Around this time last year, Kahill wrote a blog about what 2013 holds for Social Media Marketing in Uganda.
Now as she sat there flipping through her social sites, she realised that next year is going to be a revolutionary year for social media in Uganda. Kahill has witnessed the best social media groundbreaking events in Uganda. She has either been involved and contributed to some of or just watched from the sidelines.
Kahill wrote last year in her blog that 2013 would be a breaking point in Uganda’s social media and she was right. 2013 has seen successful social media campaign like #BuyABrick #BuyABuy on twitter under the 40 smiles and 40 days charity group. There has been campaigns for humanity and against politicians like #Kibuule which took Facebook and Twitter streets by storm.
Also the corporate companies that have embraced social have improved in their functionalities. Companies like Airtel Uganda, with #StanAirtelUg always available to respond to customer problems and MTN Uganda witnessing no #OccupyMTN session as last year; means this particular sweep of corporate socialising online is growing and improving.
Yes, there has been some loopholes where social was not utilised fully or the company’s social policy was found lacking. That is in the case of UMEME Uganda’s power distribution company. It failed to use Social to educate people about the YAKA project which is the prepaid power metal system- a good idea but poorly marketed.
Needful to say, Uganda held its first Social Media Awards, where Kahill was a judge. With this first and a lot more others, social media usage in Uganda is growing and leading in the many organizations and individual lives.
So what should we expect and look forward to in 2014?
As always Kahill is not a well of information but Google is thus she did her research and she dug up this information from all the different Social Media LinkedIn groups, she is subscribed to.
Social Marketing Will Combine Real World And Online World
Designing a social campaign means to provide the key elements of personalisation, consumer voice and community. It will become a key success for marketers to focus on designing combined physical and digital experiences in order to create moments of serendipity for the clients and consumers.
Content Marketing Will Becomes More Targeted
A recent article by Forrester analyst Ryan Skinner revealed how distribution, and specifically earned media, is a core component to successful content marketing. The truth is marketers are asking the wrong question. If you want to know how to create better content, the question should be “how do I get my content in front of the right people?”
“As organizations continue to focus on using paid, owned and earned media to increase branded content distribution, social media can be used as a support mechanism to enhance distribution to relevant audiences on social media. Brands that enhance paid and earned media campaigns by distributing this content to relevant audiences on social networks can develop an edge in their respective industries,” says Skinner.
Mobile Usage Will Further Increase
Most people who have mobiles also have a connection to the internet. As more and more Smartphones are hitting the market regularly and coming with additional and diverse functions, that by 2014 the number of people to contact and share content with will have risen exponentially. This is a feature of our technological world that will keep on improving as well as providing handheld gadgets at lesser and lesser costs. This makes it imperative for marketers to have a greater presence on social media for a large percentage of people holding mobile devices will also be on social media.
Digital Agencies Will Need To Prioritise Innovation
Doing business today has highlighted the importance of building one’s own digital business resources in order to compete in the digital world. Many services that digital agencies provide their clients will move in house leaving digital agencies in a state of necessary restructuring and innovation. The role of the digital agency will change from providing operational services in the marketing world to providing strategy, innovation and creative skills to the industry. This will see the digital agency world mature and help their clients mature in building their digital competency.
Social Media Data Collection Will Come Under Scrutiny
Many social media campaigns focus on the collection and use of personal data. But 2014 will shed light on need of more data other than personal data. Big data, big data is what 2014 is going to look at. This includes numbers, influences, interactions, reach etc.
B2B will find more success through education rather than conversation
In the past B2C (business to consumer) companies have had success in social media channels by creating conversation and inviting the consumers to join them. B2B (business to business) organisations saw this success and decided to adopt the same strategy. In 2014 we will see more B2B organisation move towards education strategies instead of conversation strategies. Educating customers on the value and potential of their services. This will come in handle after all we have seen many Ugandan companies fail because of lack of a better education strategy.
Google+ Will Be Dominate And Necessary For B2B Marketers
Business to business marketers are expected to start using Google plus to endorse their content. And it is predicted that Google+ will grow greatly next year thus becoming an even more essential tool for content and social sharing. Google + is second only behind Facebook in terms of monthly visitors and it stands out to be good at both social network and vital search engine optimization for online businesses. And Google Authorship and Google Author Rank will be the major trends in SEO in 2014.
Twitter’s Time Will Come
A study has shown that a large number of young people are leaving Facebook to join Twitter. Many of these teenagers said that the microblogging site has become their most essential social networking tool. It is believed that many people who were on Twitter and left it will return to give the network another try. Also, since Twitter went public, one can expect great changes for the better in 2014.
LinkedIn Great For Pros
There’s no social media site that’s as good for business professionals as LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Influencers Program (Pluse) is gearing up to be another social networking site and also a great source of content creation for professionals. In 2014, it will be even better to be ‘linked in’ so that you are not ‘left out!’
Images Will Matter More than Text ie Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat
‘A picture tells a thousand words,’ the phrase that will hold good next year thanks to the effectiveness of images over text. The rise of social media networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Slideshare has been largely due to the fact that they focus on images rather than text, though text is and will be an important aspect of online marketing campaigns. Since content is valuable only if it is shared, content that has images is more likely to be shared than content that’s stuffed with text. It is predicted that in 2014 the more images content has the more likely it will be shared.
Marketing on Snapchat
Snapchat, as its name indicates, sends messages, pictures or short videos which auto-destruct after a little. There is going to be a large number of people who are going to embrace this app just because it self destructs meaning privacy issues are not a problem. There were Snapshot Stories, which showed how the app helped brand marketers to ask customers to interact with them from wherever they are, share stories, increase engagement, etc. Kahill hopes Snapchat marketing will be a phrase that will be heard a lot more if Ugandan download the app and start using it.
Videos Will Remain Solid Mainly Short One
Videos, especially the shorter ones, will get more popular on social media for marketing purposes. YouTube is leading the pack and is expected to continue its domination in 2014. People hate wasting time. I find myself, like many others, looking at the length of the video before deciding to watch it. Instagram and Vine, both short video platforms, are also likely to grow. In fact, in 2014, shorter will most probably be better! Instagram’s 15 seconds videos are seen double the time that of their pictures. And Vine’s six seconds videos are showing great promise. Thus, come 2014 and more marketers will be using these tools.
Kahill read through her findings and was glad, she loved what she was sharing with her followers. She wondered if it was informative and communicative, hoped it would be helpful and comments will be left on her blog.
‘All in good time’, she told herself, ‘push the publish button and wait.’
Research sources MEMEBURN, SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY, SOCIAL MEDIA MASTERY FOR BUSINESS LEADERS, ENTREPRENEURS IN SOCIAL MEDIA