I have already rehashed social media’s past, now it’s time to look to the future. Going back to The Conversation, Harvard Business Review’s blog, I summarized six social media trends to look for in 2011 and rated them on how likely I think they will catch on. I used a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being most likely. Just like my post about 2010, let me know where each trend rates for you and if I missed any you think should be included.
1. It’s the integration economy, stupid! Big companies look to integrate social media efforts globally and with all facets of their business.
(5 out of 5) Improved metrics and analytics make it easier for companies to see their ROI in social media, and wouldn’t you know, it’s pretty high. Social media has become the FIRST way customers see your message and interact with your business.
2. Tablet and mobile wars create ubiquitous social computing. Technology in smartphones and pads are becoming cheaper and more popular. Everyone is connected on the go 24/7.
(4 out of 5) Not everyone has figured out how to benefit from mobile applications, nor have they decided what they want in mobile form, YET. Businesses better be ready to develop their own mobile app, and in some cases be thinking about going mobile before thinking about building a website.
3. Facebook interrupts local-based networking. In response to Foursquare’s popularity, Facebook built a location based service that’s rich in data and architecture.
(3 out of 4) Let’s wait and see the impact of Facebook’s platform once it rolls out globally, but I can see it taking off just based on convenience. Most of the world is already on Facebook, so why would they go somewhere else to use location services?
4. Average Participants Experience Social Media Schizophrenia. The overload of multiple social profiles will become something that more and more “average” users experience as they tweet, Facebook, G-mail, chat, Skype, BBM, SMS, and Tumble their way across the social web.
(5 out of 5) See cartoon.
5. Google Doesn’t Beat Them, They Join Them. Google will index social media until the sky falls down.
(5 out of 5) We have already seen leaps in Google’s algorithms and Google has said that social media effects SEO and SEM rankings. It’s only a matter of time before Google figures out its role in social media.
6. Social Functionality Makes Websites Fashionable Again. Websites must integrate social media rather than live in their own walled garden.
(4 out of 5) Companies want to stay relevant and stay mobile and the best way to do that is social media and mobile applications.