Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Web Secret #144: 9 Important Social Media Predictions for 2011

Years ago, when Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show, he performed a recurrent skit where he played Carnac the Magnificent, a wise man who could (hilariously) predict (or in many cases fail to predict) the future.

I can't make too much fun of Carnac, because over the years, yours truly has been impressively incompetent at predicting successful trends in technology. This may be one of the reasons I am not writing this blog post from the deck of my Aspen ski chalet.

Some of my failures include:
  • HDTV? No one will pay for that (said to one of my brothers - an early and subsequently very successful HDTV pioneer.)
  • Facebook? Reveal personal information online where everyone can see it? It'll never work.
  • "Farmville"? What a waste of time.
  • The iPad? Who needs that?
  • Angry Birds? You must be kidding.
It seems I don't have my finger on the pulse of the American public.

Knowing my weakness, I rely on other Carnacs to figure out the next big thing on the Web. Recently, I read with interest "21 Social Media Predictions and Trends for 2011."

From this list, I picked what I believe will be the 9 most important trends that will impact professionals during the upcoming year:
  1. If you don't have a mobile version of your site today, you are already behind. This may or may not be true for your business - but it is certainly worthy of careful consideration.
  2. More and more, marketing will be focused on getting a consumer to publicly rate a product or service.
  3. Social media technologies will start to consolidate and only the strong will survive: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. I REALLY believe this is true.
  4. Google becomes the next Microsoft and Facebook becomes the next Google. I don't entirely know what that means but it scares me.
  5. Social media becomes core to every business - not just the marketing and PR departments either. It will be central to the entire business strategy and affect recruiting, customer service, sales, etc. AMEN.
  6. We will see more practical use of geo-location tools. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning, as soon as you are in the car and 10 minutes away from the store, your coffee order will be placed and ready when you arrive. Sign me up.
  7. Fifty-four percent of all companies block social media in the workplace. Expect this number to decline as companies start to leverage their employees more and more as media outlets.
  8. Social media activities will increase due to advances in mobile technology and a drop in the price of tablets like the iPads.
  9. The trend of moving marketing dollars from traditional media to digital media continues at a rapid pace.
You didn't hear it from me.

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