If it is said that the year 2009 saw the rise of social media, 2010 should definitely be crowned as the graduation year for social media, when it has been emerged as a powerful marketing tool from a social interaction platform. What is waiting for us in 2011? One thing is sure, social media will be at the center of all business strategies, ranging from online marketing plan to recruitment; from making customer interactions to event promotions. We have jotted down some of the social media predictions for 2011.
Social Media on The Go: With the popularity of smartphones, this prediction is not hard to make at all. People will access social media more on their smartphones, rather than on desktops. This advancement will lead to a rapid change in Web 2.0 platform. Companies will create mobile versions of their website, which will be accessible and sharable from/through the smartphones.
Growth of Social Search: The importance of search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc. are unquestionable in our life, however, phenomena like ‘Facebook Search’, ‘Twitter Search’ etc. will soon give tough competition to those giant search engines. Every social networking site has its unique flavor and companies have recognized that already. For this reason, YouTube is considered the second largest search engine in English-speaking countries and LinkedIn is given utmost priority when it comes to searching for the right job or candidate.
Information Portability with Open APIs: Open APIs always support information portability, which is handy to make a clear and transparent picture of business processes. This feature will help in collecting, visualizing, and analyzing data from various social networking sites. With open APIs, data will come in the form of word clouds, infographics, and visualizations, rather than traditional charts.
2011 Will Witness The Rise Of Forums: Pioneered by social networking sites, more companies have realized the importance of open consumer interaction on social platform. For this reason, many companies will start their forums in 2011 to communicate with their existing and potential customers in a more transparent way.
Change In Pricing Pattern Of Group Buying: Since social media brings in a new age of transparency, there will be a lot of changes in group buying platform. Most of the group-buying deals don’t take place unless a group of people register for the product. To make it happen, these deals are widely shared on social media. This system is expected to change the pricing model of these deals. Company-announced discounts are so complicated that none can track what others are paying. To get rid of this, pricing paradigms will be more open.
New Era Of Storytelling: As more and more enterprises are opting for social media to connect with their customers, they will soon start developing emotional stories to share on social media. The concept is to make and share a message by using a host of multimedia tools. Every message will contribute in a larger story.
Social Media Will Change Online Marketing: Social media has opened a wide gate for Word-Of-Mouth marketing. It is found that more than 20% of video views on YouTube come from organic referrals, which make YouTube the largest Word-Of-Mouth platform. Social media budget will be embraced by many B2B companies in 2011.
Social media predictions for 2011 are not only about goodies, however, there are many companies, which have not understood the real potential of social media. They might go dormant on the social channels and come back only when something new takes place that demands their social presence once again. If companies perceive social media as just another marketing tool, social media strategies can take them nowhere and most of the companies will understand it in the coming year.
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