In the past 5 years, social media has made its way into marketing for every type of business. Knowing what the latest trends in social media are is one of the best ways to keep abreast of the technology and ahead of your competition. We’ve compiled certain highlights that will help you understand how to approach digital marketing in 2014:

Google+

Originally Google+ had been crafted as an answer to Facebook, a place where people could easily hang out in groups to collaborate and connect. Google+ has grown in leaps and bounds since then and now has over 540 million active users. Lately, that functionality has moved into becoming important with online marketing and work. According to Frederic Gonzalo owner of Gonzo Marketing, Google is keeping its social networking site at the heart of all of its functions. That means that if your company is on Google+, it’s going to be optimized for search engines. While no one can be certain if this will finally be the year that Google+ takes off as a legitimate marketing platform, many experts seem to think it is worth keeping an eye on.

OTAs May Overpower Direct

As a hotel owner you would prefer to have visitors book through your site whenever possible. This removes the fee that is associated with an OTA booking. However, travellers are some of the few people that book without putting forethought into their purchase. When Expedia Media Solutions did a study, they found out that travellers will look at an average of 38 websites before they make a selection. That alone can tell you how very competitive OTAs have gotten over the last few years.

To combat the growing trend, your site needs to show up and offer an undercut rate from the OTA. To do this, you need to be on top of your SEO content and make certain that your site is as professional looking as possible. Keeping your content fresh and your site compatible with mobile browsing is going to make it easier for potential customers to book through you and not through competition.

While it’s yet to be seen if OTAs are going to choke out other forms of billing, the meta-search sites are starting to become truly impressively sized beings. It’s thought that more mergers, such as Travingo merging with Expedia and Priceline’s purchasing of Kayak are just the start of a growing trend.

Mobile Booking

People are busy these days. Many of us tend to do things from booking a hotel to banking on the go with our mobile devices. In fact, some 60% of people that book a hotel online are going to do so through their mobile browser. Last year was the year of the mobile device and this trend is nowhere near coming to a close. To be competitive, your site needs to be easily viewed and used on a mobile device. This is one prediction that most experts are absolutely in agreement over.

In short, it’s going to be important to have an online presence if you want to generate business, and  it’s going to be imperative for companies to be on the most popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and perhaps even Google+. By paying attention to your market research and trends you can get onto the right social media networks and get seen by your customer base.