It's 2014, But Nothing Has Changed in Social
Since the calendar switched from 2013 to 2014, tons of news articles and blog posts have been hitting my RSS feed talking about how 2014 is a fresh start for social media managers. Articles ranging from "What Happened on Social in 2013" to "How to Tackle Social in 2014" have been doing the rounds and have been shared vociferously.
Get a grip, guys, nothing has changed.
While a fresh start and a clean slate is something social media managers crave to correct their past mistakes, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Put your feet back on the ground - it's just a change in the date. What was true on December 31st, 2013 is true on January 1, 2014. A change in the year will not make the Facebook algorithm change go away, neither will it reverse the changes of Google's Hummingbird algorithm switch.
Sure - it's a good idea for you to make resolutions for 2014. Think about how you're going to manage your Facebook page, how you're going to change the way you think about your marketing strategy and think about how you're going to manage your Twitter account and reply to every @ mention you get. It's a great way for you to start doing things you haven't been doing previously.
But not at the cost of forgetting everything we learned in 2013.
Not at the cost of saying "2013 was last year - this year is all about new trends." Trends don't change with the date, they change over time. The trends for 2014 will become apparent when we enter the second quarter of the year, or perhaps even the third - with social media, you'd never know.
For all you know, trends might not change for the entire year at all. Perhaps Facebook engagement will flatline, Twitter engagement will spike and Google+ will be the leading resource for all things viral. Or perhaps Imgur will be the social network to focus on - maybe Digg will make a recovery.
You never know.
What's important is to ensure that you carry your learnings from 2013 over to 2014. Hashtags on Facebook are dead, don't try and use them. Fake followers on Twitter are going to get you caught out, don't use them. Facebook's algorithm change needs you to spend a little to push your posts out - don't run away from it. And so on and so worth.
So where does that leave us? Has this post spread a lot of doom and gloom? Nope! Milk 2014 as much as you can. The term 2014 is still fresh, anything thrown out there with the keyword "2014" attached to it is going to come across as fresh, new and awesome. So use it. Just like I did in this post.
2014 might not have given you a clean slate, but it's given you a big enough excuse to do things just a little differently and to make things seem a little fresher. Use it before the novelty wears off, before you know it we'll be back to cribbing about low engagement!
Avtar Ram Singh is a social media strategist who values good content over all else. Having worked with global agencies and brands as well as fledgling start-ups, he helps brands and marketers from various verticals with their advertising and social strategies on a global scale. He's always around on Twitter and you can also find him on Google+.
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