Social Media 101, Circa 2014

As a tech journalist, I spend more time than I'd care to admit poking around on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, sharing articles, testimonials and other information tidbits that I think might appeal to my followers.

Yes, I also engage in shameless self-promotion of my own articles along the way because, after all, I'm trying to track which topics interest my readers and which don't so I can spend my time in the most useful manner possible.

For those channel marketing teams who are still sorting out how social stuff fits into their world of lead-generating Webcasts, lunch-and-learn events, trade shows and market development funds, there's a great Forbes column you should consult to catch up about what's going on this year, "The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends Dominating 2014."

I'm not going to regurgitate everything that the author, SEO expert Jayson DeMers, has to say because you really should read his article. But here five things that I personally took away from his update, which should have particular resonance with business-to-business (B2B) marketers:

  1. Business owners continue to reallocate funds away from traditional advertising activities and toward socially motivated marketing, even though they are having difficulty tracking the sorts of metrics important to them in the past and despite the lack of people "trained" on these platforms
  2. Don't discount Google+ as a way to build author authority for marketing, even though pretty much everyone is confused about its future
  3. Spend some time boning up on visual networks, such as Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat, which have strong retention numbers; this may also be an especially good way to reach women
  4. Have something quick to say? You might want to share it using microvideo on Vine or Instagram and save on video production costs
  5. Learn to leverage LinkedIn. Do you have a company page? If not, you should: apparently company page usage has jumped to 57 percent (almost double the activity last year). One-third of all B2B marketers are now spending time here, and close to 80 percent of them plan to increase their investment. If you're not there, you could be trumped by competitors who are.

Incidentally, you should take a moment right now to follow,  follow my Twitter feed and my Google+ account (maybe we can figure out what to do there together).