Posted: Wed 12th Mar 2014
Two of the biggest forces on the planet today are technology and social media. If you're running a small business and want to propel it to popularity, it's important to pay attention to the trends that both of these forces fuel and use them to your advantage. Here are six tech and social media trends that'll change business and marketing in 2014:
Tech Trend: Businesses will Compete in the Cloud
With expectations that U.S. businesses will spend at least $13 billion on cloud computing in 2014, this technology is attracting more companies to use it by the day. This infographic highlights the benefits that cloud computing offers businesses that implement it within their workflow. From making collaboration easier to allowing for fast development of new products and services, cloud computing technology is changing how people conduct business and operate them in the future. If there's any tech trend you should adopt this year as a CEO, it's this one.
Tech Trend: BYOD Becomes the Mainstream
Bring Your Own Device isn't a new trend, but it's definitely one that has become increasingly more widely accepted in the last 12 months. No doubt about it, BYOD technology is changing business "" and will continue to do so in 2014. What makes BYOD so appealing to businesses is that it save them money while increasing employee productivity across the board. With more people purchasing smartphones, you can expect this tech trend to continue to skyrocket as companies make their operation mobile through the Internet.
Social Media Trend: Visual Platforms
Now that some of the biggest game-changing technologies have been covered, let's take a look at a few social media trends that'll impact your company's marketing efforts. In 2014, visual platforms are changing the way companies reach potential customers and loyal clients. One of these platforms, Pinterest, used to be nothing more than a picture-sharing site for average social media users. Today, it's growing as images and videos dominate user engagement. In fact, visual marketing accounts for a 94 percent increase in views in comparison to non-images.
Social Media Trend: Google+
Facebook dominates the social media world, with more than 1.23 billion active monthly users. But according to Global Web Index's Social Steam Report, Google+ will eventually catch up as it currently has the second highest amount of active users with 343 million "" and it's not just another social media network, either. With features like Google Hangouts, your company can organize business meetings, host in-depth webinars about your industry, or showcase your products. And that's just one of the many features that Google offers with this growing network.
Social Media Trend: Analytics
Be it through Facebook or Google+, it's essential to arm your company with analytical tools that measure the effectiveness of your marketing tactics in this data-driven day and age. Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to drop code into all the pages you want to track. You can use this tool to create goals that map specific paths on your website and their corresponding actions (for example: downloads). Facebook also offers an Insight tool, providing you in-depth information about who's viewed your website, what they've clicked, and how many times.
This article was provided by JT Ripton, a business consultant and freelance writer who occasionally contributes to internet.verizon.com, and enjoys writing about a myriad of topics, business and technology being a couple of them. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton