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A Reminder About the Three Big Social Trends for 2014

I would love to tell you that this is breaking information, the type of news that you absolutely must hear in order to succeed in 2014, and that if you don't heed my advice your dealership will probably crumble in the earthquake of financial ruin by mid-March, but I just can't say that. This is a subtle post. It's a reminder of things that you should know, but just in case, we better go over them one more time.

Regardless of which of the 4,739 blogs posts you read about the trends in social media for 2014, there was likely a mention of the three things below. I don't like to post poorly designed infographics even if the content is great just as I don't like to post well-designed infographics if the content is poor, but this one was simple enough to allow it to pass muster.

One last caveat before getting to the data - this is about social by name, but the reality is that these three little tidbits affect social media marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing equally. To say that it's all about social would not be correct.

With that out of the way (and thank you for listening to my disclaimers) let's discuss the three important and universally-accepted trends for 2014 that you should keep in mind when following through with your marketing strategy:

  1. Google+ is a Must - It's been called a ghost town in the past. It's been ridiculed for not being very social for a social media site. It has been attacked for being forced onto users of YouTube, Gmail, Adwords, and just about everything else that is associated with Google. At the end of the day, Google is going to make Google+ work and have an effect on digital marketing whether we like it or not, so you had better start embracing it now. This is a long-term play. It's not something that you want to be coming in late on only when it's absolutely necessary. Today, it's absolutely necessary.
  2. Social is Pay-to-Play - There's a reason that I stopped allowing my last and current company to offer any Facebook services without advertising attached to it all the way back in 2012. We saw the direction that social media was going and knew that a social media strategy without advertising is like a car without gas. I don't care how strong your content is, how many hundreds of thousands of fans you have, or how awesome your cat pictures are, you cannot be truly successful on social media without paying for it. With that said, the only thing worse than not running social media advertising is to run it poorly, so before you go and start throwing dollars at Facebook, learn the strategies or reach out to an expert first.
  3. Pictures and Videos are (Almost) Everything - There is no doubt that video and image marketing play a huge role in search, social, and content marketing. There's a small addendum that must be mentioned before everyone abandons their links. Google+, Twitter, and Facebook have all hinted at a resurgence in high quality linking on their sites, so don't abandon them just yet. A diverse strategy for content is best in this case.

The infographic below comes from Boot Camp Digital via Automotive Social Media and highlights some of the stats behind these three trends. Again, I do not endorse the design of the graphic. Infographics should be clean, stunning, or both, and this is neither. Still, the data is good.

Enjoy.

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