Social Media Trends and ROI

Social Media Trends are finally starting to emerge from the primordial soup we call Web 2.0. Are they easy to identify? Hardly! Like nailing jello to a wall that is sliding faster than a Speeder Bike in Return of the Jedi. Here’s our short list of Social Media Trends.

1) Budgets are morphing to finally include Social Media Marketing - just look at this week’s Old Spice Social Media Marketing Campaign and you quickly grasp bigger companies and their agencies (nice job Wieden + Kennedy) are jumping on the bandwagon with beau coup bucks.

2) Social Media is getting integrated with traditional marketing campaigns - you can see the PR agencies are starting to blog more and more about Social Media Trends (queue next year’s Social Media Expert).

3) Return on Investment in today’s resources-challenged global economy is starting to rear it’s ugly head.

4) Big brands are embracing “listening” to Social Media Trends - we don’t think Radian6 will last the year through before some behemoth gobbles them up via an acquisition.

5) Twitter is moving from fad status to “how quickly can you build a Follower base for me” discussion in every snazzy meeting room filled with geeks nervously eying their iPhone for that all important Foursquare check in opportunity.

6) Corporate firewalls are no longer an obstacle to Social Media - it’s everywhere you want it to be.

7) More and more vertical social enabled communities and sites are emerging - the market  is fragmenting rapidly.

8) Social Media Rock Stars are not just men - if you really look hard at the digital cognoscenti/movers and shakers we are pleased to report most are women.

Makes sense right? It’s all about conversation and men aren’t exactly known for making small talk around the dinner table. Sport stats maybe - but who cares, that’s so yesterday and Tom Cruise 80′s.

9) Social Media Trends are clearly moving into the Customer Service Realm - companies are listening, engaging and reacting to what is being said.

10) Real Time Search is emerging as much more than a Social Media Trend - you can’t argue with 19B searches per month on Twitter. That’s a lot of real time of anything………….

11) We disagree with many. B2B Lead Generation via Social Media is not hitting on all cylinders yet - the medium is red hot for B2C  but B2B Lead Generation is late on arrival……

12) Marshall was right (we do mean Mcluan) - the medium is the message. Advertising is for better or worse,  being integrated with Social Media and this trend is only going to accelerate. You ought to see those stacks of business plans hitting Andreesen Horowitz from next gen Social Media Companies.

13) The home page for many will shift from MSNBC (that site redesign is awful), Yahoo, et al to their Social Media Profile page.

14) Facebook growth will continue to stall (hint: Privacy policy DOA), assuming Rupert doesn’t buy them and do to them what he did to My Space. It can be a cruel world if your in the sight of an Aussie Media Mogul. Forget his US Citizenship, that’s a flag of convenience if you catch our drift matey.

15) Shopping will be integrated with Social Media -  Groupon and Flash Sales should ring a bell……er cash register if you will.

So we say good by with that traditional salutation from years past - breaker, breaker I’m gone - that’s our report on Social Media Trends. Come back and see us if you enjoyed the muse.