7 Social Media Trends in 2014

It’s 2014. The world is changing. Some of the trends we saw in 2013 will continue, but others will fall by the wayside.

Content Will Continue to be King image

Content Will Continue to be King

This is blog about seven social media trends to expect in 2014. The trends are in no particular order.

1. Content will continue to be king.

Just as we have seen in 2013, content will continue to rule in 2014. Businesses will be built on content. Content plays a huge role in search engine optimization, which gets people to your site to learn about your business and your products. In 2014, content marketing will change the way we communicate with customers.

Potential customers are looking at your blog, your website, and your customer reviews.

It is not about just putting out any content. In 2014, content will become more personalized to  the customer’s taste and interests.

Images and infographics will continue to be important  visual content especially with the rising popularity of Pinterest, SlideShare, Google+, and  Instagram. The key is to find a topic that connects with your readers.

2. Video marketing will continue to boom.

Customers look to videos to learn about products and businesses.

The popularity of mini-videos like Vine and Instagram’s video sharing feature will rise. Instagram allows
3-15 seconds per video and Vine allows 6 seconds making it super easy to share videos in real time from your smartphone.

The world will continue to shift their television viewing habits online. Customers will be drawn to good video advertising.

3. Mobile will move to the forefront.

While mobile continues to press forward, the strategy will be to get your content easily readable on any screen. According to Forbes, more than half of us have smart phones.

4. Niche sites will grow.

Niche sites created around common interests will thrive. Businesses will continue to choose different platforms to build their businesses. Building online influence within your niche increases business success.

With so much activity going on in and around the web, people will look to niche sites to help them find information that is interesting to them and to filter out the irrelevant noise.

5. Spammy content will be eliminated.

Google will continue to develop sophisticated algorithms to measure link quality and identify spam. As a result, building links will be more difficult. Link-building will continue to move toward a relation-based process.

6. Google+ will become a major player.

Google+ uses verified profiles. Verified profiles are made up of all the sites a person creates content for via their Google+ profile. Traditional SEO is evolving. Instead of relying on inbound links, keywords, etc., Google will rank results based on people who are established content creators – people that have written articles and blogs for people rather than algorithms. To learn more, read Social Media Trends 2014 Part III by Kamber.

7. LinkedIn will become a major player for business growth.

LinkedIn is already the number one social media networking site for professionals. But LinkedIn will become the largest source of content for business professionals. To learn more about LinkedIn, see my article 7 Extremely Useful LinkedIn Optimization Tips.

What have I missed? What social media trends do you expect in 2014?

You may also be interested in reading

Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014 (Anita Loomba)
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014 (Jason DeMers)
2014: The Year Content Marketing Finally Grows Up? (Andrew Davies)
Taking Content Marketing to the Next Level: 2014 Predictions (Brent Gleeson)
9 Big Trends for 2014 (You Won’t Believe #9) (Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry)

21 Mind Numbing Google+ Facts, Figures, and Statistics

Mind Numbing Statistics Image

Mind Numbing Statistics – Photo by Microsoft

Google has made amazing strides in computing. We enjoy most of these technological benefits, but some of these facts, figures, and statistics reveal how much Google can potentially know about you.

Consider photos on Google+. Based on the photos you upload, if you search for “beach” or “sunset,” Google’s pattern recognition can find all of your pictures with a beach or sunset in the image.

And you probably already know that Google searches the content of your private emails to present relevant advertising to you.

The brilliant engineers at Google are always trying to find out about you so they can decide from your online behavior what you are willing to buy.

Check out these Google+ facts, figures, and statistics. Some  may make you angry. Like how the NSA (National Security Agency) secretly tapped into Google. Allegedly, the NSA subverted the law by intercepting communications between Google’s various data centers.

21 Mind Numbing Google+ Facts, Figures, and Statistics

Which ones benefit you? Which ones concern you? Do any surprise you? Do any make you angry? Please add to the Comment section.

  1. 60% more users than Twitter.
  2. 500 million monthly active users.
  3. 625,000 people join Google+ everyday.
  4. The majority of users, 67%, are male.
  5. 1.5 billion image uploads per week.
  6. 2nd largest social media site in the world.
  7. Offers “Helpouts” for getting face time with experts on all different kinds of topics.
  8. Provides Photoshop-like set of tools for enhancing photos.
  9. Ability to combine images, videos, and licensed music into a single video clip.
  10. Offers custom URLs (also called vanity URLs) to the average user.
  11. Automatically analyzes home videos taken on smart phones and uploaded to Google+.
  12. Incorporates SMS text messaging into Google’s messaging service.
  13. Location-sharing capabilities.
  14. YouTube comment system is now integrated with Google+ and comments are sorted by relevance rather than date.
  15. Live-streaming Google Hangouts which operate like broadcast television.
  16. Ability to use text searches to find images in photos.
  17. Connected classrooms enables students around the world to take virtual field trips.
  18. NSA has been getting confidential information from Google.
  19. The Chinese have hacked Google sites.
  20. If you share a video on your Google+ Page, it will link back automatically to the original YouTube page.
  21. YouTube comments now requires a Google+ Login.

Sources:
Time Magazine asked Brian Solis About the State and Future of Google+
Google Will Soon Display Your Google+ Photo When You Call an Android Phone (Matt Brian)
The Beginner’s Guide to Google+ (Ryan Lytle)
5 Reasons Helpouts is Good Business for Google (Jolie O’Dell)
Google+ Brings Massive Upgrades for its Most Loyal users: Photographers (Jolie O’Dell)
Google+ Rolls Out Movie-Making Features (Alexei Oreskovic)
New YouTube Comment System Integrated with Google+ Now Available (Andrew MartoniK)
You’re Just Too Monetizable for Google+ to Ever Go Away (Marcus Wohlsen & Ryan Tate)
Google+: Explore the Word, Right from the Classroom (Google Official Blog)
How We Know the NSA Has Access to Internal Google and Yahoo Cloud Data (Barton Gellman)
Google+ Adds new Privacy Controls for Business (Barry Levine)
NSA Secretly Monitoring Google, Yahoo Servers (FoxNews)
Google Overhauls YouTube Comments, Now Requires Google+ Login (Mike Flacy)

The Disconnect between College Students and Aging Faculty

Millennial Students

Millennial Students

The millennial students are those born after 1980. How they communicate, collaborate, and learn is much more digital than older faculty can appreciate.

These differences create the disconnect between college students and aging faculty.

Brian Solis, a digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist says, “For the millennial, digital is their DNA.”

It is this detail that separates millennial students from older faculty members. As a result, we see a split in our colleges between those faculty who “get” this connected generation and those who do not or will not.

The young millennial students and Generation Z behind them are in fact wired differently.

Consider some of the differences between the older and younger generation as pointed out by Brian Solis.

Differences Between the Older and Younger Generation

Comparison Between Older and Younger Generation image

Comparison Between Older & Younger Generation

As Faculty Age, We Should Not Become Irrelevant.

These young students started life differently from us. Will we refuse to see the world through any other way than our own perspective?

In a study by JWT entitled GEN Z: Digital in their DNA, we see just how different the younger generations are.

While some of us are still wondering if social media is a fad, we learn from the study that almost half of Generation Z feel their real social life happens on social networks.

Over half feel that it is more convenient to talk to friends online than in person.

Older Faculty Must Learn How to Evolve from Analog to Digital.

The millennials and generation Z were born with digital in their DNA.

Engagement strategies, learning strategies, and faculty-student interaction need to be more digital to meet student expectations. Students now prefer “screen face” to “face-to-face” interaction. Those screens include laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

What are ways that faculty members can change to meet the needs of the younger generation? Please add your comments at the top of this post.

You may also be interested in reading

The Disconnect Between Aging Management and the Younger Workforce (Brian Solis)

New Digital Influencers: The Coming Youthquake (Brian Solis)

Social Media 101 for Small Business

 

Is Your Mind Racing?

Is Your Mind Racing?
Photo by Mitchell Bryant Photography

What do you think about when you hear the words social media?
Does your mind start racing?

Social Media 101 for Small Business

Are you struggling to know how to use Social Media effectively?

Maybe you are wondering?

What social media platform should I be on?

  • Facebook?
  • LinkedIn?
  • YouTube?
  • Google+?
  • Pinterest?
  • Twitter?
  • Other?

There are so many social media platforms.

And there are only so many hours in the day. There has to be some time to work. Right?

Maybe you are of the mindset that you will just wait and see what happens.

After all, you think, social media may be a fad. Maybe it will go away and there will be something new to learn.

I’ll just wait it out.

But it is becoming more and more clear that social media is not a fad.

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, the way we do business, the way we interact with the world.

Let’s briefly focus on 6 social media platforms. Do you need to be on all six platforms? Probably not. My suggestion would be to pick one and master it and then expand to another platform.

Facebook

With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is a no brainer. You got to be there. If you have a business, you need a Facebook Page.

But setting up your Facebook Page is the easy part. You can quickly learn to set up your Facebook Page.

I was talking to a business owner not too long ago, and she told me she had a Facebook Page for her business. But this business owner could tell any customers were coming her way as a result of her Facebook Page.

When I questioned her more, she explained she had handed the Facebook creation over to a teenager who could set up her Page for her. But the business owner never posted to the Facebook Page, and she didn’t know what was posted or how to get to the Page.

While it is okay to take advantage of the Internet generations’ skills, don’ turn it over to them totally. You’ve got to engage with your customers. You have to update your Facebook Page often. Some say as much as 5 times a day.

Being on Facebook makes you more Likeable.

And we know that all things being equal, people do business with the people they like, know, and trust. All things NOT being equal, people usually do business with the people, they like, know and trust.

Facebook gives you “top of mind” positioning.

And if you listen to your fans, you have a free resource. You have a free research department.

Find out what your fans like so you can offer these products and services.

Twitter

Twitter can become addictive. Twenty-five percent of Twitter users are active sending several tweets every day.

People tweet about everything.

When I drove through a local fast food restaurant recently and then realized I had no straws for my 5 grandchildren that were riding with me, my first thought was to tweet about it. I didn’t because I like to keep my tweets on the positive side.

But many people do tweet about products, both good and bad. You need to know what your customers are saying.

Twitter is also great for internal communication between employees. If you need to improve internal communication between employees, Twitter can help.

You know it is even being used for internal communication in the home. Parents are tweeting their teens to come home for supper or even to come down the stairs to pick up their clothes. Teenagers text each other when they are in the same room.

With Twitter, you are able to listen to and respond to what people are saying about your brand.

Clear up a Myth

Before we go any further, lets clear up a myth. The myth is that Social Media is free.

Is social media free? No

A Twitter account may be free, but social media marketing is not free.

It takes TIME – your time is not free, is it?

Social media takes a lot of time.

It requires your time or someone else’s time so it is not free.

YouTube

YouTube grew by 53% last year. It is the 2nd largest search engine.

Of course, like all social media, you have to learn to use it well.

You can’t just put a video up and forget about it. You can’t neglect your channel. You have to log in and respond to comments.

You have to post updates regularly.

Pinterest

Pinterest is much more popular with women than men.

I love Pinterest.

Once upon a time, we would shop for items from catalogues in our mailbox.

I remember how excited I was as a young girl waiting for the J.C. Penny’s Catalog to arrive in our mailbox.

I would sit down and wish and circle one thing on every page that I wanted.

Now we Pin It.

The Average Pinner has 34 boards with close to 3,000 pins.

The most popular categories are My Life, Food and Drink, crafts, and Home decor.

When you as a business begin to pin on Pinterest, you don’t only pin your own products. You create many boards that people are interested in and when they come to your boards, they will also see your products.

On your pins you will put a link to your website or blog. Potential customers will click on the link and be directed to your website to buy your products.

Google+

Google+ is integrated with your google email. If you have a Google email it is easy to get started with google+.

Google + is about connecting with people who share your interest.

Everyone seems to want to compare Google+ to Facebook, but they are not the same.

Think of it this way.

Twitter – Instant updates; on the spot happenings.

Facebook – friends, family, and old classmates. Facebook is a great way to keep up with people you already know.

Google+ Ideas and Interests. You follow people who share your like interest. You don’t have to know them. For example, if you are passionate about photography, you circle photographers. If you want to know more about social media, circle social media experts.

LinkedIn – professional networking – think of LinkedIn as your Rolodex on Steroids or as your expanded Business Card.

With Google+ you put people into circles. No one knows what circle you put them in. So you might have a group called optimists and a group called pessimists, and no one will know which group you put them in.

You will be able to filter out what you read based on your circles.

Again as you post articles, your goal is to get people to click on a link that will direct them back to your website or blog which is the hub of your social media.

LinkedIn

Over 2 million users worldwide. Growing by 2 members per second.

The average annual income is $86,000.

Seventy-four percent of LinkedIn users have a college degree.

Many groups are on LinkedIn – about 2 million groups.

The average age of a LinkedIn User is 41.

A whopping 98% of college graduates have received at least one interview for a job they applied for on LinkedIn (Jessica Brown).

Summary

Small business owners must be on social media. The ROI is being in business in the next three to five years.

Start building your presence with your Facebook Page and then expand your presence to other social media platforms.

You may also be interested in reading?

Guy Kawasaki” Book, “What the Plus!”

What Can We Learn from CNN about Social Media (Martha Giffin)

Business Growth and Social Media (Lauren Simonds)

Google+ A Resource for the Community College Instructor

Tell Me About Google+

Tell Me About Google+

Google+ is a resource for the community college instructor.

I love Google+.

Google+ is about connecting with people who share your interest.

According to Guy Kawasaki, the key to social media is using the right tool for the job. Not everyone should be on Twitter or Facebook or Google+. Everyone’s needs are different. We all have different preferences.

It does take a little time to learn to use Google+.

The community college instructor is very busy. Her time could be spent doing other things such as grading papers, planning lessons, checking email. You should, however,  be aware of this free resource for the community college instructor.

You should be aware of the advantages of Google+, and ask yourself if you and your students would benefit from this brilliant, free tool.

Everyone seems to compare Google+ to Facebook and other social media platforms.  They are not the same.

Think of it this way.

Twitter – Instant updates. Twitter is a great way for getting real-time updates on trends, news, and current events. Twitter is for on-the-spot happenings. Twitter lets you learn about and participate in events as they are actually happening.

Facebook – Friends, family, and old classmates. Facebook is a great way for keeping up with people you already know. It’s also great for learning about cats. (I don’t know what the deal is about cats on Facebook.) It’s fun to share pictures of your grandchildren and to keep up with family and friends who live a long distance from you. Facebook is great for renewing old friendships.

Google+ – Ideas and Interests. You follow people who share your interests. You don’t necessarily know the people you are following. For example, if you are interested in photography, you follow photographers. If you are interested in social media, you follow social media experts. The more people in your Google+ “circles”, the more interesting and valuable Google+ becomes to you.

LinkedIn – Professional Networking. LinkedIn is about making professional connections. Think of LinkedIn as your expanded Business Card or your Rolodex on steroids.

Tell Me About Circles

“Circles” are groups of people that you create to keep you organized. You might create a group for your Speech class, a group for colleagues, a group for photographers, and a group for sports fans.

No one will be able to see what “circle” you put them in. So if you have a “circle” called Optimists and one called Pessimists, no one will know which “circle” you put them in. So organize your groups the way you think will best help you to organize your life. You can put people in more than one “circle.”

You will be able to filter out what you read based on your “circles.” When I am at my home feed, I will see what everyone I am following has posted. But I can choose my students “circle” and see only what my students have shared.

I can post so everyone sees my post or so that only those in my colleagues “circle” or student “circle” can see my post.

“Circles” help you to control both your incoming and outgoing information.

Tell Me About Hangouts

Google Hangouts are FREE live video conferences. Google Hangouts allow you to connect with up to ten people.

Hangouts allow you to create this virtual space that can be used for office hours, meetings, advising, group projects, or speeches. Google Hangouts are great because you can use sound and video.

Did I mention, Google Hangout are FREE?

You can also use other features in your Google Hangout such as Google Docs, notes and sketchpad.

Google Hangouts are FREE.

Your students only need is a computer with high speed Internet connection and an inexpensive webcam. We have experimented with GearHead which can be purchased in our JDCC bookstore for around $13 – $16. We compared this inexpensive webcam to the more expensive webcams and could tell little difference in the quality.

You can purchase the Gear Head Pro from Office Depot for about $15 and other webcams for less.

One drawback to Google Hangouts is that it cannot currently be used with Virtual Desktops (VMWare) that we use in the computer labs at JDCC. But must students will not need to hangout from the computer labs at school. They will generally hangout from remote locations using their personal computers, laptops, ipads, or cell phone.

Tell Me How to Get Started

It is so easy to share on Google+. It only takes a few minutes to open up an account, add some people to your circles, and begin sharing.

Sign Up – Very easy

It’s really easy if you already have a Google email. Google+ is deeply integrated with your Gmail. Keep this in mind. If you have two Google email accounts you will have two Google+ accounts so decide which email you want to be associated with your primary Google+ account.

At the top left hand corner of your Gmail, you will see Google+. If you already have a Google+ account, you will see +YourName. For example, +Carol is at the top left hand side of my email screen.

If you don’t already have a Google email account, sign up here .

Once you sign up for your Google+ account, you simply start “circling” people.

You will want to “circle” at least 50 people to make Google+ interesting.

Who do you “circle” ? People you are interested in and people who share your interest. As an instructor, I circle my students and put them in my “students” circle. Students will only see what I share with my “students” circle.

Click on the “Circles” Icon on the left side of your screen and begin “circling” people. You can drag people in your contact list into one of your “circles”.

Ideally, they will add you back to their “circles”.

It is very easy to add a student to your “circles” after they initially email you. When you receive an email from your students, look at the right hand side of the screen. You will see the option to add the student to your “circles.” You can choose which “circle” to add the students to and the students will receive a message that they have been added to your “circles.”

How do you know what “circles” to create?

It’s up to you.

You can see that I have different “circles” for family members, colleagues, church friends, students, and even different classes.

When you share information, you can choose which “circles” to share with or you can make the post public.

If you make a post “public”, it will be visible to anyone who’s added you to a “circle”, as well as on your public profile.

Google+ is a brilliant product for engaging students and colleagues.  Google+ is easy to set up because it is deeply integrated with your Google email.

Open your Google+ account and begin adding students and colleagues to your “circles”. But don’t stop there. Add people from around the world who share your interests.

Google+ is a great tool for professional development and professional networking as well as connecting with students.

Google+ is a great tool for the Community College Instructor.

You might also be interested in reading:

31 Ways to Use G+ in Education

Google Drive: Upload, Edit, Share Collaborate

Google Drive: A Video Overview of How Google Drive Saves Me Time