December 13, 2013 debbie.m

Key in 2014: Ramp Up Social Media Marketing

Attention marketers: Social media marketing should top your to-do list for 2014. Mobile usage is exploding and social media commands a large share of time on mobile devices. That means fresh opportunities to develop social media strategies and expand your reach.

Just how rapidly is mobile use growing?  In the U.S., adults will spend an estimated 1:03 per day on tablets in 2014, up from 40 minutes per day in 2013 and just 20 minutes per day in 2012. Smartphone usage jumped dramatically too, to an estimated 1:07 per day in 2014 from 43 minutes per day in 2013 and 22 minutes per day in 2012, according to eMarketer.com.

Meanwhile, online computer time is tapering off, down to 2:19 per day in 2014 from 2:27 per day in 2013 and 2:33 in 2012.

Social media is the top activity on these mobile devices. In 2014, social media will command 28.4% of smart phone usage and 19% of tablet usage.

To increase social media marketing, think of fresh ways to engage your users.

For higher education marketers, this may mean expanding your social media portfolio and new types of social media engagement. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Embrace multimedia content on social media. Use more videos, photos and polls to spotlight your events and campus life.
  • Encourage user-submitted content. Create social media destinations (new Facebook pages, Twitter hashtags, Pinterest boards) for groups of students or alumni and invite them to share information, photos and video, and interact with comments and polls.
  • Broaden your social media portfolio. Expand your school’s presence on growing social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Build out your profile on LinkedIn’s new University Pages.
  • Build up Google+. As Google reboots its social media network, usage is expected to explode. Improving your school’s profile and features will increase exposure.

Expanding your social media presence will require more resources. Digital marketing budgets are slowly shifting more dollars to social media activities. In 2014, social media is expected to account for 11.1% of digital marketing spending in North America, up from 9.8% last year.

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