Effect of 2013 social media trends on your business
By Emma Fitzpatrick

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Lately, our office has been abuzz with social media trends. Facebook fatigue and the release of Instagram video are drastically changing the landscape of social media. Staying on top of the latest social media trends allows you to connect with your customers on a personal, emotional level. Plus, it shows your audience that your brand is forward-thinking.

INDUSTRY PULSE

Do you market on visual sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Vine?
  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No

Here are five topical changes in social media that will affect your business this year.

1. Social Media Is NOT a Trend

When social media first debuted many moons ago, it was thought to be a trend, even a fad. It's turned out to be anything but.

Social Media Examiner reported in its 2013 Social Media Marketing Report that a whopping 97 percent of marketers now integrate social media into their plans. Everyone may be using social media, but, according to the report, only 1 in 4 of these marketers were able to measure the return on investment with social media.

2. Visual Platforms Dominate

Pinterest, Instagram and Vine prove consumers want to see what you have to say.

If you want to get retweeted or gain more Facebook followers, rely heavily on images and very little on words. A quick caption will suffice. With Google+, the bigger, bolder the image the better.

The good news for your business is that images are stored in the long-term memory while simple text is quickly forgotten. In the upcoming months, invest more time on Instagram (videos and pictures), Pinterest, YouTube and memes.

3. Daily Deals are Done

According to the report, 80 percent of marketers are not planning on using daily deal sites like Groupon or LivingSocial next year. While the offers continually drive traffic and provide a big boost in business, they are usually up to 50 percent off, which means little profit for you.

Conversely, while there's the initial big bump, there's been no correlation between daily deals and long-term customers. Loyal, dedicated customers are the creme de le creme, so if the daily deals aren't producing, marketers are cutting them out of their plans.

4. Keep Tweetin'

Now, the ever-sought-after 18-29-year-old bracket has moved from Facebook to Twitter and makes up 31 percent of Twitter users. Facebook is getting left in the dust as the younger demographic wants to move on to the cool new platform.

5. Social Sales

As customers continue to follow brands, they no longer want to simply get a coupon from your site. They want to buy from you right then and there.

Facebook already suggests birthday gifts that can be bought and exchanged on the platform. In the same way, countless, trending e-commerce websites offer a quick link to tweet out your new purchase — or share with your Facebook friends what you've bought.

Social media is an ever-evolving media, so to keep up with your customers, you need to keep afoot of the trends.

Emma Fitzpatrick is an assistant account manager at Garden Media, a public relations firm that specializes in the lawn and garden industry. Emma received a degree in English from West Chester University.