This was a topic discussed on Talk Social With Wahine Media, a weekly radio segment on The Matt DiGeronimo Show. Listen to the podcast replay here

Today is Halloween—the day where the ghouls come out, and creatures of the night jump out to surprise you without notice. When it comes to social media, there’s nothing that makes your heart beat faster than the unexpected, or scarier than being ill prepared.

While we can’t prevent the shenanigans that you will most likely encounter tonight, we can help you scare off the horrors you may face in the year to come. We’re going to look into the mystical Wahine crystal ball and make some predictions—so you can be better prepared for what’s lurking behind the door of the future.

Hiring someone specifically for social media will no longer be an afterthought nor a bonus skill set, it will be a necessity. There’s too much at stake not to take social media seriously. If you are unwilling to make the investment, your competition already has, and will leave you behind. No matter what size your business, you will need a designated person responsible for social media. This position will not be successful operating in a silo—it will need to be fully integrated with marketing, product design, HR, and especially customer service. That means you will need to budget now, rather than later.

We’ve all heard content is king. But in 2014, content will be the difference between owning the rose garden and the whole kingdom. Curation—the act of sharing other’s content to elevate your influence—was and always will be a piece of your content strategy. In 2014, creating content consistently will be instrumental in maintaining influence in your industry, and remaining relevant to your community. And, the content you create must be sharable—so compelling that people can’t resist sharing. Don’t tell your community how great you are, create the content that will make people tell their friends how great you are.

Mobile will be the center of your content strategy. With the release of Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, your content strategy will need to shift from a browser friendly one, to a mobile-centric one. With over 46% of searches happening on a mobile device, you must think mobile. The look and feel of your website is more then ever important. If you don’t have a responsive and mobile-friendly website, your bounce rate will skyrocket. The length of your paragraphs must be palatable on a mobile device.

And, you will also need to consider what your community’s mobile experience is with your content on social platforms. Don’t use huge photos, keep your captions short, be sure to use mobile friendly links, and please if you Google one thing today, learn how Twitter Card (former embedded Tweets) works and utilize the native platform.

In the end, these are all pointers that many social media experts have been shouting from the rooftops for years. But now, businesses will have no choice but take action. Get rid of your musty old skeleton website, get dead serious about your content strategy, and for goodness sake invest in the good Halloween candy or your house is going to get egged. I prefer Mounds, but Snickers will do too.

What’s the one thing that scares you about social media?