Social Media – Predictions for the rest of 2012 Part 1 (of 4)

Over the last few months we’ve been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the ever-changing social media space, its emerging sites and key trends.  Since January it’s hard to believe so much has happened in so little time. Image

At the start of 2012 there was huge speculation around the impact of social media and how it would impact organisations over the next 12 months.  Social Media is now no longer in its infancy stages as it connects individuals and businesses in ways we previously didn’t think were possible.

If businesses haven’t embraced social yet, they’re falling way behind their competitors that are finding they can use it for a whole range of different processes from business development, marketing and communications, to market research and recruitment.

Recent articles conclude that 2012 will be the ‘year of social media’ and with Facebook revenues growing rapidly, from $777 million in 2009 to $3.7 billion last year, what will the future hold for the Worlds most popular Social Networking site and social media in general?

 

Businesses consolidate Social Media

As the social media landscape has become more crowded in 2012, businesses will carefully place more efforts on putting their social media activity where it matters to their business and replace the mantra of ‘be everywhere.’

What used to be simply LinkedIn and Twitter is now Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  On top of this there are more speciality networks like Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram that are proving their ‘business worth’.

Due to such increase in platforms and choice, it would be very easy to put a lot of time and resources into the wrong platform.  From a business perspective it is essential to focus on where you will get results; this may not be as simple as just having a LinkedIn and Twitter presence for your business.

Emergence of Video and Photo Networks

Photo and video-based social interaction will flourish.  The rise of Instagram  and Viddy signify that users are growing more demanding towards multi-media where a picture (or video) speaks louder than 140 characters, or indeed a few thousand words.

Given the fact that the camera on your smartphone is almost as good (if not better) than your actual camera, the multimedia-driven social networks are here to stay and are becoming an emerging force for brands in 2012.

We’ve become accustomed to Twitter # tags and Facebook icons appearing during TV programmes and on the end of television commercials, additionally we’re starting to see YouTube icons appear with them.  With such an emergence of these readily available and mobile friendly networks, these are becoming more the norm.

With Facebook recently acquiring Instagram for a cool $1 billion, this suggests that the Worlds largest social network is using its financial resources to keep ahead of its competitors by acquiring the markets most promising social sites and tools.

…our next series of blog posts will examine what we can expect in the next 12 months and a few predictions on where we believe social media and the main social sites are heading.  Our next blog post will examine:

  • More key trends within the current social media market
  • The top social sites that will see the most dramatic changes over the coming year.
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