Social Marketing Trends in 2012Dec 28, 2011
The world of search and social marketing is massive. In addition, it’s ever-changing. The new hot social media platform for local business development might be Facebook today, then Google+ tomorrow (although I’m still a bit fuzzy on how Google+ is going to help businesses earn sales or traffic).
Despite 2011 being another hard year in terms of the economy, social marketing trends continued to grow and rise, birthing new ways to spread news about your website, as well as new ways to track your social media presence. And don’t worry – even those tried and true social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were swept away by the flow of innovations and upgrades.
Some of the big changes in 2011 surrounding social media were as follows:
• Pinterest came out of nowhere and instantly engaged the minds of women and men everywhere with their easy-to-use image capturing site.
• Google+ appeared on the market in June, although it didn’t offer brand pages until October. It’s still a bit hazy as to what the advantages are over Facebook, although once businesses really start circles (allowing them to key in on certain demographics, interest groups, etc.) there could be a huge growth in user participation.
• Although Twitter originally created their Promoted Trends and Tweets in 2010, the price and popularity skyrocketed around June of this year. The 160-character biz finally understood advertising!
Because of, or maybe in spite of, these 2011 trends, it’s not hard to see where some of the social media trends for 2012 will lie. Many lie around Twitter. The others seem to be around online videos and social media measurement tools.
Twitter’s taste of advertising in 2011 was sweet… and they’re coming back for seconds! With the expansion of the company’s first international office (located in London) for sales, the addition of political ads, the increase in pricing for Promoted Tweets, Trends, or Accounts (although Twitter refuses to publish exactly how much they charge), eMarketer researchers say Twitter will post an estimated $259.9 million in revenue for 2012 – that’s a 86.3% increase from 2011.
Online video popularity is another trend that seems like it will fully blossom in 2012. Did you know Justin Bieber was found by Usher simply from one of his amateur YouTube videos? Plus, who can forget that mind-numbing anthem by the teeny-bopper Rebecca Black that became a national sensation overnight originally found on YouTube.
Whereas most small businesses cannot produce a rap video with a catchy tune to pull in customers, the world of online videos is definitely shifting towards in the right direction for increased SEO benefits and to help increase conversions.
Megan O’Neill, a writer at Social Times and a self-professed web-video enthusiast told Kentucky.com columnist Ann Marie Van Den Hurk that while many online-video trends in 2011 were fun, the most important for next year could be more businesses getting involved. Just as the past couple of years have seen a mass acceptance of social media, with businesses and brands large and small taking to Twitter and Facebook to engage and interact, O’Neill says 2012 will be the year that more brands than ever before embrace online video.
The Rising Popularity of Klout
There’s only so much one can say about a program that came up with its own tagline: the standard of influence online. There was a bunch of issues individuals and businesses had with Klout in 2011, but I think 2012 is the year for them. They’ve finally created a stable algorithm to create Klout rankings, which is allowing businesses to see in real time how their reach, topic selection, and hashtag usage is really affecting their bottom line. With the addition of Perks and the +K’s you can give away to others who influenced you, I see nowhere but up for this measurement tool.
Some might argue that 2012 will begin the era of social media exhaustion, citing the fact that Facebook numbers have stabilized, Facebook ads are not really getting huge click-through rates, and Google+ isn’t making as big of a splash as it was anticipated originally.
What do you think?