In the last days of 2010 I’m looking at what are the important developments in social networking landscape. What are the key technologies and where are the we headed in 2011. Here are 17 points that you should keep your eyes on next year:
1. Audience will have control. This means that brands will be visible on social media if they like it or not. If a brand doesn’t have a presence on social media consumers will still talk about them.
2. Social media monitoring gets even more important. On a tactical level it’s important to facilitate sales and provide customer service. Strategically brands need to monitor overall sentiment and find the influencers.
3. Engaging customers will be a challenge. As more and more brands go social there will be a lot of noise. To stand out brands need to be relevant, engaging and have a dialog with their customers.
4. Community management is important to engage people. Thriving community will keep the brand relevant and interesting allowing people to express themselves. Planning and creating content, telling stories, organizing events and tying it all together with other communication activities.
5. 2011 will be the year when most social media and personal communications will be in the mobile devices. It will be everywhere, always connected customers will share loads of information about what they are doing and consuming.
6. One social network will rule them all. It is a pointless to have dozens of profiles on different social networks. People will flock to the network with most users. Right now it’s Facebook.
7. Integrating websites wit social technology will make them more appealing to users. People will have options to share information about the sites they visit and interact with friends. Logging in to websites will be done through you social network identity.
8. Social commerce. Friend’s recommendations are the most powerful sales triggers. Businesses will use that by integrating shopping to social networks and using social connect in their e-commerce sites. The toolbox for the online retailer will get more mobile and connected with mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.
9. Location! Location! Location! Foursquare, Facebook Places, Goupon, and others will find ways to make their location based services useful for businesses. Local information, reviews, coupons, loyalty programs and more. All tied in with your social graph. How to help you to get together with your friends and use the brands at the same time.
10. Measuring results! While it’s still time for trying out new media and technology, serious money will be spent. The guys upstairs want to know how much of that investment are they going to get back. Models of measuring social media marketing effectiveness will emerge.
11. Social media will be integrated to overall marketing activities. This approach is important to get the most value out of your activities. The multichannel buyers will spend a lot more money(http://www.internetretailing.net/2010/12/multichannel-shoppers-spend-82-more/) on your brand than other segments.
12. Brand is customer experience, service, product, people, stories, community. Marketing will be managing conversations about these elements of your brand. Brands will create content that helps consumers to feel better about the brand and give them reasons to share their experiences.
13. Marketing will hit mobiles big time. 2011 will continue the mobile explosion and this trend will go on for years. Mobile and location based marketing will grow very fast.
14. Personal messaging will move to social networks. The importance of standalone email, IM and other services will decline.
15. Campaigns will get more dynamic, spanning from offline to actionable social channels.
We still see only baby steps, true integration and interactivity will take some time. Location based services, group buying, mobile and social commerce will move this trend ahead in 2011.
16. The home page for internet users will be a social network. People are there to talk to others. Brands need to find way to make themselves meaningful in these conversations.
17. Facebook will get close to 800 million users?. County after country Facebook will become the dominant social network. Currently only a few big strongholds remain. China, Brazil, Russia, Japan, South-Korea.