What To Expect in 2014: Facebook and Instagram

As 2013 comes to an end and marketer and advertisers get ready to tackle 2014 goals for their clients and themselves, we have to stop and ask ourselves: what will change, what will be popular and what will work in next years’ campaigns.

However, in the world of Social Media all we can do is speculate, make our best predictions based on what we’ve seen in the past, and wait and see what happens over the course of the next 12 months.

There is no denying that the ability and willingness to adapt to the changing social landscape can mean the difference between major success and mediocrity. 2014 won’t be any different for strategists, content creators and community managers.

We already know that Facebook has throttled back the flow of posts from Brand Pages to user timelines. Facebook contends that this is because the platform was build for users and not brands and that nobody wants to see brand material in their newsfeed, even if they Like the page. As a marketer it looks a little different. We know that if your client is willing to spend on sponsored posts and ads (including new video ads), your traffic will increase and you will get to those same users.

The challenge for strategists and content creators is to overcome the narrowing stream of traffic with posts that educate, entertain and invite interaction. Turning your Facebook page into a destination for your brand community could become the most important social media mission of the year.

Instagram used 2013 to show us that they aren’t afraid to update their platform. In just 1 calendar year Instagram introduced Web Profiles, Photo Tagging, Video, Sponsored Posts and Direct Messaging. Their user list also surpassed 100 Million accounts, which gives brands a large number of possible community members ready and hungry for their content.

Every social media marketer needs to ask themselves how they can be better at Instagram.

We also need to know how users will feel about more ads in their feed:
a) acceptingly
b) begrudgingly
c) angrily

Keeping an eye on how your brand community reacts should guide your strategy and save you from losing followers.

There will be brands that spend social ad money there because they can. But for smaller brands it will be important to come up with smart, entertaining and engaging Instagram content if they want to build their communities and grow the brand.

Note: If Instagram develops an update that allows for live links (urls) in Instagram Captions and Comments things will instantly change for brands. At this time it does little to no good for brands to try and share web addresses on Instagram.

Making predictions is risky. Hell, even the weatherman is wrong at least 3 times a week. But to say that things are going to change in 2014 and marketers are going to have to figure it out quickly if they want to see their campaigns succeed is a pretty sure thing.

What do you think will be the biggest change in Facebook and Instagram marketing in 2014?


Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.

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