I recently posted some strategic predictions for Social Media for 2011. Here are some predictions regarding tactics we’re likely to see more of in 2011:
1. Increased Competitive Pressure for Facebook
Several competitors are entering the social space next year — including Diaspora, which began inviting users less than a month ago. According to its founders, Diaspora is:
Diaspora lets you create “aspects,” which are personal lists that let you group people according to the roles they play in your life. We think that aspects are a simple, straightforward, lightweight way to make it really clear who is receiving your posts and who you are receiving posts from.
According to TechCrunch, Diaspora looks like Ping mated with Facebook and promises more security and easier sharing. We’ll see how successful these 4 guys from NYU are next year. Others suggest the strongest competitor to Facebook is either in early release or is still being developed in some guy’s garage or basement.
Social Media strategies will stay the same, but the tactics likely will evolve as new social media networks form or existing social media networks evolve – like new Facebook profiles or enhanced messaging.
2. Acceptance of Social Media at Work
Likely, employers will realize prohibitions on using social media at work are misguided. Social media will become increasingly important as a tool of employees to share information and build relationships across work groups. This means businesses will need new policies to ensure social media abuses don’t occur — including wasting time on social networks, sharing inaccurate or private business information, who can present themselves as representatives of the firm, and other issues.
Companies will likely want to use social networks to “listen” to their employees, just like they do their customers. Paying attention to what employees are saying to their social networks will provide information regarding employee moral, identify problems within units of the organization and help recruit new employees.
Social media at work should encourage more B2B companies to include social media marketing in their plans for 2011.
3. More customer information and better integration
As more consumers use social networks and providing more information on social networks, companies will be challenged to integrate all this information into usable formats. Identifying influencers will be more accurate, but more difficult to determine when you consider an individual might be less influential but their influence might extend across multiple networks. Using cookies and location based information from mobile devices will provide a more complete picture of consumers, their likes, needs, and preferences.
Companies who can utilize customer information to provide value (such as targeted messages and offers versus generic advertising) will find value in this information. Companies who don’t use information judiciously will find themselves under fire from consumers, consumer protection groups, and increasingly governmental organizations for privacy invasion.
4. Pervasive use of advertising in social networks will create negative images for these advertisers.
Companies need to be able to harness the two way conversations inherent in social media to build customer relationships rather than continuing to blast consumers with unwanted advertising. Consumers are already disillusioned with online streaming video due to commercialization of the media. Consumers are also becoming immune to the “likes” of friends as these become overused.
Companies will need to accept that social media marketing is different and stop pushing advertising through these channels.
5. New tools
New tools like Shopkick and QR Codes will become increasingly prevalent in 2011. I recently encouraged a client to add QR tags to their brochures and the results are impressive, especially when you consider the low cost of this tactic. Many retailers used inexpensive QR Codes to communicate offers to consumers in a novel way during Black Friday.
Shopkick is more expensive, but its possibilities are enormous. Consumers shopping with Shopkick enabled devices can be encouraged to perform all kinds of behaviors likely to increase retail sales. 8JCTXF4U38EG