What's Trending in Social Media?

Never before have we been able to communicate with someone on a different continent with ease, see the latest fashion trends of a different culture, or see what our favorite sports stars are doing every hour. We can and have been doing so with the use of social media. Some critics believe social media is bringing us too close together and will eventually cause problems between differing opinions. Whether or not that happens, social media is here and it is taking over the traditional media landscape.

So what keeps it going? What trends allow it to do so? 

Brand promotion is just one social media trend that is very popular and is expected to continually increase. Brand promotion focuses on promoting the brand rather than the product or service being sold. For example, posting a video online is often referred to as “YouTubing it” or calling any adhesive bandage a "Band-Aid." 

Another increasing trend in social media is the promotion of brands through video rather than content. Apps such as Twitter’s Vine or Facebook’s Instagram video features are gaining momentum.

Earlier this month, YouTube launched a rival version of Vine and Instagram called MixBit. Not only are these video sites on the rise, but visual based platforms such as Pinterest and Snapchat are also continuing to grow: "words tell, but images sell."

Twitter leads the mobile revolution with its up to the second available feeds. As the mobile platform is accepted by more and more industries, other social networking sites such as social bookmarking, location sites and daily deal sites may soon decline in popularity.
Social media has even spawned new terms that will soon become everyday vocabulary:

  • Social TV – Watching a TV program and utilizing a social networking site to talk about what they are watching with their friends or followers. (Ex: Twitter, Facebook)
  • Multi-Channel Information Consumption – Watching or accessing multiple devices at the same time; relative to Social TV. (Ex: Watching TV while on your smartphone)
  • Transmedia Storytelling – Telling a story across multiple platforms that use different forms of content. (Ex: Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Prezi) 
  • Big Data – A tool for marketers that includes the collection of sales, customer information, online accounts, and trends to form patterns and segments of the market to utilize.
  • Augmented Reality – A live or direct view of a real-world environment whose elements are computer-generated; led by the development of Google Glass. 

New features in social media include, but are not limited to:

  • Quora - Users position themselves on the site as experts on various topics, from the serious to the mundane. The site collects questions and answers to various topics and lets its users collaborate on those questions and answers.
  • Topsy – Often referred to as “the Google of social media,” this site serves as a social media search engine.
  • Brook - Filter through the best tweets from your Twitter feed based on the category you select.
  • Mention – Allows the user to provide keywords and track those keywords across multiple social media platform.
  • Buffer – Provides a simple way to post on multiple social media sites throughout the day at specified times.

-Marcus Mahlen

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