Well, it’s that time of year again. What did we all just DO? Where is it all GOING? Here are a few of my predictions. Most of them I truly feel will happen, but some of them I just really really hope to have happen.
- Social Media will stop being a bunch of tools and will start being a legitimate strategy. We all know it, and have lamented it before. Too many people have completely ignored strategy when using social media in the past few years and have just started grabbing at the shiney new objects in front them. Social media will actually be viewed as part of your overall communications strategy, as it should be. Which means, now more than ever, if you just start clicking buttons and throwing up Facebook pages, you’ll be behind the eight ball, and fast.
- Data will be huge. Not just to sit and prove ROI for your marketing department. The fact that we can measure so much more in the digital space means that we’re going to see such awesome research and data analysis on things on like behavior and social trending… just plain interesting “stuff”….we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg.\
- Social media marketing will explode in the higher ed space. We’ve felt the energy rising on this one all year, and it’s really close to spilling over. Simply put, if there’s any industry that has a pre-established and enormous audience that likes to be communicated to online, it’s higher ed. Just get there.
- Social media marketing will start becoming more prevalent in the B2B space, primarily in industries we wouldn’t have imagined. Think manufacturing or construction. More people are accepting the wide-range of possibilities that fall under “social media marketing” and realizing that there really are benefits. They might not be Facebook or Twitter, or they might not be externally-facing, but they’re there.
- These industries will have front runners. What I mean is that a lot of the industries mentioned in the above prediction won’t enter the space en masse, rather a small group of companies will start to play around, and they’ll gain the advantage. A lot can happen with a 6-month or 1-year head start.
- Video will continue to be used widely. YouTube has been declared the Top Social Media Innovation of the Decade by Mashable.
- Personal Branding is going to be very important and influential. I’ve worked pretty darn hard at personal branding, and, if I must say so myself, have done at least a reasonable job at it. But it takes work. Oh, and personal branding online and the effects of web 2.0 on personal brand management are going to be HOT HOT issues.
- Cause Marketing will not only be used a lot more, but people will stop scoffing at it as a simply a marketing ploy, and actually accept that it’s still good for society and that companies can still be very passionate about social issues, whether they’re benefiting financially or not (obviously this doesn’t include extreme cases).
Happy New Year!
What do you think the next year brings?