A recent article posted in the Social Media Examiner that looked to a number of experts to find the top 30 social media predictions for 2012 caught my attention. While much of what was posted seemed more of a blueprint for success in using social media (my series on Succeeding in Social Media covers – will cover – many of these points) there were a few actual predictions I thought deserved a second look.
Predictions 1, 9: With the increasing number of social media platforms and the possibility of more in 2012 (predictions 2, 15), businesses choosing to focus their efforts on one or two platforms might seem like a sound prediction . Social media is still coming into its own. With so many new avenues for businesses to explore, I’d expect to see the opposite. Businesses are more likely to experiment a little in 2012, testing out many of the newer platforms to see if / how they work to reach their target audience. Consolidation is likely to occur when social media matures and businesses start to find which platforms work to reach their target audience. We’re more likely to see this in 2013 or early 2014.
Prediction 6: This is very likely, but one that concerns me. With the number of platforms increasing and businesses experimenting with each to determine what works best for them, the time necessary to create quality content, many will look to have others create that content as a time saving measure. If you have heard me speak on the topic, you’ll know that the success of a social media campaign is much tied to the personality of the business as the quality of the content. Since no 3rd party knows your business as well as you, it is very difficult to create quality content or bring out YOUR personality. While this may be the new trend, I’ll recommend the DIY approach.
Predictions 2, 12, 13, 14: While I expect the increase in photo and video sharing social sites, I would not expect many of them to grow too rapidly or have much staying power. YouTube on the other hand should definitely ‘take the lead’. Viral video is one key to success with social media and YouTube is already well known. With its integration in Google Plus and apps created specifically for Facebook, YouTube is the sure bet.
Predictions 5, 17, 19: I definitely expect to see an increase in the number of apps created to take advantage of Facebook’s real time ticker and sites/apps designed to filter and find content as information overload continues to grow. One word of caution – be careful what apps you choose top use. Most require quite a bit of access to your personal data (including your friends list and the ability to post to your timeline and pages) and they can broadcast your every move.
Prediction 29: 2011 saw a shift with businesses starting to focus on the strategy behind a social media campaign as opposed to random posting. In 2012 I expect the trend to continue. Those businesses that focus on posting quality, creative content on a regular basis, engagement with their fans, interaction with others and truly creating that social, personable entity will see success.
Prediction 30: Hopefully we will see the rise of true social media specialists come from the pool of so-called experts. For now, the true experts are those that have a history of measurable success from their OWN campaigns.
Now it’s your turn. What do you expect to see in 2012?