2012 was an incredible year in the social media world. The usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ) all experienced huge growth and there were many newcomers to the social media party. Social Media is changing the way businesses market and interact with their customers. Marketers are trying to stay on top of the trends. So what changes will we see in 2013?
Here are five predictions of what to expect in 2013.
1. Social Media and eCommerce will grow as they become more integrated. Social media has changed the way products and services are marketed. In the social sphere, the object has been more about sharing information and building trust and less about traditional sales and advertising techniques. As sites like Squidoo.com begin to grow the link between social and commerce functions will continue to merge. Social media will become more instrumental in helping to build business, sell products and make shopping easier and more fun in 2013.
2. Facebook will become more business friendly. As Facebook begins to get more serious about empowering business, we may see a premium offering specifically geared towards business users. Facebook made several acquisitions in 2012 that will help them to migrate their service into the business sphere. Their purchase of Threadsy (an analytics tool) and Instagram (a visual platform) will allow them to offer business more in depth services that will give marketers insight into who is visiting pages and where they are located. Content creation and automation will allow users to suggest page updates directly to marketers.
3. Visual media sites like Pinterest and Instagram will show huge growth. Visual media has grown in 2012 and will continue to grow in 2013. Pinterest recently changed their TOS to allow business users to “officially” participate. Up until 2012, business users could not conduct business on Pinterest according to the TOS. That didn’t prevent businesses from using the service with great success. By bringing it out in the open, Pinterest has effectively set itself up to be a hub for business users. As the text content world becomes more cluttered, the focus will continue to shift to visual media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
4. Social media will expand its reach to new industries. Certain business segments have been slow to adapt social engagement strategies. Many industries such as legal, financial advisers and the medical industry are heavily regulated and as a result have been slow to adapt. As more effective policies and technological solutions are put in place, practitioners in those industries will increasingly see social media as an effective platform for growing their client base. Many will find great success as they become more visible and accessible through social media interaction.
5. Media content creators will rely less on social media and more on email subscription to grow their client base. This is an ironic development, but it is gaining steam among early adopters of social media. As the marketplace becomes more crowded, certain mediaprenuers are switching from engaging customers solely through social media, to building brand loyalty by getting their best customers to interact through opt-in email subscriptions. Studies have shown that the most engaged audience and buyers are most likely to come from your mailing list. Your mailing list is the only list you truly own and have complete control over. Does that mean that social media is on the way out? Absolutely not! But it does mean that businesses that are concerned with customer loyalty will encourage more direct interaction.
Social media is here to stay and will continue to play a more important role in business development than ever before. A degree in Internet Marketing from Minnesota School of Business will provide you with the skills to grow your career in this expanding field.