Amplifinity: Ten Intriguing Social Media Predictions for 2012
The New Year has brought with it a slew of social media, brand advocacy and Word of Mouth predictions. I spent much of my morning, and several cups of coffee, poring over them. Here, I compile ten predictions that surprised me, affirmed my own predictions, or caused me to think twice.
To summarize the plethora of predictions would be futile; there are far too many; they are divergent much of the time and surprisingly similar others. Generalizing about the common thread in all of these, though, might go something like this:
1) Social Media, Word of Mouth marketing and Brand advocacy are here to stay. Consumers are in control.
2) Measuring ROI is absolutely imperative for any company wanting to make sense of their marketing budget, as well as their brand recognition, image and sustainability.
3) Your customers want simple, fast, easily-integrated-into-their-busy-schedules brand interface and if they don’t get it, they probably won’t bother. It’s up to us to provide it seamlessly.
4) Companies, both B2C and B2B, are ready to put forth the money and time to find social marketing solutions that get results and are measureable.
Ten interesting predictions from some of my favorite blogs and news sources:
1) Facebook fatigue - The new timeline is too busy. Newsfeeds will become too infiltrated with ads (whether via Fan pages or FB injecting ads into the newsfeed). People will look elsewhere to stay connected.
(Blake Cahill, President of Banyan Branch, via Social Media Today)
2) Integration – Yes, we know. Integration has been the trend since digital started. In 2012, expect to see digital better integrated in non-digital media. We’re talking tweets in magazines and Instagram shots on the nightly news.
(James Whatley of 1000heads, via WOMMA)
3) Crowdsourcing is a cool tool for spot surveys, quick answers, and general engagement, but friendsourcing is about trust: reaching out your most valued advisers -- the people you really know -- and finding out what they think. These people can be your close friends, colleagues, or mentors. However, they can also be your brand ambassadors--the social media friends and followers you've built those relationships of trust with over your social media network.
(Jeffrey Hayzlett, via The Huffington Post)
4) Brands should move to agile marketing and real-time thinking. Gone are the days when it took 6 months to develop and launch a campaign or 5 days to answer a disgruntled customer. Brands need to master the art of opportunistic marketing and the art of real-time response. To break through the online noise, they need to stand out with their creative thinking around capitalizing on current buzz and trends.
(Ekaterina Walter via Social Media Examiner)
5) Today a lot of what we call social media analytics is actually social media metrics, which is a lot of data telling a story of the past using great data visualizations. Advanced analytics are already being performed inside large agencies, brands and social networking sites. Data analysts and scientists, many with advanced degrees in statistics and computer science, primarily do the work.
In 2012, we will see social media analytics companies releasing simplified SaaS (software as a service) tools for smaller agencies and brands to perform similar, less complex analytical functions. The tools will tell a story of not only what happened, but also of why it happened, and to model and predict the future.
(Dag Holmboe, via Social Media Examiner)
6) We have seen how social feedback and link-sharing can bomb a presidential campaign: the YouTube and Web reaction to Rick Perry's "Strong" ad. And in 2008 the MoveOn group might have made the critical difference in the Obama campaign. In 2012, the major political campaigns will be even more dependent on social networks, possibly to the extent that effective social campaigns will be more important than broad-stroke and increasingly expensive TV ads. Certainly, no candidate will be able to succeed without a strong following on each of the major social networks.
(Rafe Needleman, C/Net)
7) The role of Twitter will change in 2012. This is the beginning of its reduction of importance for B2B companies and their customers and prospects. Partly driven by its limited adoption (8% of US Adults) and partly driven by its new focus as a discovery platform for new users, Twitter will become more a place to go for news and information and less a social network. It’s (sic) minimalistic approach and reluctance to add features will ultimately be its undoing.
(Jeffrey L. Cohen, Social Media B2B)
8) Brands in 2012 must create a social world of personalization. Facebook has built a model for this. Its “pages” function enables brands to engage customers on a virtual island and have a theme party of their choosing. If the guests are into Huggies, the page can be about potty training. Amex’s page/party theme can be about small business. Then you have Facebook’s “social ads,” through which brands can deliver targeted messages to fans and followers. Any marketer that knows something about its core fan base, derived from the insights gathered on its Facebook page, can create and deliver custom messages to sub-sets of that population. The third prong is Facebook’s “sponsored stories,” which are about leveraging the friends of fans. If you become a fan of my page, this generates a News Feed story that your friends might see. Sponsored Stories increase visibility of this story by highlighting it for my friends in the right column.
(Avi Savar for Forbes)
9) Brands Become Publishers: 2012 will mark a surge in businesses not only being the publishers of their own content, but disseminators as well. Whether it's a company blog or a corporate eNewsletter, businesses will focus on creating the content and developing their own publishing vehicles to get their messages to market. They will bypass traditional media outlets and go directly to their target audiences by creating branded niche media properties. (and we caution: they should be fully transparent about it when they do).
(Market Watch; The Wall Street Journal)
10) “Trans-media” experiences, such as Coke’s and Domino’s, will increasingly be used in “bringing together real opinions from real people pulled from a digital source and displayed in the real world”.
(David Armano, Harvard Business Review)
Send us your predictions or let us know what you think about these – 2012 is sure to unravel a dizzying array of social media and Word of Mouth success stories. Amplifinity is excited to spin around the social media playground again this year!
Written by, Theresa Trevor