What's Trending in Social Media this Summer

In her blog on Didit.com, Margaret Murphy, social media coordinator at the digital marketing firm, takes a look at 10 social media trends she expects to continue growing this summer. Here's an abbreviated version of her list. For the full version, click here.

1. Vine
Vine has slowly but surely crept its way into the social media world. When Instagram introduced video, it looked like Vine wasn't going to last very long. Instead, the wittiness of the 6-second videos brought users back to the app again and again. Brands such as Dunkin' Donuts caught on and started to produce quick, entertaining video ads using the app.

2. Emerging technology
Inventions like Google Glass, Oculus Rift, the Samsung Smart Watch, and the Nod Bluetooth Ring seem like Jetson-esque products unlikely to be consumed in our lifetimes. But technology is at warp speed, and these products are becoming a reality.

3. Location, location, location
Facebook has been working hard to make location services an important feature. Foursquare was successful for a while, rewarding customers for "checking in" and seeing where friends have visited. New competitors such as Swarm have entered the playing field on location-sharing apps. Facebook very recently introduced the "Nearby Friends" application, where users can choose to share their current location in real time to friends.

4. Video content on Instagram
Just because Vine is gaining popularity doesn't mean that InstaVideo is unsuccessful. Instagram allows longer and edited video to be uploaded, which lets brands create ads and lifestyle videos for their pages. Retailers have taken advantage of this by featuring creative content displaying the culture of their brand, instead of relying on static ads.

5. Hashtags
Hashtags aren't going anywhere. With integration across Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google+, and now Facebook, hashtags have become the way to express and search for content. Brands are creating their own catchy tags that users can use, creating a conversation about their products, without creating a feeling of being too marketing-heavy.

6. Social searches
Both Facebook and Google+ have increased the importance placed on social search. Facebook's "grid" feature is being rolled out, which allows users to search with very specific terms (e.g., interests, favorite movies, etc.). Meanwhile Google+ uses its +1 feature and integration with Google searches to place Google+ posts higher in rankings.

7. Native advertising
Almost all the social media platforms have now integrated native in one form or another. Now ads come up in users' feeds, making click-through a more experience.

8. Lifestyle content
Posts on social media by brands have become less about selling product and more about selling what brands stand for. Selling a lifestyle instead of individual products makes creating creative content easier. This summer, expect brands to incorporate many types of media in social media posts.

9. Better design
The way people view their social media platforms has taken a dramatic shift toward As of February 2013, 37% of time spent online was on mobile devices. The average person checks their phone at least 110 times a day. That number only increases with the smartphone takeover across cell phone markets.

10. Influencers and collaborations
Collaborating with other brands and pages has led to success for many brands on social media. Branching off of lifestyle content ideas, gaining celebrity endorsement has become a necessary evil for many high-end brands.

Margaret Murphy is the social media coordinator for Didit, a full-service online advertising and marketing services firm since 1996. Connect with her at 516-255-0500 or www.didit.com/contact/.

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