How will social media impact our lives in 2012/2013?
Here are the top predictions on where social media is heading in the next 12 months!
1. The rise of social TV
2012 will see the rise of the social TV. Social networking is now transforming the way we watch TV. Yahoo and Razorfish surveyed a number of U.S adults and found that 80% of people mobile multi-task whilst watching TV. In addition to this a further 50% said that social media enhances their TV viewing experience. With this in mind , and the development of apps such as Zeebox ( which allows users to participate in real-time social network discussions whilst they watch shows) and with TV’s with built in social networking tools becoming ever more popular , it is inevitable that social TV will have a huge impact in the next 12 months.
2: Facebook’s growth will inspire unique Facebook marketing experiences
Late in 2012 Facebook will hit ONE BILLION users. Because of this you certainly cannot deny the power that Facebook has as a marketing tool. Reaching one billion users will only draw more attention/users to Facebook. It is predicted that there will be an explosion of small businesses setting up shop on it and existing businesses already on Facebook will have to get more creative with their social activities because of the increased competition. However, it will also be interesting to see how Facebook adapt to the increase in mobile usage regarding monetising their advertising opportunities (particularly since their IPO).
3: YouTube will begin to provide a social experience
YouTube will get recognition and significant use as a major social network (yay!)
Google’s new social focus will demand tighter integration between YouTube and Google+. Google wants to change YouTube consumption from a passive experience to a social one and is primed to do so.
4: Photo and video social networks will blossom
The next 12 months will see social networks becoming multimedia platforms.
Photo- and video-based social interaction will grow due to the rise of new multimedia social networking tools such as Instagram. These services are not expected to dethrone Facebook, as many people simply are not as comfortable with shiny new multimedia technology as they are with Facebook. Despite this a number of Facebook/ Twitter users are turning to multimedia platforms where a picture can speak louder than 140 characters (Pinterest for one).
5: Businesses will fall in love with email marketing again
In 2012 it is predicted that all the savvy marketers in the business world will fall back in love with email marketing. This is because email response rates from email marketing campaigns tend to be greater than most other social media tools. In addition to this email is considered low-tech, and is understood by almost everyone allowing business people to reach more of their customer base with greater ease.
6: Brands will fully embrace social media.
Gone are the days when it took 6 months to develop and launch a campaign or 5 days to answer a disgruntled customer. Brands will begin to accept social media as a valid marketing tool. In order to have effective online marketing brands need to stand out with their creative thinking and capitalize on current trends.
7: Competition on Google+ will rise dramatically
Google + will become ever more competitive and will try to dominate the social media market in 2012/2013. The other top networks like Twitter/Facebook will be looking to compete by adding more new features and content to their sites.
9: The social media gap will widen.
In 2012, the gap between businesses that perform fantastically on social media and those that fail miserably will widen dramatically.
The novelty of social media has worn off, and businesses will need to be ever more creative and on-the-ball with their use of it if they are to succeed. They will need to decide where to focus their social media activities, to make sure that their efforts are focused where it matters to their audience.
10: 2012 will see the rise of the QR code.
QR codes are now being used more and more widely, and in 2012, thanks to smart phones, consumers will start using them more also.
Big brands including Starbucks and Ralph Lauren are now using QR codes as a way of letting customers now about in-store promotions and competitions.
And more recently of course the town of Monmouth in Wales, put over 1000 QR codes all over the town on landmarks as a way of providing locals and tourists with more information.
Will other towns follow suit? Only time will tell.
References and more information…