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It’s that time of the year for all marketing geeks, fortune tellers, sportswriters, et al. to gaze deep into their crystal balls and come up with future predictions. Our take on Social Media Trends for 2011:
1) Content will continue to be the driver of presence and engagement via social media platforms - if you don’t grasp content fundamentals (sources, quality vs. quantity, optimizing for search, etc.) you won’t have much success via Social Media Marketing.
2) Will be more and more important to cross promote your social presence via multiple digital touchpoints to leverage fixed costs of social media marketing. For example a Blog post should be cross promoted and shared via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (the big three) and second tier Platforms such as Posterous, Tumblr and Bookmarking sites.
3) Social Media will have much more impact on search engine results moving into 2010 - Google and Bing are now “recognizing” and “rewarding” those active in social media with better and higher ranking. And, Twitter’s ongoing mushrooming growth have made it the number two search engine in the world, with 19 Billion searches per month.
4) Shake out in the Social Media Analytics space - I know of at least 45 companies that are offering social media analytics - features are not unique and the market cannot support this number of companies.
5) The increasing complexity of social media platforms, applications and the continued extension of Facebook’s Social Graph will require more time commitments to deploy effective social media marketing campaigns.
6) As available bandwidth and adoption of video continue to accelerate, expect to see more video integrated into the social stream.
7) Web 2.0 companies will finally start to develop tools and applications which enable companies to “dip into” or monitor the social stream for better lead generation, customer relationship management and engagement.
8) Living social via mobile phones will continue to grow like crazy, driven by smart phone usage, increase of check in services and sites like Groupon, video sharing via smart phones and the embrace of the 24/7/365 always on lifestyle.
9) Commerce and Ecommerce will blend with Social, as more platforms and applications shorten the digital distance between the user/consumer/socializer with brands.
10) The other half of the United States will declare themselves experts in social media!