Social Media in 2014

Social media is now considered an important piece of any marketing jigsaw. My job wouldn’t exist without it. Considering my job title is ‘Social Media Executive’ I feel like I should be able to whack out a blog about social media in just a matter of minutes but I won’t lie to you, I’m a little lost as to where to start. This hesitation stems from the fact that social media changes constantly. With so many platforms, each with their unique hooks to try reel us in, it’s understandable that the sites need to change in order to keep up with the impatient pace set by today’s society.

As we draw to the end of 2014, I thought it would be a good time to stop and reflect on the past year and look at how social media has weaved its web through the past 12 months. I’ll try to make this as snappy as I can, maybe I’ll use this year’s trending hashtags or buzz words. Actually maybe I should look at one of this year’s biggest success and write this like a Buzzfeed List.

Hm. What to call it?

44 Times You Wouldn’t BELIEVE The Internet in 2014

Blimey. Bit ambitious there.

Right. What about…

10 Reasons Why 2014 Was The Year of Social Media

Definitely more doable.

1. Smartphones

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Everyone has one, some of us have two, and we are all connected pretty much 24/7. Kind of scary but kind of cool at the same time.

2. Tech savy kids

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From the old MySpace generation to tiny tots on iPads – we’ve been pretty stuck in the web since we got on it.

3. Tech savy grandparents

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Slowly but surely the older generation is getting online and navigating their own way through the web. Your Grandma is now Poking you on Facebook and Liking your latest Instagram selfie.

4. It raised a lot of money for a lot of Charities

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We all know someone who took part in the Ice Bucket challenge. Facebook became flooded with videos of people dumping icy water over themselves and encouraging people to donate to charity. According to the BBC from 29 July to 28 August ALS received $98.2m. Its UK equivalent, Motor Neurone Disease Association, received £2.7m in the last week of August. Other charities also benefited from the power of social media. Macmillan Cancer Support raised £3m from challenges. Water Aid received £47,000 in one day.

Plus let’s not forget the no make-up selfie for Breast Cancer Research. And earlier this month a girl used social media to raise thousands of pounds to help the homeless

5. It is increasing awareness and knowledge of current issues

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Whether it’s live tweeting, Tumblr debates or just sharing a news story on Facebook, people are becoming more aware of the world. We have access to information 24/7. We don’t sit down to watch the news at six o’clock to find out what has happened that day. We wake up in the morning, grab our phone and scroll through our  various Newsfeeds that deliver us real time news from our own carefully selected communities. It’s no longer just photos from the night before or awkward family photos, but actual news too.

Thanks to social media we don’t just read it. We help shape it by beating journalists by being first to break news.

6. If a picture tells a thousand words – what does a video say?

YouTube
I’ve watched the YouTube community grow million by million since first signing up to the site in 2009, and now it seems the mainstream media is beginning to get it too. YouTubers have their own radio shows, book deals and millions of online followers. I’ve always believed YouTube is ‘the’ one to watch (in more ways than one) and I think it will continue to grow in 2015. Lets not mention how it helps a website’s SEO or we’ll be here all day.

7. I heard it through the grape vine

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The new kid on the block, Vine allows you to watch 6 second videos, and similar to YouTube, it continues to grow with content makers gaining millions of subscribers and generating advertising opportunities. I think Vine will be another one to watch out for this year

8. So. Many. Filters.

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Instagram recently overtook Twitter in follower numbers. It now has 300 million users and has recently launched 5 new filters. I don’t know which one people find more exciting. With new functionality, Instagram is now a valuable marketing tool for brands.

9. Lists are now definitely a thing

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Alright, I guess this isn’t so much a ‘social media platform’ but it’s going in anyway. This is the year Buzzfeed really shot up. I find myself constantly reading the lists and find myself understanding a gif on an whole new emotion level. (I really hope I’m not the only person that does this.)
It seems News Desks – and maybe the odd Social Media Executive here and there – are beginning to follow this list trend and are working to introduce its format to their own content. Take the i100 for example. The Independent newspaper now lists its 100 top stories based on shares and views http://i100.independent.co.uk/

10. Facebook was founded in 2004, Youtube 2005 and Twitter 2006 – What a ride the last 10 years have been!

It changes relentlessly. It has its flaws, but love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Keeping us connected; not just to our friends and family all over the world but to our favourite brands, sports teams and celebrities, now even our pets are getting involved. Part of me wonders what new platforms will be created in 2015 as more and more people seem willing to take to the online stage and project themselves out there?

Whatever it is, it will come, its just a matter of time. Hopefully it will be something totally different. Or who knows? Maybe Bebo will make a comeback. Either way, I don’t know about you but I cant wait.

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