What do you think will be the game changer in social media in 2014?

2013 came and went very quickly! I’m grateful to have spent the year continuing my adventures in social media with friends and readers.  Thank you all for your unfailing support!

Two key lessons I’ve learned: you are only as good as your team, and your fans are instrumental in your success.

Knowing this, brands should choose their influencers carefully, understanding that quality outreach is an investment in the future growth of their business.

In the coming year, smart brands will change the game by hand-selecting influencers whose content and persona best align with the company’s brand message.  Investing in these influencers will bring savvy brands some of the 2014’s most successful marketing.

I thought it would be interesting to reach out to some folks I’ve worked with or followed closely this past year to ask them what they think the game changer will be for social media in 2014.


JesseAaron.jpeg @JesseAarone 
The nature of social media is convenience. Thus, competition is flowing with ideas that make digital tasks slightly more convenient.
But what makes that new idea worthy of being called a game changer? It needs to be a sticky idea, something that has a public outcry and satisfies the masses.
I don’t think it will be niche social media (i.e.; a platform specifically for foodies). Instead, I’m thinking grand-scale.
There is a clear and public demand for personalized entertainment. The best options out there are Netflix, HBOGo, Hulu, and YouTube channels.
I’m not sure if this will come out in 2014, but this will surely come out in the future!
Essentially, this is an online viewing portal where we build our channels show by show. For each show, there is a community that fuels it (such as voting on episode outcomes, character ideas, and fan contests).  Once channels become unpacked, this will be game changing for social media, the internet, and the entertainment industry.
JasonEng_.jpeg  @JasonEng_ 
In my opinion the social media game changer for 2014 is video. Not because video is new to social media but because of how it is starting to be used more interactively. Live Google+ hangouts and Twitter chats, like what Jessica Northey and Marty and Misty McPadden are doing, are just gaining with popularity and will soon be the norm.
Video enhances the conversation because it brings a visual element into the mix that people are attracted to. People see what it is you’re actually talking about, and see who it is that is speaking. The visual also enhances the conversation because you don’t have to describe what it is your seeing or talking about by typing.
This frees up the Twitter portion of the chat for the viewers to ask more questions and make side comments and have separate conversations without hindering the main chat. I’m curious to see if Facebook will allow brand pages to do host group video chats.
JeanNewmanGlockavi  @jeannewmanglock
Predicting the game changers for almost any field, and most especially social media, assumes a prescience that I would not presume to possess. What I can do is summarize two trends I am seeing in social media use for the travel industry and venture to guess how these might change how we all might further utilize this behemoth that we now call social media in 2014.
1. Social media in travel will be a tool for everyone, not a skill for a few.
Social media teams, until now usually the purview of a talented group of 20 somethings, will be obsolete, except for customer service issues.  The ability to use and understand the impact of social media is a skill that everyone involved in travel will use to further their unique goals.  Can you type, what are your computer skills are questions that are no longer asked, but assumed in job interviews—the same is happening for what are your social media preferred platforms and how do you use them. Klout scores, in some form, will show how you can influence your business niche.  Every CEO in travel will need to insure they have a voice, loud and clear on social media. This doesn’t mean they are posting hourly, or even daily, but they need to be present—when needed, for good and bad days.  Everyone involved in travel will use social media as a tool in their daily routine.
 2.  The speed of change in all online travel and social media (and media) will continue to be supersonic.
Some early leaders in the  travel field will adjust and morph to remain leaders, but others have and will be replaced by newcomers overnight.  After all, isn’t all social media crowd sourcing in some form?  And just as TripAdvisor and Yelp help one hotel rise to the top of the ratings race,  so will social media crowd source to determine who the leaders are in compiling these reviews.  All travel media, printed and online are racing to find their place in this new landscape and I would argue that none yet have the formula, if in fact there is one.
We must all stay nimble, the landscape can and will change in a heartbeat.  Is it challenging to keep up?  Yes, but the good news is that everyone of us utilizing this wonderful medium(s) will be part of defining who the winners, losers and game changers.  Hold tight and safe travels.
KerryGorgone @KerryGorgone
For 2014, better integration of customer data with social media profiles will help smart businesses to avert PR disasters before they start. KLM knows who’s sitting on its airplanes before takeoff: any business can check Foursquare or Facebook to see who’s checked in, and savvy businesses will be looking for ways to delight customers, not just satisfy them.
I also expect mobile payments to change shopping forever. We’ve seen easy mobile payment solutions from PayPal, Google, Square and other players, but it’s not quite simple enough to go mainstream. Once it does, watch mobile payments revolutionize farmers markets, lemonade stands, carnival kiosks and every other transactional location, and enable social sharing of those purchase to drive additional foot traffic!
MistyandMartyMcPadden @mistygirlph
Just like 2013 was the year of the podcast, we think 2014 will be the year of live video. Cutting through the ever increasing noisy social environment and being authentic is more important than ever to nurture lasting professional relationships. Live, online video does that better than any other medium. It allows you to connect directly with your audience without filters. People want to see you as you really are and know who they’re doing business with.
One of the ways we’re taking the initiative is by working with individuals and brands to help them get their message out through live, online video chats. We currently work with multiple brands to help them do just that and the response has been tremendous.
Utilizing video helps humanize your business and lets your audience see you as a real person. We think this will be a growing trend in 2014 as businesses and brands realize they need to find more direct and honest ways to connect with their audiences and customers.
JasonRamsey @Jason__Ramsey
I think in 2014 we will see social media become more fragmented, so I want to answer this in two parts. I think we will see most of our favorite sites try to monetize their efforts by working with brands. Triberr has a very cool program that people should keep an eye on next year. They are projecting one million dollars in payouts to influencers next year for partnering with brands on campaigns. I think we will see a trend of brands embracing social media next year, at a much more rapid rate than ever before.
As brands market and advertise on social media it’s great for influencers, but not all users will embrace it. That’s why we will also see a growth in narrow casting. Lot’s of apps like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Bonfyre count on the user not wanting to follow the masses, but engage on a more private level. These types of apps and sites will only become popular as companies broadcast at a record rate on the bigger social media platforms next year.
So, What do you think will be the game changer in social media in 2014?
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