Future Implications (Society and Social Media moving forward)
Social media is fueled by the people, as it’s “…Of the people, by the people, for the people.” sounds familiar? Funny how things come full circle and the cart rolling this rejuvenation of old famous sorts of words are social media. Photo- and video-based social interaction will grow, the whole point of social networking—making and perpetuating connections with family, friends and creating new relations- seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. We will see a lot more apps and companies come forward to help free us from content overload. Marketers will need to find a sustainable model for creating amazing content, which may include more outsourcing. As social media matures, efficiency will become an increasingly important factor.
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. 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. Facebook will hit ONE BILLION users. With one billion users, you can’t deny the numbers. Facebook is by far the social media powerhouse.
The hype that will surround the one billion milestones will only draw more attention to Facebook. Not only will we see a boom of small businesses setting up shop on Facebook, but also those businesses already on Facebook will feel the heat to get even more creative and strategic with their fan activity. I see social networks getting even more competitive with Google+ trying to dominate the market in 2012! The top networks (Twitter and Facebook) will be looking to compete by adding even more features. Google+ will continue adding similar creature comforts to their network for page functionality and looking to develop hangouts into something more useful for businesses. YouTube will finally get recognition and significant use as a major social network. Recent feature additions (like YouTube video viewing in a Google+ hangout) prove that Google will do whatever it takes to make the transition. Those paying attention will respond by focusing on their own personal YouTube networks. Video production is not required as YouTube members in the content curation and video aggregation space will hold as much sway, if not more, than their content-producing counterparts.
The number-one way that consumers will be interacting in the future with the Internet is via their smartphones and tablets. Given that, it’s important for marketers of all stripes to embrace mobile.
RISE OF THE MEDIA SPECIALIST
In 2011 we’ve seen a trend toward multifaceted social marketing positions, or people within companies who are expected to have “layered” expertise in social media. Content marketers will have to transcend basic sales, and work within the rapidly expanding technology field.
In 2012 we’ll see these positions solidified, as social marketers working online branch out and become involved in the coding/tech world as well.
These positions will become integral to any social marketing campaign, as singular jobs become more complex, transforming people into media specialists.
One individual must be able to blog, market, work on a multitude of platforms, work within the tech sphere and perform high-level SEO tasks. Otherwise, how will he or she be able to spot social opportunities when they arise?
These media specialists will be required to have a 360-degree view of social media, as their job becomes more demanding and competitive. I also feel that there will be urgency to perfect mobile technology and marketing, as it crosses from the virtual realm into the physical world.
In 2012, it would be short-sighted for businesses to overlook the benefits of having a media specialist on their team!