As discussed in our previous blog post, Social Media in 2011, last year was a big year for social media. Facebook grew to over 850 million users, making it the largest and most successful social networking site to date. Google+ is making its way, and Twitter has turned into an open forum for the masses.
- Checking in for the cash in. As tablets and smart phones continue to take over the world, checking in and geo-location targeting will become more popular. Retailers can now influence and encourage people to spend by providing discounts and incentives for checking in. Although the “Check-In” is social in theory, it can also be translated into monetary value. If you provide a gaming aspect, or even just savings for checking in, this not only promotes your business socially, but also increases your customer base and potential revenue stream.
- Apps made for tablets. As noted above, tablets are becoming more ubiquitous. Almost everywhere you look, another tablet seems to pop up. It is important to make sure that you are tailoring your emails, messages, etc to fit the tablet format. In 2011, Facebook launched its app for the iPad. Google+ has yet to make their app for the tablet, but we see this as the next step for them. Tablet apps are going to be all the rage this year, and I’m sure we will be seeing many more social networks release their apps for the tablets in the coming months.
- Increased personalization. I know we sound like a broken record when it comes to expressing how important the humanization of a brand is, but it is what makes social media social. Brands are going to move away from self-promotion and move toward personal touches and humanizing messages. Earlier in the decade we were moving away from the personal and everything became digital, but as this industry grew, it became more apparent than ever that it was those personal touches that matter most. People do not enjoy talking or engaging with a computer robot, they want person to person, even if it is through the use of technology.
- Blur between politics, the real world and the online world. Seeing as it is an election year, we think that 2012 is going to see the surge in online political campaigns. Each candidate will be fighting for your attention via social media networks. Debates will be readily available, as well as directly asking questions to the candidates using social channels such as Twitter. This will bring the candidates closer to the masses, allowing for increased engagement and participation. We think.
All in all we think that 2012 is going to be a good one for Social Media, and we are excited to see the innovation and creativity that will emerge. The online world is an ever-changing environment, and it has proved to be quite a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that we never want to get off of…