Pinterest will become an increasingly viable alternative to Facebook and Twitter, according to the Blueocean Market Intelligence global analysis company. The company analyzed the online data of the top 100 global retailers, during the period of September-December 2013. What they found is quite interesting, especially for companies who are interested in promoting their business on social media. Here are the most important 5 social media trends for 2014:

1. More flexibility for online retailers.

Traditional shopping experience is tending to become more online-based than ever. Retailers have more flexibility in the online environment, and thus they can offer more substantial benefits to customers. For instance, they can provide massive deals extended over several days, free shipping, bonuses, rewards for subscribing to email newsletters and more.

2. Pinterest will become one of the most sought social networks.

According to the Blueocean study, Pinterest will become a powerful alternative to Facebook and Twitter. During the holidays of 2013, Twitter was “king” in terms of number of clients transmitted through the social network, followed by Pinterest and third, Facebook. However, as of lately more and more people switched to Pinterest due to the smaller loading times, friendlier interface and the ability to approach friends more easily. Facebook is expected to lose important grounds in terms of online store sales, as their interface is currently slower to load and prices charged are higher than the competition.

3. Retailers will communicate through multiple channels.

A multi-channel strategy will become crucial in the online environment in 2014. Additionally, mobile design will be the main key to success. According to Adobe Digital Index 2013, consumers bought 40% more using their smartphones during the holidays in 2013, compared to 2012. This trend is expected to be further accentuated in the future.

4. Marketing will rely increasingly more on social media.

Brands will increasingly use social media (channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to attract customer engagement and interaction. 2014 will focus more on photography and visuals at the expense of the text. Studies have shown that companies promoting their products and services using images and/or short videos have a higher success rate among customers.

5. Social shopping will become a reality.

Social media engagement has been used traditionally as a tool to present products / services before the initial purchase. But in 2014/2015 we can expect companies to launch campaigns of direct sale of social networking. With one click, customers can buy products or services straight through the social network.

In 2014 we can expect a higher adoption of next-generation social technologies that will help retailers to find detailed information about customers and identify new marketing opportunities. Digital marketing strategies will be more holistic and will increase sales and engagement, not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year. Additionally, customers will start using a wider selection of social networks.

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