Social media is always changing. The social landscape of 2014 is no different. Here's a look at 7 trends that are shaping the social media landscape this year courtesy of this infographic from Media Mosaic.

1. Social Listening

What is it?  

Social listening is simply when a brand uses tools like Twitter mentions, or Mention to listen to what others are saying about their brand on social media. Listening to what customers, fans, and competitors are saying about you gives you insight into how your brand is perceived, potential leads, and input that can be used to improve your business.

2. Social Advertising

What is it?

Most social networks provide opportunities for brands to advertise themselves. Sponsored Tweets, posts and pins are a great example of this. Used wisely they can be great agents to enhance your existing advertising campaigns.

3. Data-Based Marketing

What is it?

Surely you've heard of Big Data. Thanks to the interconnectedness of the internet and social networks there's more data available than ever before on your target demographics. Learning as much as you can about them can allow you to market to them like never before.

4. Pictures as A Marketing Tool

What is it?

Pinterest and Instagram and great examples of how powerful images can be. Images can go viral drawing interest to newsworthy events, stories and more. They can be used on every social platform and can reach millions of people. Now more than ever, images must be part of any marketing campaign.

5. Social Media Integration with Business

What is it?

Social media must be thought of as one more cog in the wheel of your marketing program and indeed your entire business. A brand's social media presence is a representation of that brand on social media. To be successful it must work in harmony with the rest of the business' departments.

6. Social Data Will Guide the Future of Relationship Intelligence

What is it?

As mentioned in #3, social media offers a vast wealth of information on many demographics. Using the information well is becoming increasingly important for brands. Brands can use social media to connect with their fans, but they can also use it to learn about those who love their products. This knowledge can be used to help form future relationships.

7. Online meets Offline for Customer Engagement

What is it?

Neither people nor brands exist solely online. Apps, mobile coupons and other interactive features a blend the on and offline aspects of a business. To be successful businesses must use both on and offline features to market them, offer customer service, and connect with their customers.

To be successful in social media marketing you must be aware of the latest trends and use them to your advantage. It's easy to get bogged down in the smaller details of which social network is making changes, however, keeping these overreaching trends in mind will help your business to be successful on social media no matter what network you are on, or what changes come your way. Have you noticed any other social media trends this year? Share them with us in the comments or share your own thoughts and insights into these trends.

Social Media Trends Shaping 2014
Social Media Trends Shaping 2014