Last year, The Harvard Business Review published a crystal ball insight to social media for 2010. David Armano, senior VP at Edelman Digital named six trends that would emerge during the last year of the digital decade. Read his thoughts in The Conversation Blog. Below is the gist of each trend and the extent to which I think the prophecies came true, on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 being the most influential. Let me know where you rate each trend and check back tomorrow for 2011 predictions.
1. Social media begins to look less social. Groups, lists and niche networks attempt to filter out the clutter, and behavior such as “hiding” the hyperactive updaters on your newsfeeds becomes more common.
(3 out of 5) There is only so much space on my newsfeed and I want to make sure I am getting updates from family, friends and businesses that directly impact me. The “hide” button has become one of my favorite features.
2. Corporations look to scale. Companies will start utilizing custom built systems to help better serve customers or uncover cost savings rather than simply making social media a one-off marketing or communications initiative.
(2 out of 5) I think corporations, especially larger ones, are still trying to figure this out. However, smaller companies have done a good job of offering customer service and appreciation on social networks.
3. Your company will have a social media policy (and it might actually be enforced). Look for something formalized about how the company views social media and your participation in it.
(3 out of 5) Companies might have a ban on social media sites in the workplace, but it seems that once you step outside the office the gloves are off. And as long as you have some common sense about who you are “friending” and what you are posting, companies have loosened their grip on employees’ social media behaviors.
4. Social business becomes serious play. Game-like networks such as Foursquare add new incentives for shopping and visiting certain locations, making networked activity local and mobile.
(5 out of 5) The rise Foursquare, Facebook Places, Groupon and Google Places has changed the way people shop. It has also catapulted the idea of “localization” when it comes to business advertising.
5. Mobile becomes a social media lifeline. Social networks banned at work? Who cares, when you have a smartphone. “Social media breaks” are the new “cigarette breaks”
(5 out of 5) I would bet that 95% of your social network is connected through a smartphone application.
6. Sharing no longer means e-mail. Broadcasting information across social media channels will be more mainstream than emailing such information.
(5 out of 5) Every newspaper article, recipe, blog post, Youtube upload, ect. has the capapbility to be “shared” across more social media networks than you belong to. In addition, you can link up all the ones you do belong to, so that a “share” on Facebook automatically becomes a “share” on Twitter.