As the end of the year draws closer, it’s about time we shared our predictions for online marketing in 2012.
This week I will start with social media because it is an area of online marketing that is of most interest to me. In the coming weeks, our team will also cover SEO and SEM trends we think will emerge in 2012.
Ok, let’s get to it – with the assistance of online marketing guru, Jeff Bulas, here are the trends in social media that are expected to take off in 2012.
The invention and evolution of the computer in your hand, the “smart phone” that is connected to high speed broadband Internet is revolutionizing our communications and society. Facebook and Twitter apps are enabling people to take their social networks with them. The latest change to this ongoing trend is that Twitter is now embedded in the Apple iOS5 mobile operating system at the menu layer. Twitter has seen user acquisition increase by 300% since the launch.
Does this signal the end of the humble simple “text”?
Google’s search results are determined by complex algorithms designed and developed by hundreds of clever mathematicians wearing white lab coats and calculated by computers in dark humming data centers.
Google has started rolling out its “+1″ button that they are starting to indicate will be the start of the rise of ”social signals” that will be used to determine what content is being voted on as valuable by humans rather than just machines.
Google and Bing have increased the visibility and priority of social networks in search results. You may have noticed over the last 12 months that YouTube videos, Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles and other social media are ranking higher in search results when conducting an online search.
- Geo-Targeting of Social Media Marketing
The rise of FourSquare and Google “Places” has made checking in for specials in your local area a reality…. again driven by the “smart phone”. The mobile web will continue to make a major impact over the next 5 years as the worlds more than 5 billion phones become “Smart” .
Another part of this local social marketing trend is the new development of post code targeting capability in social media marketing on Facebook which is being rolled out in the USA.
The self serve paid Facebook marketing platform is now starting to include postcodes along with the other demographic data that Facebook has in its database about you.
E-Commerce has been with us for nearly 15 years and is now producing a major negative impact on “bricks and mortar” stores that are not also online. It is predicted that 20% of total retail sales will be online over the next few years.
Over the last 12 months technology has emerged that allows you to take your shop (via “Apps”) to the Facebook “network” so that users do not have to leave the Facebook eco-system to buy their favourite brands. In fact many of the worlds top bands and musicians have their own Facebook store on their “Fan Page”
Commerce is now becoming “Omni Commerce”
Games used to be played on a field or park, around a board in the middle of a table or with a deck of cards. Gaming has been redefined with the evolution of “Social Gaming” enabled by rich multi-media and easy to use social networks.
Zygna (which was only founded in 2007) has usurped traditional gaming companies by developing Farmville and Mafia Wars that is currently played by 230 million Facebook users every month. In 2010 Facebook and Zygna signed a 5 year agreement on the use of Facebook credits which returns 30% of all games revenues to Facebook. Revenues will exceed $1 billion in 2012 which is achieved through the sales of “virtual” products.
Jeff has shared additional social media trends in the original post which you can check out here.
What do you think lays ahead for social media in 2012? Feel free to share your thoughts below.