Would it surprise you to learn that some experts believe Google GOOGL +0.44%+ is on its way out, that MySpace is making a last-ditch attempt to re-engage users, or that Foursquare is in the middle of a radical overhaul?
Late last year, I made some predictions for social media trends in my article,The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. In this article, I’m going to examine where things are now that we’re around the mid-way point of 2014, and assess how my predictions have fared so far.
Prediction #1: Investment in Social Media will Become a Necessity, not a Luxury
With 92% of business owners recently indicating that social media is important to their business (up from 86% in 2013), this prediction appears to be on track. Businesses are continuing to re-allocate budgets away from traditional methods of advertising towards social media and other inbound marketing strategies.
A major concern among business owners remains measuring the ROI for their social media efforts. Other issues that may be hindering the effectiveness of social media for some businesses include a lack of education and trained personnel – making it difficult to efficiently carry out day-to-day social media tasks (never mind strategizing or tying social media into wider business goals).
Prediction #2: Google+ will Become a Major Factor
With just over half of marketers using the platform, and 61% of businesses planning on increasing their Google+ activities this year, Google+ is clearly still top of mind for marketers. But while more and more business owners believe that an investment in Google+ is a necessity, many are still struggling with making the platform work for their business.
With Google announcing earlier this year that social signals are not part of their ranking algorithm, some business owners are wondering whether an investment in Google+ is as valuable as previously thought.