One thing I love about social media: it’s always changing. As of January 2013, I have a handful of predictions that I consider to be “unavoidable” this year. I write this post knowing that tomorrow could be a whole different story in this ever-changing social media world that we live in and I welcome any predictions or feedback you may have in the comments below!
- It’s all about photos. This should come as a shock to no one. We learned early on in 2012 that people wanted to see pictures when photo-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest skyrocketed. It wasn’t long before businesses started to join users on the sites and now, more than ever, it’s important for brands to show rather than tell their story. After all, brands are competing with newsfeeds full of adorable babies and hilarious someecards – you’ve got to up the ante and great creative!
- Content is the whole damn castle. You’ve heard the saying, “Content is king, links are queen and social media is the prince/princess” well, I think this year will be the year of content – not just any content though, engaging content. (Duh, right?) I predict that in 2013, if you’re just posting blogs for SEO purposes, your readers (if any) will begin to smell the BS. In order to stay relevant, you’ll need to first and foremost produce content that is interesting, unique and engaging. The more comments and distribution your blog gets, the more success it will have. The only way to get comments and distribution? Engaging, interesting content. You want that user to come back so don’t give them content that they can find everywhere else.
- The fall of Foursquare. Sorry Foursquare, but I’m predicting your extinction in 2013. As someone who was very much a Foursquare advocate a little over a year ago, upgrades to what used to be complementing social networks have stolen your thunder. Why go the extra step to check-in on Foursquare when you can accomplish the same on the sites that some of us check more than our own personal email – Facebook, Instagram. Not to mention, the two mentioned platforms allow for lots of “likes” and “comments” resulting in one happy ego! Yes, the occasional free shot at the neighborhood bar was nice but you don’t need Foursquare to do that. If you want to offer a check-in special, I suggest going with Yelp. Reward those users who contribute to your online reputation on one of the biggest online review sites. Which leads me to my next point…
- All hail the Yelper. In 2013, there is no more hiding from it… Yelp is here and it’s here to stay. Some business owners automatically think Yelp (or any online review site) is nothing more than a forum for people to go complain. But the reality is the majority of Yelp is made up of potential brand advocates. So why wouldn’t you want to tap into that community? Of course, you’ll find the random Yelper here and there that has only left one horrible, awful review but you’ll also find a community full of potential customers and influencers. (Hint: the biggest influencers will have an “Elite” badge on their profile. Impressing them is definitely a great goal to set!) Jennifer recently wrote a great blog about responding to online reviews that I encourage you to check out when you have a minute.
- Survival of the fittest. People will begin to realize that social media does not follow that “if you build it, they will come” motto. Companies need to put time, effort and expertise into a social media campaign if they want it to be successful. The marketing strategy that you currently implement should absolutely transcend into the social realm and an effective way to do so would be to engage your social media company in more than just social media. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it forever – if social media is being operated in a silo, it will not work. Having a team of professionals who can cover all of your marketing ground (digital, traditional, print, etc.) creates a seamless experience for not only your company but your audience/customers as well.
What do you predict will happen in social media in 2013? Please share!