We all know that technology is not always predictable. Many forecasters did not predict the exponential growth of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for 2009. I have researched many social media experts and forecasters and these are my predictions for 2010 after reviewing the trends.
More Mobile –With the increase in iPhone sales predicted for 2010 and the exclusivity contracts they have had in the past, Apple predicts that their sales of iPhones will double in 2010. Analysts are also expecting the Android powered smartphones will likely morph into a full blown tsunami in 2010. This means that more people will be more mobile in their accessing of social networking sites. Social networking will become more fully integrated in our daily life through the upcoming year and in some forms start to trade places with traditional emails received throughout the day.
Women will be the Queens of Social Networking as the demographics and advertisers choose to target the fastest growing groups. Facebook reports that for 2009 there were more females (55.7%) than males (42.2%). The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females. Source: Inside Facebook Blog
Users will start “hiding” the hyperactive updaters as a way of filtering too much social media “noise”. We simply will not be able to keep up with the time we spend on social networking sites if we do not begin to filter what we see on a daily basis. With the rising number of new sites, and more “friends” joining, we will begin to start “hiding” those who play games, apps and are prone to update us on their every move. We simply will need to monitor the time spent using these features.
Business users have only scratched the surface and will begin to utilize and track employee’s customer service efforts using social media. Business.com recently published the findings of their 2009 Social Media Benchmark Study of almost 3,000 professionals across the United States.
- Webinars and podcasts are the top tools used by business professionals, with 69 percent of participants harnessing the power of them for information and professional development.
- Eighty-three percent chose Facebook as their top social network, with businesses having one or more profiles. Twitter was earmarked as being used by 45% of respondents. Most obvious was that 77% of companies have a presence on both sites.
- % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees….80% Note: 80% will use social networks in their assessment. 95% will use LinkedIn in their assessment. : Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey
New jobs and departments created within companies to implement social media marketing. Currently it does not appear that jobs or departments have been largely impacted due to social media. Many smaller companies seem to think that the FREE social sites will be of no cost in their advertising budget. However, trends are showing that companies are going to quickly find that they need someone to guide their efforts externally and internally to have “successful” campaigns and to track their ROI and analytical data. It is critical to find non-traditional as well as traditional ways to measure ROI. These tools will not monitor themselves.
Advertising budgets which include social media will closely compete with other forms of adverting. A new study by the Center for Media Research found that 56% of media buyers plan to buy ads on social networks next year, ranking just below those that will buy ads on e-mail marketing platforms (57%).
The “2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study” was based on an online survey of 1,164 media buyers and planners. It found that overall, 57% of media buyers plan to buy nontraditional media next year. Meanwhile, on the old media side of the house, 43% said they will buy traditional media with some mediums shrinking faster than others.
Social Media Policies enforced in the workforce. Potty and smoke breaks may now share time with Facebook breaks. Management is going to need to have a level of trust for their employees interacting online and understand that the risk can be mitigated by education & training. They may allow employees to provide customer service through social media efforts but personal networking will need to be monitored or eliminated during working hours for productivity reasons.
The way that we will communicate and interact on a daily basis is exploding. Relation-ships in many forms will change. Also, what an exciting time of change in the advertising world! It has often been said that word of mouth is the best but slowest form of advertising. Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth. Still think Social media is just a fad? Check out this short video:
Michele Adams is a private consultant for small to medium businesses with 21 years in sales and marketing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.