Social Media Marketing: 11 Experts Predict 2014

If you want to know what 2014 will look like in the world of social media marketing, ask the experts! That's exactly what blogger Cindy King did, tracking down 11 well-known SMM pros and gathering their responses in her blog on Social Media Examiner.

Here's a list of their ideas, with excerpts, to whet your marketing appetite. Like what you see? Track them yourself (links provided below), see how their predictions pan out, and get a jump on the competition! The blog also includes a link to their 2013 predictions, so you can judge for yourself how they did predicting last year.

  1. The resurgence of advertorial
    "...ative adverting is back and 2014 will be the year that Advertorial 2.0 becomes a major part of the social media marketing mix for most companies." -- Jay Baer, founder of the award-winning blog Convince & Convert, co-author of "The Now Revolution," and author of "Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype."
  2. Employee advocacy
    "Each individual employee has influence in his or her own unique social network, so the more employees who can help share the company's social media messages, the broader the reach a company can achieve in social media."
    -- Neal Schaffer, author of "Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales" and "Social Media Marketing and Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide To Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success."
  3. Facebook forces a strategic refocus
    "With Facebook squelching updates from pages, small businesses and nonprofits (that lack deep pockets for Facebook ads) will have to scrap the old approach of spamming the news feed and refocus in three ways."
    -- John Haydon, founder of Inbound Zombie and author of "Facebook Marketing for Dummies."
  4. Social networks develop A/B testing for brands' updates
    "Once A/B testing tools for social media are rolled out, we'll see an increase in the quality of content distributed across networks."
    -- Nick Robinson, social media channel manager for SAP Americas and co-author of "StumbleUpon for Dummies."
  5. Pay to play
    "In 2014, we'll see increased pressure on companies of all sizes to pay to sponsor their posts to get more visibility, as getting consumers' attention in social media becomes increasingly difficult.
    -- Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, chairman of Likeable Media, and author of "Likeable Social Media" and "Likeable Business."
  6. Fusion marketing and fusion dashboards
    "While fusion marketing is not a new concept, the ability to truly integrate years of traditional marketing with the exciting digital marketing tools of the Internet and social media is going to become even more necessary!"
    -- Viveka von Rosen, founder of Linked Into Business and author of "LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day."
  7. Social storytelling will shift
    "As internal and external storytelling align, my prediction for 2014 is the rise of coherent social storytelling. ...It will allow brands to shift their focus to their 'story,' rather than its 'telling.'"
    -- Simon Mainwaring, founder and chief creative officer at We First and author of "We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media To Build a Better World."
  8. The age of advocacy
    "We are entering the age of advocacy. Customers are no longer buying brands, they are investing in them. Marketers will move from marketing to their fans to marketing with and through them; from simply creating marketing campaigns to igniting brand movements."
    -- Ekaterina Walter, co-founder and CMO of Branderati and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of "Think Like Zuck" and co-author of "The Power of Visual Storytelling."
  9. Paid social becomes a requirement for social media marketers
    "Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will slowly introduce special features only to paying customers and reduce the benefits of organic activity."
    -- Michael Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner and author of "Launch" and "Writing White Papers."
  10. Brand-owned network list-building matures
    "While playing nice with the unique cultures that make up the different social networks, I predict we'll turn our attention to building our own lists. This won't always be the traditional email list, but will include phone numbers, physical mailing lists, and more."
    -- Paul Colligan, czar for Traffic Geyser and CEO of Colligan.
  11. Interactive video becomes viable
    "Wouldn't it be cool to search the web and get just the right snippet of video to answer a question or solve a problem (instead of the whole video)? Can you imagine adding a comment or even content to a video while you are watching it?"
    -- Mark Schaefer, college educator, blogger, speaker and consultant who is the author of three best-selling books, including "Return On Influence."

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