End-of-year predictions have become pretty commonplace in every industry, and social media is no exception. But some social media agency leaders have forecasted changes that are at least very interesting to contemplate, if not embrace wholeheartedly. The blog Business 2 Community recently compiled predictions from more than 50 of the biggest names in social media, discussing things ranging from publishers, to data, to audience/client relations. Here are the big 2013 predictions that our Los Angeles social media agency believes to be the top five standouts:
1. Converged Media as a Service
Jason Stein, Founder and President of 24/7 Laundry Service
Social media has completely blurred the lines between all aspects of marketing. We live in a world where Facebook posts double as paid ads, and people’s tweets are a form of journalism. As a result, in the new year brands will really embrace the concept of “converged media,” and see owned, earned and paid as a unified program. This is the future of B2C communications.
2. Less About Interests, More About Products
Zubin Mowlavi, CEO of Lucid Fusion
2012 was the year of data and more specifically, data as it relates to the Social Interest Graph. People and companies shared content more than ever, and this data was organized around interests rather than personal relationships. This trend continues in 2013 with the Social Product Graph which highlights shifting the focus to the sharing and serving of actionable content around products of interest. By doing so, social media will become a social stream for product discovery and commerce, thereby driving sales.
3. Better ROI and Customer Acquisition
Mike Lewis, VP of Marketing and Sales at Awareness, Inc.
Small and mid-sized market will be revolutionized by social customer acquisition at scale. Specifically, new social profiling and scoring tools will allows marketers to analyze and apply custom segmentation logic to their social databases to meet specific customer acquisition and conversion goals. As a result companies will see a tangible social marketing ROI – increase in sales and customer retention.
4. Social Media Becomes Part of Every Department
Jeremy Goldman, author of Going Social
Companies will begin to shift from thinking of “Social Media” as a department, or as a component headed by the same person who heads their E-Commerce operations. Instead, they will begin to shift social media responsibilities into multiple departments. Companies will begin to see social media as something akin to a telephone that can be used in multiple ways by multiple departments.
5. More Personal Touch
Kelby Brick, Esq., Vice President, Regulatory & Strategic Policy at Purple Communications
In 2013, smart businesses will emphasize using social media for personal interactions and connections with their customers. This is different from 2012, where macro blasts were the norm. Personal connections result in a more loyal and valued customer base.
Among nearly every social media agency expert, there seems to be no doubt that the new year will bring about many welcome changes. What do you predict will happen in social media in 2013, and what impact, if any, could those changes have on the way you market your brand?