My take is that organizations will continue to look to social media as one of their tools for business development. Emphasis on social media will transition from the loose to the measured – as @JasonFalls says, no more “Kumbaya nonsense”.
The Bottom Line: Strategic planning for focused involvement in social media, along with a disciplined use of analytics, will help make social media a part of best practices for business operations.
What are some of the specific trends to look for in the New Year?
Video: YouTube and picture sharing (Instagram, Facebook’s Timeline) will continue to grow. Videos are becoming more social thanks to recent YouTube changes, and the adage “a picture’s worth a thousand words” is even more true in today’s 24/7 world – think shortcuts for information overload.
Social Media Management: Look for new content management tools to help with social media overload for a more targeted approach to engagement and involvement. @StephSammons likes Bufferapp for Twitter scheduling, @jlcommunication likes Flipboard and Storify for content curation, and don’t forget the ever-evolving Hootsuite and TweetDeck for multi-channel scheduling and management.
Content: Content remains “king”; the rationale to be consistent and to offer interesting, engaging, regularly posted content continues for 2012. Blog quality and focus will impact whether or not messages are heard by a business’s targeted audiences.
The Networks: Watch for changes in all of the social networking platforms – there’s a lot of competition coming from Google (Plus, Places and Search) and Facebook (with their looming IPO). This will drive all niche and mainstream networks to roll out new and improved versions – continuously. Lots to keep up with for businesses and for individual users. It becomes more important than ever to know which platform(s) works for your brand and your business objectives.
Mobile: Mobile continues its meteoric rise in use. New apps and a push for content specifically tailored for mobile devices will impact and alter business’s social media efforts as they look to effectively reach consumers.
Check out these posts for more on what you may be able to expect in 2012:
- Social Media Examiner’s Predictions for 2012
- Brian Solis’ State of Social Media Marketing
- eMarketer’s 2012 Trends in Social Media
It looks to be an exciting New Year! For small businesses in the Charlotte, NC area looking to leverage social media for bottom line performance, contact me, Liz Horgan, for a free consultation or check out what Strategic Social Media can do for you!