We are all getting ready for 2012 and more and more social media experts make predictions about what social media will look like next year.
Here is what we think that businesses should pay special attention to with regards to online marketing and social media.
Eric Schmidt from Google predicts that 5 years from now the Internet will be dominated by the Chinese language. He points out that the teenagers of today will be young managers in 5 years, extremely competent and tech savvy with respect to all technologies. And not to forget video and mobile – a combination only bound to grow and develop as social media enters all areas of our everyday life.
Predictions have it that by the end of 2012 Facebook will reach 1 billion users!
Here are some more trends to prepare and look out for if you want to remain a successful business leader.
1. Social Commerce will grow
It’s been a while now some companies have introduced online shopping experiences via social networks, Facebook apps, for example. We all buy products and services based on the recommendations of our friends and we are likely to make this experience more and more digital and massive. Researchers predict that 20% of the total retail sales in the upcoming years will be done online.
More and more people have mobile devices and smart phones with instant Internet access. This is bound to change the way people communicate with each other, share information, do business or purchase goods. Social media apps facilitate access to social networks which makes communication instantaneous and perpetual. A very simple example – Twitter has now embedded Apple iOS5 operating system at the menu layer. User acquisition grew by 300% since then.
3. Social Search
Even search engine Google has turned social. After designing a series of complex algorithms to determine page rank it also introduced the +1 feature welcoming social sharing and helping identify the most relevant sites as defined by humans and not exclusively by machines. Further search engines seem to be giving more and more priority to YouTube videos, Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles in search results then before.
4. Location based social activities
Initiatives such as Foursquare, Google Places, goWalla, etc. are gaining increasing popularity, especially with the fast growth of mobile device usage. The predictions that more then 5 billion smart phones will be sold in the next few years only means that sharing locations will only grow. This will facilitate marketers and corporations target users not only based on preferences but also on postal codes (a possibility when setting up Facebook Ads).
5. Social Gaming
What twenty years ago might have seemed as unthinkable science fiction now is available at the fingertips of most young adults. Computers, mobile devices and the availability of the Internet have completely redefined “gaming”. Farmville and MafiaWars are only a few examples of traditional gaming companies gone digital with great success – over 230 million Facebook users play one of these games every month. Facebook revenues through the sales of virtual products (among which Facebook game credits) are projected to surpass $1 billion in 2012.