We recently shared our marketing predictions for 2013. In today’s Fast Company newsletter, CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, shared his predictions specific to social media in 2013. Here is a brief summary of his predictions:
- Mobile social media usage continues to soar.
- Social advertising grows and evolves.
- International and niche social networks experience dramatic growth.
- Social media moves beyond the marketing department.
- Big data grows but gets more manageable.
- Social media education gets formalized.
You can read the whole article here >
So what does this mean for you and your company?
1. Being social is not an option, it’s a requirement.
We’ve talked about this before, but Ryan’s analysis really proves the point. Businesses need to be social in order to remain relevant. [If you need some help, we have some great ideas to get you started in this post.] More than just being social, your business should look into opportunities in social advertising. Traditional banner ads will likely move to the wayside and be replaced by promoted posts and sponsored tweets. Connect with a social expert in your organization or bring in a consultant to help you decide where your investment will have the most bang for the buck.
2. You need to think outside the box with your social efforts.
The biggest players in social media will likely remain (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube), but niche networks are on the rise. Do some searching to see what networks are available in your industry and where your customers are interacting. Getting into the niche network scene now will put you ahead of your competitors and may prove to be a more effective place to spend some marketing dollars.
3. It’s more than just marketing.
Social media can become so much more than just a marketing effort. Find ways to get your whole company involved. Here are a few ideas: Position your CEO or President as a thought leader in your industry with their social posts. Consider using Twitter as an additional Customer Service outlet. Encourage your whole team to participate in conversations and offer their unique viewpoint to your customer base. Whatever you do, don’t put social in a silo. The true value of social lies as it spreads across your organization.
4. Monitor your efforts for maximum impact.
Along with niche networks, it will also be important to find and utilize tools to help you track your efforts. We like Buffer for post scheduling and Hootsuite for monitoring. But, there are so many options out there. Spend some time to find what works best for your organization.
5. Find ways to stay ahead of the trends.
Ryan points out that many universities will start offering formal classes on social media. Consider seeing if one of your marketing associates could audit one of the classes. It would also behoove you to find resources that regularly report on what is going on in the social realm. I like to use Google Reader to follow a variety of industry blogs. MarketingProfs and FastCompany are two of my favorites for quick reviews of trends.
As you move deeper into the social realm in 2013, always remember the SOCIAL in social media. Create a social persona with a tone of voice that your customers and potential customers want to befriend. Be sure anyone who is participating in social conversations is familiar with your standards.
We look forward to conversing with you in 2013 out in the social realm!