations." Are there any foreseeable consequences of this?
A: It will continue to change how broadcast and TV delivers interactive content on and off the screen. Brands will continue to explore opportunities to integrate with social TV.