2014 Social Media Predictions

It is time to make those bold predictions for the next 365 days. Here are my thoughts on the major social networks in no particular order.

Facebook

Twitter

Snapchat

Google Plus

Instagram

Vine

Reddit

Pinterest

LinkedIn

A Yahoo! Social Network

Where Will I Spend My Time in 2014?

Facebook

Facebook will continue to be the place that people go to catch up on the news of “everyone they know”. When asking 100 of your friends if they have Facebook 98 of them will say yes. That said, I feel as if Facebook has peaked and it is no longer the place that everyone wants to be. Three years ago teens were begging their parents to allow them to create a “Facebook page”. Now teens are begging their parents to not make a Facebook page. I have said it many times, Facebook is the white pages with photos and a little bit of depth. If you want to know more about someone or perhaps stalk them Facebook is the place to go.

Facebook has been around for almost a decade now so Facebook fatigue has set it. It is similar to that small town where you went to high school. It is fun to go back for the holidays and major events, such as weddings or anniversaries, but you aren’t going to spend more than a few days “hanging out”. The fact that so many people have congregated in one area means some unhealthy activities are going to take place. This has nothing to do with Facebook, it is simply human nature.

If you don’t believe me try this activity. Invite five friends to a get together. Bring out the board games, consume some adult beverages and enjoy yourself for a few hours. Now, do the exact same thing on another night but invite 250 people. Tell me what happens. I digress…

Facebook has started to see organic Google searches decline tremendously. More on that here. While this does not predict the demise of Facebook it does tell me that people are no longer searching for the intricate ways to use Facebook. They are also searching for business and personal Facebook pages less and less. Search interest has plateaued as far as interest in Facebook. Most people have already “liked” everything they can possible like. It is no longer fun and exciting the way it was a few years ago.

In 2014, I expect to see Facebook become much more of a place to check out what is going on every once in awhile. Many will still post their events and parties on Facebook. College students will still converse with Facebook Messenger. That said, businesses are not going to flock to Facebook because it is pay to play. Also, most businesses have created the Facebook Page and they are not seeing the huge growth in engagement they saw from 2007 to 2012. No matter how well your business page performs on Facebook it is hard to post a photo and get 1200 likes when two years ago you were receiving 2000 likes.

Facebook is not going to die. Google+ is definitely not going to be the social network that takes users away from Facebook. Until Facebook does something truly crazy it will be the place where everyone goes to catch up on each other’s lives. That said, it will not be the newspaper feed that Facebook wants to be. Users will read Buzzfeed articles but they are not going to get their daily and weekend news from a Facebook feed that has been adjusted with the Edgerank algorithm.

In June 2014 we learned that Facebook manipulated the news feed of 700,000 users to see if they could adjust their happiness. There was huge outrage and some avid Facebook users even said they were going to leave the social network. As I have for the past four years, I laughed at these individuals. Very few people in this world have the testicular fortitude to buck the trend and go away from what everyone else is doing. I am very fortunate that is the case. If the world was full of these people I would not be sitting by the pool updating this article on a Thursday afternoon.

With that in mind, I do not expect people to leave Facebook. I think they are going to start using it less and less. Most of us never deleted our MySpace page we simply stop logging in. Heck I forgot my email and password that was used to access MySpace. Once college is over and young adults are burnt out of Facebook I see it as a place to go to catch up for a very short amount of time. I continue to go back to the small town analogy. If you grew up in a small town it is not bad to go back for one or two high school football games a year. If you buy season tickets you are going to rip your hair out.

Interestingly, Facebook continues to tweak the news feed in hopes of providing reputable news. I have to simply laugh at this. I can honestly say that anything from BuzzFeed or Upworthy is something I will not trust. If either one of these “news outlets” provide an article I quickly assume it is hyperbole or false. Heck, to me they are becoming the National Enquirer very quickly. I see less and less people going to Facebook to get news.

You know where people are going to get their news…

Twitter

The social network that has the most growth potential, in my eyes, in 2014 is Twitter. Every time I log on to Twitter it amazes me to see the adoption from celebrities, athletes and media outlets. During any major sporting event there are thousands of tweets per second. It is the place to go if you want to find out more about your favorite actor or actress. Do you have a crush on Justin Timberlake? You can get the inside juice on his relationship with Jessica Biel from the horse’s mouth on Twitter. Are you a huge LeBron James or Tiger Woods fan? You can get personal photos from these sports stars on Twitter. Does the premiere of Walking Dead interest you? AMC will have the actors and actresses live tweeting during the show. Do you want the best articles from CNN? You can get them at your fingertips on Twitter.

There is no argument to be made that Twitter owns the second screen. I think it was a genius move for Twitter to add the “What’s On” section to the “Discover” tab on the app. At any given time Twitter users can see what shows are trending or highly active on Twitter. As much as some people don’t want to believe it, the United States is a country that is consumed with TV and entertainment. Twitter will continue to make a push into this market in 2014 as they dominate sports, entertainment and fun. Here is an interesting article on exactly that: How Twitter Helps Movie and TV Fans Find New Shows

The only concern I have for Twitter is they are now a publicly traded company that has shareholders to please. I can only hope they do not shove “promoted tweets” down our throats after a bad quarter. Money changes everything. If Twitter goes a few quarters without beating on the top and bottom lines we may see some changes in the app. Money aside, I truly hope Twitter sticks to the basics. In the last year we have seen Twitter add larger images and the ability to play video files through tweets. Twitter gained in popularity because it was so easy. Blast out your thoughts in 140 characters and that is it. No formatting. No editing. Just a stream of consciousness. In June 2014 Twitter further adjusted the stream by adding GIFs that play. It will be interesting to see how Twitterverse feels about this in the next six months.

If Twitter continues to clog the stream with videos, photos and possible sound bites I think some users are going to be turned away. If there is anything I have learned in my social media “career” it is that users want things to be very easy and basic. If you are just getting started on Twitter here is a great resource: Beginners Guide to Using Twitter

The next social network that has seen huge growth is…

Snapchat

While I think Twitter has the most growth potential it is hard to argue that Snapchat is right on its heels. In fact, I could make a strong argument that Snapchat will grow much faster than Twitter in 2014. We have all read the stats, 350 to 400 millions pictures sent daily. Facebook offered $3 billion; Google offered $4 billion. Every child in high school snaps their friends. College students are using Snapchat more than they text. It is staggering that this has happened in less than 24 months.

If you want to know why Snapchat is so popular look no further than Lauren Sutton’s article here: How Snapchat Has Changed Communication. There is nothing more basic than Snapchat. You take a photo, send it to friends and it self destructs in 10 seconds. There is only room for about 40 characters of text. Most people don’t even use the text at all as they draw on the screen. If you can take a picture and color in a coloring book you can use Snapchat like a pro. Formatting is not an issue. You definitely don’t have to worry about hashtags or your mom or dad seeing your photos. These are all features that have caused every person under the age of 23 to go crazy for Snapchat.

I think it is all in due time before the generation older than college students adopts Snapchat. It is fun. It is entertaining and, most importantly, it is easy. I have heard that many people on Wall Street are using Snapchat to send stock picks to friends. There are so many creative ways to use an app that sends a photo that explodes after 10 seconds. I could go on for days but I will spare you. I will make the bold prediction that a major tech company offers Snapchat $10 billion.Do not be surprised is that company starts with an Ap and ends with a ple. It may also start with Goo and end with gle. The arms race to the younger audience is at stake here. Look for huge money to be thrown at Snapchat in the next 365 days. Apple vs Google will just intensify.

In early 2014 Snapchat announced that more users were consuming stories than snap photos. This is an interesting play as I have said for quite some time that this is going to be the way Snapchat makes money. I feel as if companies are going to be willing to pay to get their “stories” in front of more eyeballs. Like any other type of marketing it begins and ends with eyeballs. If Audi can get 200,000 Snapchat users to watch their Snapchat story during the 2014 World Cup this is only going to build their brand. It does hurt that Germany, the country in which Audi’s are made, happens to be in the World Cup final.

The next social network is one that could go in any direction in the next several months. It is…

Google Plus

Anyone that personally knows me knows that I was the biggest Google Plus fanboy in the world in 2012 and 2013. At the end of 2013 my concerns have caused me to pull back and look at the big picture. I absolutely love all the tools that Google Plus offers. It can be all social networks in one which is the biggest problem. People have no idea what Google Plus is. Is it a blog? Is it Picasa where I share my photos? Is it the Facebook YouTube? Is it Twitter where I just post short updates? Is it Instagram where I share photos in a more social way?

It can be all of these things and more. This is the biggest concern for Google Plus. Google has not done a very good job of marketing the product. That said, the fact that it is a Google product has caused SEO, social media and technology enthusiasts to flock to the platform. If you ever need information on SEO or a Google related product you can get all you need and then some on Google+. If you want to know who won the NBA Finals or who Tiger Woods is dating you can forget finding it on Google Plus.

Another major concern I see with Google Plus is there is very little local interaction going on. Just today I was contacted by a local newspaper about local businesses using Google Plus. I live in a metropolitan area of over one million people. I could only think of four local businesses using Google Plus. One million people. Four businesses. As I have mentioned many times, if I want to know the food specials at a local restaurant or where trivia is being played I cannot find that on Google Plus. If I hop on Twitter or Facebook it is updated on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

In 2014, Google Plus will continue to grow because every business will need a Google+ local page if they hope to show up in Google Maps. They will also need to be active on this local page to trigger the Google Knowledge Graph (the photo and address on the right hand side of the search result). Every day I receive phone calls from small, medium and large sized businesses. Over 90% of the time they want to know how to better use Google Plus. This is great for my bank account but terrible if Google wants the social network to be used by everyone.

social-media-user-stats-2014

Image Credit to Dustin Stout

On Google Plus you can format posts. You can share photos in, at least, five different ways – Autoawesome, movies, gifs, YouTube videos and HDR. You can build communities and share from a personal page, business page or local page. Within these communities you can start events. Outside the communities you can schedule hangouts on air. If you want a private hangout it will not go on air and it is not as easy to schedule; you will have to do that through an event. Is your head spinning yet? Exactly.

I do not think Google Plus is going to hit the hockey stick in their growth model in 2014. It is just too complicated at the present time. I have been extremely active on Google Plus since March 2012 and I still cannot figure out some of the Hangouts on Air features. I have conducted over 150 Hangouts on Air and it still boggles my mind to see the changes they implement. If I cannot understand them I can promise you the local business owner is not going to understand them. The common Twitter or Facebook user is going to laugh and go right back to where all their friends are.

For Google Plus to truly go mainstream they are going to need to accept the celebrity and sports crowd. At this point, it is not happening. In fact, when I mention celebrity news I am ridiculed by some of the “power” users. I know this comes with the territory on social media but it is going to have to change on Google+ for more of the local friends to actively use the platform.

On April 24th, 2014 Vic Gundotra stepped down as the head of Google Plus. This was a shock to many, including me. The whole time Vic was in charge he kept saying that “Google Plus was just getting started.” Well, if it were just getting started why would the guy that basically came up with the idea jump ship? Isn’t it a little bit early for the head guy to ride off into the sunset? I actually published the article Will Google Shut Down Google Plus asking the question, “What next?”

In my opinion, I think Google Plus will start to become much more of a business network in which Google pushes reviews. Yelp has dominated the review industry on the Internet and Google engineers see just how many “review” type searches their are. In fact, I am so bullish on reviews that I have create a package for clients to help them better rank in Yelp and in Google search for local and regional reviews. Much more on that here: How to Get Business From Yelp

At this point most people do not think to go on Google Plus to do a local review. It is very clunky and a huge pain in the ass. I don’t even have the Google Plus app on my iPhone. If I want to check in or do a review of a local business or restaurant I definitely do it on my Yelp app. Yelp has done an amazing job of making tips, check ins and local reviews fun and exciting. Just last week I was out and about with a friend of mine and she mentioned how much of a “game” it is to play around on Yelp. Kudos to you Yelp, you have figured out what Google has not been able to do – how to get users to actively want to complete and submit reviews.

With Google continuing to push the Google Knowledge Graph with reviews and stars being in the search results one would think that businesses would want to push these types of reviews from customers. From personal experience, I can tell you that it is like pulling teeth to get a client or customer to complete a Google Plus review. Most of them do not have a Google Plus account and if they do they have no desire to complete a review in which there are very few incentives. At least on Yelp there are Check In offers, deals and you can become the Duke or Duchess of a location if you are there the most. On Google Plus they offer the Local City Experts program but no one even knows that exists.

Instagram

I am 100% convinced the growth of Instagram is for one reason – the ease of use. There are no clickable links. Most people are posting photos that include about six words of text. Hashtags are a little clunky but they are not necessary to use the product. Instagram is so basic you can’t even search for a user by their real name. When I first started using Instagram this bugged the crap out of me but I realized this is the exact reason the users love it.

Grab your iPhone or Android, snap a photo, share it with a few words and that is it. No questions asked. If you like a photo tap on it twice and the user that shared the photo receives a notification that you “liked” it. There are no SEO games. There are no ways to try to rank in search. There are no grandparents trying to see what you are doing. All of these reasons make me believe that Instagram is going to continue to grow in 2014. Unfortunately, that growth is going to be the exact opposite of Snapchat.

In 2014, I think Instagram is going to get extremely popular with stay at home moms and other Facebook users that are growing tired of Facebook. This means the younger generation is going to run. “But mom, you just friended me on Facebook last year and now you are liking my Instagram photos?” One thing we have learned about teens and college students is they are willing to run to the next social network as soon as mom and dad hop on the current “hotness”. First it was MySpace, then it was Facebook, is Instagram next?

Businesses are flocking to Instagram because it allows them to brand themselves. If you have a brand name product you should absolutely share photos of that product on Instagram. Nike does an amazing job. Almost all Nike photos receive over 150,000 likes. Would this work for a local personal injury lawyer? Not at all. Would it work for Micheal Kors or Versace? Absolutely. Instagram will grab the big name brands and take them to the “like” promise land. Unfortunately, other than brand recognition most businesses have to wonder what a “like” is worth.

If you have a $2000 a month marketing budget for your local restaurant is it worth it to spend money on Instagram and/or Facebook if this is not helping you in search? I know what I think, but business owners may think differently. Businesses that have ranked on the first page of Google search think much differently than businesses that have been buried on page 5 or page 6 over the last few years. The same can be said for Instagram power users. Those Instagram users and businesses that receive 25,000 likes per photo may think differently than the business that receives 50 likes per photo.

Ultimately, the success of Instagram will come down to Facebook. If Facebook pushes out autoplay video ads in Instagram it is not going to make the users happy. We are slowly starting to see more photo ads but video ads are a differently animal. Remember when I told you how easy and basic Instagram is, that will all change if Facebook feels as if they want to slap ads everywhere. They have already tried to make a few changes such as Instagram direct messages and video which haven’t caught on a quickly as they would have liked. An article that is 100% necessary to read is The Psychology of Instagram. In this article Anna Cantwell explains how important a like is to users of Instagram. It is some important they will buy an extension rod for their GoPro so they can take an even “more awesome” photo or video.

Speaking of short video sharing…

Vine

As much as I want to discount Vine I cannot do it. Every time I think Vine is going to die I see another major company or organization coming out with a Vine marketing campaign. My nephew, who is 16, explained to me that Vine has all the funny videos while Instagram has the serious videos. Anyone that has seen the proliferation of social media knows that humor plays a big part. I agree with my nephew in that Instagram does not have funny videos. Vine absolutely cracks me up.

Just go to YouTube and search funniest Vine videos. You will laugh for hours at some of the creative Vines that have been uploaded. The fact that Vine is owned by Twitter makes it viable. At any given time Twitter can start to promote Vine related accounts to its users. Just the other day I noticed Twitter “suggesting” a Twitter accounts that were devoted to the funniest Vines. I do not find this surprising. In fact, I started following one of the accounts and it has been great so far.

I am still trying to wrap my brain around how Twitter is going to make money with Vine. At this point, I don’t think they care. They are simply trying to grow a user base that is dedicated to having fun on the platform. This works wonders. If you ever wanted to know about a rabid user base that has fun on the web look no further than…

Reddit

I am going to lump Reddit into the social networks because Reddit is the front page of the Internet. Reddit users know the power of this aggregate news/photo website. Heck, the president of the United States did an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Many of the trends that show up on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus start on Reddit. From personal experience, Reddit has the smartest group of users on the Internet. Hands down. They may be cynical but they are brilliant. If you ever have a question just hop on AskReddit and give it a go. If you want the funniest pictures on the Internet with the best captions simply go to r/pics.

If there is a subreddit related to your favorite topic you will find the most high quality information within that subreddit. Even topics such as college football and photography are very active on Reddit. Don’t even get me started about the religious debates every second of the day. This “social network” is a force to be reckoned with. If Redditors want something to become national news it can happen with 24 hours. Websites gather 100,000 pageviews in a single day by hitting the “front page” of certain subreddits. If you hit the front page of Reddit you are going to bring down an entire server.

I am a firm believer in Reddit. I thought Google Plus had this potential in 2012 and 2013 but I realized one of the best things about Reddit is the anonymity. The usernames are hilarious and they allow brilliant young men and women to not worry about what they say. Users are free to come and go as they please without their boss searching their name and finding they have been posting to Gone Wild. Please, if you do not know about Gone Wild make certain you are alone when you look at it. You. Are. Welcome.

In 2014, Reddit will continue to grow and dominate Internet news and entertainment. The number of celebrities, politicians and athletes that do AMA’s will increase at a rapid pace. In fact, I think it will become a competition to see which celebrities do the next major AMA. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, please come on down and tell us about your love life. Get ready for it folks.

Something that I have noticed in the first part of 2014 is the proliferation of GIFs on the Internet. It started on Tumblr, has leaked to Google Plus and is not on Twitter. The next thing you know Facebook and Instagram will have autoplay GIFs. GIFs have been so popular on Google Plus it has helped me to amass over 100,000,000 views. For more on this use this resource: How to Share GIFs on Google Plus. Many of my friends ask me where I find my funny GIFs. Well, I am not willing to give up that information but if you read this resource closely you will figure it out.

Reddit is the gift that keeps on giving. Speaking of gifts…

Pinterest

Not too long ago Pinterest introduced gifts. After gifts came location based pinning. What’s next? Promoted Pins would be my guess. I made the prediction in the fall of 2013 that Google would make a bid to buy Pinterest. If there has ever been a social network in which users go to look for things they would eventually like to purchase it is Pinterest. When searching for things to buy most people use Google. When looking for ideas people go to Pinterest. It would be a match made in heaven. Google could implement maps and Google Search. Pinterest could continue to offer suggestions as it relates to shopping, decorating and fitness.

Earlier today I read an article that Pinterest is the fastest growing social network amongst adults. Users 18 and older are excited about the prospects of Pinterest as it gives them an opportunity to live in “fantasy land” for an hour a day. Most of my friends that use Pinterest use it to live out their weddings, dream homes and favorite outfits. They are not going to buy the $15,000 wedding dress but it never hurts to pin it to the “Dream Wedding” board.

At this point Pinterest is heavily populated by females. If Pinterest wants to grow to the size of the other big players they are going to have to attract the male crowd. The easiest way to attract the male crowd is with females. If Pinterest continues to grow in the female department it is all in due time before men come to the party. The world has worked this way for centuries. It is not going to change.

In July 2014 I can say that Pinterest has caught my eye. So much so that I am working with a few others to develop a presence for businesses on Pinterest. For more on that, use this resource: How to Get Started on Pinterest for Business. As predicted, promoted pins are now available to a small number of test businesses and women are shopping more than every online. Watch as Pinterest grows tremendously over the next several months and years.

Most of my friends that are into social media point out that Pinterest isn’t all that social. Which brings me to the next in line…

LinkedIn

I love the idea of LinkedIn. I love the business model of LinkedIn. I hate the user interface and the clunkiness of LinkedIn. If I make a single update to my profile it notifies all of my connections? I could change a single word in a job description and it tells everyone I have a new job? Little things like this have been one of the reasons I have not jumped into LinkedIn full force.

I believe LinkedIn has amazing potential but they need to clean up the interface. I also like the idea that LinkedIn has a premium service that is not available on any other social network. Imagine if Twitter had a Twitter premium that allowed you to get “inside tweets” from 10 of your favorite celebrities. Imagine if Instagram allowed you to access “special pictures” from Jennifer Lawrence. This business model could be used by all social networks but LinkedIn is the only one pursuing that route.

In the next 12 months I am going to try to get more active on LinkedIn. I have a ton of business partners and graduate school “friends” that are on LinkedIn but none of us really know how to use it. It is definitely a place to slap up a resume and look for a job, but what if you are not looking for a job? I am often looking for new clients or prospects but I haven’t been able to use LinkedIn the way I have Google+. Google+ has brought me dozens of clients because they want to rank in Google search. LinkedIn doesn’t have a connection with a search engine and businesses aren’t necessarily finding new customers through LinkedIn. B2B it is a great opportunity. Unfortunately, that is not my area of expertise and I have no need for it at this point in my life.

UPDATE: I absolutely love LinkedIn. As mentioned above, I took a great deal of time to learn the interface of LinkedIn. It has allowed me to get in touch with dozens of business owners of which I am not working with. I have also been able to find several UNC School of Journalism students that are looking to write part time. If I had to choose on social network to look at the “stream” I would definitely choose LinkedIn. It is all business and no play. This is how I like it. Here is a great article by Alden Hale: How College Student Use LinkedIn to Find Jobs Upon Graduation.

Every one in awhile I enjoy some of the funny accounts on Twitter or a hilarious GIF on Google Plus but the majority of my time is spent running a business. Heck, I am currently listening to the audio book of The Big Short by Michael Lewis and they are discussing the default rate of owners of mobile homes and how this was the beginning of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. I won’t bore you with that information, but let’s say it is something that truly intrigues me. That is exactly why I love LinkedIn. I won’t spend hours on there a day but my five minutes is some of my most enjoyable time on the Internet. A place in which I spend no time is…

A Yahoo! Social Network

Yahoo! dominates Google in terms of sports and entertainment. Look no further than fantasy sports and entertainment news. Does anyone you know use Google to get sports scores or to see who Miley Cyrus is dating? You know what they do use? Yahoo! Marissa Mayer has done an amazing job of turning this company around. Yahoo! has purchased many social apps and social websites in the last few years. They own a search engine and there is plenty of money to spare.

If Yahoo! created a social network devoted to sports and entertainment I think it would be an immediate success. Sports fans are foaming at the mouth to have a true social network devoted to their passion. Check out Twitter during some of the NFL Playoff games this weekend and you will see what I mean. If Yahoo! integrated fantasy sports, live score updates and player reactions it would go viral in a matter of hours. Whether or not they have have the team to do this is another story altogether.

I predict that sometime in 2014 Yahoo! will announce they are working on a social network that will be focused on sports, entertainment and live updates.

As of July 2014 Yahoo! has not announced any type of social network. The Winter Olympics have come and gone. The World Cup final between Germany and Argentina will take place this weekend. The NFL and college football season will be kicking off shortly. Let’s just see what Yahoo! has up their sleeve in the second part of the year.

Where Will I Spend My Time in 2014?

At the beginning of 2013 I stated that I was going to spend more time on Google Plus. I did just that. It allowed me to accumulate over 525,000 followers. This helped me to understand the psychology behind social interactions online. It also helped me to realize that keeping up with a large social following is a full time job.

I recently gave up my Android for an iPhone. One of the main reasons I did this was to pull back from social media. I am going to play more golf, attend more live sporting events and create large amounts of amazing content. This article is already 4136 words and I am still trying to close it out.

While I enjoy social media I enjoy being social even more. I live in the college town of Chapel Hill. In the spring my women’s lacrosse team will defend their national championship. March Madness will be amazing this year as Raleigh, NC hosts the first two rounds. I have a connection to go to the Masters and the US Open will be in Pinehurst which is about an hour and a half south of where I live.

My business model has rounded into place. My clients love me as I help them dominate in search. My Google Plus presence has greatly aided my ability to receive natural link backs and help clients go viral. All of this being said, I am going to use Google Plus mostly for business. I tried to use it for personal updates in 2013 and it just did not work for the reasons I mentioned in the Google Plus section of this resource. When at sporting events and watching sports on TV I will be on Twitter. The crazy sports fans on Twitter make me laugh hysterically.

For the most part, I am going to polish my business model to the point that I assist my clients in having their biggest year in 2014. This means Google Plus local work and creating content through copywriting. Besides that, you can find me out and about in Chapel Hill enjoying Franklin Street, Fetzer Field and the Dean Dome. If you happen to stroll through the Triangle of North Carolina give me a shout at jwojdylo@gmail.com and we will grab a bit to eat and talk about anything you so desire. Here is to an amazing 2014.

A quick 2014 update: Well, my UNC women’s lacrosse team had six ACL injuries in the spring so they didn’t even return to the Final Four. A tough loss to Virginia at Fetzer Field was a difficult pill to swallow. I had the opportunity to attend the US Open in Pinehurst but Tiger was hurt so I missed out on the mayhem of having a crazy scene at a major being hosted in the state of North Carolina. I had a wonderful spring vacation to Vegas and live tweeted some of the funniest quotes I heard.

As promised, I have used Google Plus less and less for personal reasons. It is mostly a business opportunity for me now as I share GIFs and help clients go viral. Now that the World Cup is concluding and the British Open is coming up I will likely spend some time discussing golf on Twitter. As always, the fall brings college football. My Google Plus College Football Community now has over 24,000 members and should reach 30,000 by the time the season starts at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.

I have some very strong opinions about social media for personal use. In the next few weeks I will collect my thoughts and put them on paper, err, a blog. You will be surprised to hear what I have to say as it is something that most social media gurus do not want to hear. Especially those that are not helping their clients rank in search. Until then, go find me on Twitter and let’s chat golf, college football and UNC athletics.


22 thoughts on “2014 Social Media Predictions

  1. Peter Kanayo

    Jesse, you made an interesting comment concerning facebook, about people leaving this social network and I must say your prediction concerning this likely going to come true.

    We ve been seeing this with the low exposure that greets updates.

    You also talked about snapchat- am not on the platform, but will like to ask you about the growth potential of snapchat against instagram.

    And on a final note am very much amazed you’ve garnered over 500000 followers will love if you share an article on how you developed this massive following

    Reply
  2. Peter Kanayo

    Jesse, sorry to jave asked about the comparism between instagram and snapchat. Can see you’ve already treated that.

    Still looking forward to the link I asked for.

    Reply
      1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

        Fred and Peter,

        Given the time I will write a post as to the reasons behind my growth on Google+. In more words or less, I was a very early adopter of Google+ and I befriended many Google employees. In fact, I helped four different UNC students start the process of working for Google. Making in roads with the folks in Mountain View was helpful but there is much more to it than that. Hopefully I will find an hour somewhere to write this post.

        Reply
  3. Max Konitzko

    Jesse, this is a great article, an interesting overview, but most impressive for me is the beginning of the last chapter about 2014.
    all the best for the rest of last chapter, enjoy life, which is very short. b.r .from germany, max

    Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      Thank you Max. Lots of getting out and enjoying life. No more sitting on social media all day, everyday. Although I do wish it was a little bit warmer today so I could enjoy getting out.

      Reply
  4. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

    Through the first weekend of 2014 I am seeing huge trends in favor of Snapchat and Instagram. This is not surprising as it was something I expected. I will be very interested to see if these two photo sharing social networks can maintain their full steam ahead approach. The reason both Instagram and Snapchat are so very popular is because they offer a service that is very easy to use and understand. Google+ does not offer that. In all reality, Google+ is way too difficult for most novice social media users.

    Hopefully, Instagram and Snapchat keep it simple and continue to allow their users to enjoy the great services. Too many times businesses think they need to be everything to everyone. Everclear has a song about it. Just do what you do best and all the cards to fall as they do.

    Reply
  5. Jill Levenhagen

    It is after midnight and I could not help but read every word. I DIYed it and got myself ranked #1 in Google search for “Lightrokm Templates” within a month if starting my blog in May. It made me want to read everything on SEO and growing your following. Because I just started this year, I have had little luck on Social Media. The boom has past…especially on Facebook. At least I am ranking and pulling a lot of traffic from Google & Pinterest.
    Thanks…love your posts…I learn a lot!

    Reply
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  7. Chris Lau

    I predict G+ will hit 2bn.. No one will notice. That’s good.

    I agree with your assessment, but am negative on Yahoo. They’re changing EVERYTHING and it is for the worse. For example, my.yahoo has destroyed ease of access to fantasy sports pages.

    Reply
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  9. Bill

    Wow long article here. We all get used to seeing the same thing over and over with info on social networks but I do have a couple of questions.

    First, how can Google+ become better? I think communities helps but still you are right, for any social media platform to succeed there needs to be a very obvious way to use it like Twitter and Facebook have taught us.

    Second, I have never used Snapchat. It seems strange to have a social network where there is really no content there is everything is deleted in 10 seconds. Are there any ways to leverage this network for SEO or even a social presence? Seems to be a tough network for marketers.

    Finally, How about something like Stumbleupon? I get a decent amount of traffic from them but do not see it mentioned at all, also Quora is another I have only poked at and seems to be a pretty good network.

    Again, thanks for the indepth info here. Love it!

    Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      Bill, sorry for such a late reply! But, here goes:

      1. I think Google Plus needs to be more open to all types of users. At this point, mid July 2014, it is STILL all internet marketers and SEO folks. As stated in the article, if you mention anything about sports or entertainment it is truly a ghost town. Some way, some how Google has to find a way to make it appealing to all types of people with various interest.

      2. Snapchat is still growing like crazy. It is a younger audience and at this point the stories are the only way companies are marketing their products and services. I will write a post on How Snapchat Makes More or Will Make Money in the next few weeks. It should be good.

      Thanks for the read!

      Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      Tamas, At this point I do not see StumbleUpon as a player. It definitely has its niche but it isn’t social enough. Ask 50 people if they use StumbleUpon and 45 will look at you funny.

      Reply
  10. Loren Fykes

    Hi, Jesse. Great post. Perhaps it’s your intention to talk about only US companies, but since Facebook is included on your list, and it’s ostensibly a global company, I’m curious why you’d leave other global companies off the list. Huge social networks growing fast globally that are much bigger –Weibo has more than 300 million users, LINE has nearly 200 million now, I believe. Bedo in the UK (over 100 million). Line particularly is growing very fast and is immensely money-making. In fact, most of what you see Facebook doing with stickers and chat has been copied from this Korean company. I’d be interested in your ideas on these other global companies.

    Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      Loren, I am admittedly ignorant to non United States social networks. The language barrier makes it very difficult for me. I also use a lot of psychology in my assessment of any social network and I am not away of how people think and act in these truly foreign, to me, countries.

      Reply
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  12. Michael Sargent

    Jesse,
    As always your insight and statements are spot on. I think you have been given the gift of seeing into the future as your last article pertaining to social media trends was extremely accurate. In short YOU DA MAN!!! Great article!

    Reply
    1. Jesse Wojdylo Post author

      Thanks for that Michael. I always love updating these types of articles as you know content creation is my thing. Keep snapping those amazing HDR photos.

      Reply

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