This article was originally published on Smedio.
With the holiday season already here, it’s time to bid adieu to the year 2011 and embrace the New Year with open arms. And the onset of the holiday season inevitably marks the time for predictions for the New Year. All in all, 2011 was a good year for social media. Leading social networks like Facebook and Twitter continued to grow at a staggering pace while newcomers such as Google+ made their presence felt. Privacy continued to be a key concern for social networks and users alike even as social media made massive inroads into the business and enterprise segments.
In that context, year 2012 promises to be a fascinating year for social media. Here’s my take on what to expect from the social media world in the coming year.
I strongly believe that 2012 will be the year of the social-mobile-cloud triple play. Till date, we’ve seen the best of each world and next year, I expect to see the best of social, mobile and cloud as a combined offering. I expect a large number of businesses to adopt the cloud for their data needs. Similarly, I expect more websites to be optimized for mobile and thereby convert more customers.
The crossroads of mobile, social and cloud is an exciting opportunity for businesses, marketers and users alike as it offers a much-needed bridge between the digital and physical worlds.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAINSTREAM
Social media is fast emerging as a norm rather than an exception in the small business and enterprise fraternity. I reckon that next year social media will firmly stamp its authority as an indispensable tool for the business users. Social media will prove to be a key player in marketing automation needs for businesses. At the same time, I expect social CRM will emerge as preferred channel to reach and interact with customers, thereby making it one of the fastest growing segments within the CRM industry.
Social enterprise tools such as Salesforce Chatter will continue to gain acceptance in the business world and I expect them to emerge as the Facebook for the Enterprise.
Social media and search have emerged as strong allies this year. Whether its tweets or Google Plus posts in Google search results or Bing offering Facebook liked results, the lines between social and search is blurring fast. I strongly believe that search can’t scale without being social and year 2012 will be a defining year for social search.
Integration will be a major factor for businesses and websites and it would mean moving beyond simply adding share buttons on their email newsletters and print ads. Businesses will need to fully integrate efforts across platforms, media, and functional groups in order to offer an end to end experience to users. Whether it’s enabling authentication using Facebook Connect, Twitter or through their Google credentials, websites will need to evolve in order to fit the larger ecosystem.
I would normally refrain from making predictions for individual social networks but Facebook is an exception. The world’s leading social network is expected to offer an IPO in 2012 that may surpass Google’s IPO. I would expect the IPO to further fuel Facebook’s staggering growth and firmly establish it as world’s numero uno social network. Moreover, I expect Facebook to build a developer ecosystem similar to Google in order to help expand its growing platform. Lastly, I wish Facebook gets privacy right in the coming year.
All in all, 2012 promises to be an interesting year from social media perspective. What are your social media predictions for 2012? What do you expect of social media next year? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.