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Online Media opinion

Social media tools - 2014 at a glance

Let's face it, we've just about wrapped up 2013 and we're ready to take some time out to spend with family and friends over the festive season, but that doesn't mean you have to turn a blind eye on the social media tools your business has been using - or should be using.

Image: Free Digital Photos
As the saying goes, out with the old, in with the new... Some social media tools worked very well in the past year, while others didn't quite meet the expected standards.

Besides the use of current platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest, there will certainly be a growth in new social media channels.

Free tools

The Top Free Social Media Tools Report explores the most used social media management, monitoring and analytics tools by top agencies, brands, strategists and social media influencers in the social media and online industry in South Africa. Download the report (678KB)

What's hot in social media for 2014?

According to a report on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, some of the innovations to look out for include:

Social media TV - This term refers to the amalgamation of social media and television. In the coming year we will begin to see television networks utilising social media and what the public is posting on social media sites.

Social good - In 2014 we can expect an increase in the use of social media and technology to increase the messages and the efforts of non-profits and other community action organisations for a greater good.

Flipboard publishing - This will allow publishers to share content on interactive platforms.

What to look out for

The blog Business Women of Opinion! recently posted 2014 - what's hot or not in social media, and lists social media networks that are bound to grow in 2014.

The list includes:
  • Medium - the brainchild of Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams. Its purpose is to allow writers to share bright ideas and stories. Similar to Reddit, popular stories are promoted by readers and an algorithm that helps identify the best posts on the site. How can it help you? Exposure. If you love to write, start posting your content and with skill and consistency you will be rewarded with the front page slot and 10,000 views.

  • Impossible - supermodel-cum-world citizen-cum-environmentalist, Lily Coles' new social media network. It is a social media platform that is like one of those TV shows where people write in to have their wishes granted. Users can make requests or grant them.

  • Mobli - a "visual search engine", a real-time visual media platform made up of subject-based and geo-based (hashtag, location) channels as well as individual accounts. It enables users to see the world through other people's eyes.

    View the full list.

Forbes also reports the Top 7 social media marketing trends that will dominate in 2014.

It's evident that businesses have realised the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and in doing so, will see an impact on lead generation, referral traffic and revenue.

About Evan-Lee Courie

Evan-Lee Courie is Group Editor and Social Media Manager at Bizcommunity.com, as well as a Biz Lifestyle contributor. Follow him on Twitter at @evan1985
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