Volume 9

NO.  2

So you know your business needs to use
social media: now what?

What is #trending in social media for 2014



Results from the Eiler Communications Social Media Survey will be published in March newsletter  













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So you know your business needs to use
social media: now what?

It isn't uncommon to articles on sites like Mashable, PR Daily, and TechCrunch talking about the benefits of social media for business. It is well established that businesses should engage in some sort of social media activity. But it also isn't uncommon to see articles on these same sites talking about how businesses don't use it properly or many have accounts or pages but don't interact or use them regularly.


For any business, particularly one new to social media, the idea of establishing an online presence can be daunting, especially when you compare yourself to a company like Coca-Cola who is one of the leaders in social innovation. Where should you start?


You don't have to be on every network.

Many companies may feel a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of social networking sites that are out there. But you don't have to be. There's no rule that says you have to be on every site. In fact, being on every site may not be the most efficient way to engage with your audience. Selecting three to four sites and using them exceptionally well is far more beneficial than having twenty and only updating each one once per month. Besides, managing twenty sites, even if you do update them each day, would be exhausting and social media engagement should be fun. So choose your networks wisely and create a plan on how and who will manage the selected sites. Keep in mind that your sites could change depending on your company and your consumers. One year you may find that five sites work really well for you and the next year maybe three sites will do.



This relates to the first point. When choosing your networks, it is important to consider who your business targets. Do you target women? Men under 35? Young adults? Or some sort of combination of demographic groups. As social media has developed, it seems that certain social networks have developed a following for particular age groups or gender. Do a little research into the social network's user base. For example, imagine your company is geared toward mothers and future mothers. Well, did you know 80% of Pinterest users are female? Now say your company expands and begins creating products for young females ages 13-20. Though Pinterest may seem like the place to be, it turns out that may not be the best social network when targeting adolescents. WeHeartIt, another photo-centric social network has quietly garnered 25 million monthly users and 80% of their users are under 24 years old. WeHeartIt's crowd isn't quite ready for home décor, kids crafts, and environmentally friendly cleaning remedies like Pinterest's user base is.


Doing a little research will go a long way. Find out where your consumers or constituents are and go after them!


Engage. Engage. Engage.

We hear it all the time from social media professionals: Engagement is key. Don't just post something and leave it at that. Ask a question. Post something a little edgy that will make users look. Ask yourself, if I saw this [content], would I share it with my followers? If the answer is no, don't waste your time. And don't be afraid to mix it up. Post a video of employees working in the office one day, an inspirational quote the next (and maybe ask followers what it means to them or what is their favorite quote), and an interesting news article another day. Other ways to engage are to interact with other businesses. One company that does this well is Old Spice. They are constantly interacting with other businesses, many of which are totally unrelated to deodorant, and creating funny micro-videos.


Be adventurous.

Don't be afraid to be adventurous on social media. Have some fun engaging with your consumers and followers and be creative. Oreo's "Dunk in the Dark" campaign sprouted moments after the lights at the Superbowl went out and it was an extremely successful campaign that was thought up on the spot. Choose your sites wisely, be creative, and have fun.

Katie Joly

What is #trending in social media for 2014


Now that you've mastered 2013's hot social media sites like Vine, Snapchat, and Tumblr and you feel confident with how you engage with your followers and friends; you're ready to start at square one (almost) on the social media roller coaster for 2014.

Visual Content and Micro-Video


So what's new this year? As cliché as the saying is: a picture is worth one thousand words. Visual content is predicted to be one of the most popular trends for 2014 as it seems soon 140 characters will soon be too much. Instagram, one of the most well-known visual content social sites has roughly 150 million users that share 55 million photos per day. Pinterest, the digital scrapbooking site, boasts upwards of 70 million users (last measured July 2013) and newcomer, WeHeartIt, has roughly 25 million users and is adding about 1 million users per month.


Visual content is key for 2014 so learning to utilize visual sites should be first priority as the year kicks off. Coupled with visual content is micro-video. Instagram, Vine, YouTube; any site that allows the users to create short quick videos were big in 2013 and will continue to be in the New Year. Examples include Home Depot's How-to videos and Oreo's Vine campaign in 2013 including their 'Shining' video that turned into an internet sensation.


Creativity and authenticity are another trend for 2014. Long gone are the glossy, high-dollar advertisements of the nineties and early two-thousands. Companies are going to have to create creative and authentic content to attract mobile users and most importantly, they're going to have to do it in a short amount of time.


Blogging will continue to be better and better. In a 140 character or less world, it is almost surprising the longform continues to thrive but it is growing. Blogging-centric sites like Tumblr and Medium have seen significant growth throughout the last year, in fact, Tumblr has almost 170 million blogs and content management sites like WordPress and Drupal allow for recreational or amateur users to create classy, semi-professional looking blogs. Google+ bloggers will also gain an edge when creating and publishing their content thanks to Google Authorship which links their work to their Google profile.


As we get further into 2014, don't get lost in the world of social media. Stay up to date on trends and happenings so your business and even your personal accounts are targeting and reaching your audience in the right way. You should be constantly researching new, emerging platforms that are trending and gaining followers. Most importantly, have fun! Social media is a great way to learn and engage in a relatively casual manner.


Larry Eiler


Results from the Eiler Communications Social Media Survey will be published in March newsletter



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