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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Social Media Marketing Predictions for Remainder of 2011

social media viewpointsHow will social media impact marketers and businesses in 2011? We sought expert opinions from a wide range of pros you're likely familiar with.

Since we started Social Media Examiner in October 2009, we've published more than 280 articles. These original posts were written by dozens of social media professionals.

We decided to tap their knowledge and expertise to see what's likely coming next year. Here are their predictions for where social media is headed in the next 12 months.

#1: Marketers will have more tools to stimulate conversation.

tom martin

Tom Martin

"Social Media will become Conversational Marketing and its practitioners will shift their focus more to ideas and technologies that can create or stimulate conversation versus simply focusing on the engagement in conversation. These technologies will be very data measurement–driven, like QR codes for instance. By making this shift, social media consultants will retain and improve their standing within the internal ROI-driven cultures of today's companies."

Tom Martin is founder of Converse Digital. He works with companies and ad agencies to help them monitor, create and engage in digital conversations to grow market share or increase customer loyalty.

#2: More companies will invest in social media.

nichole kelly

Nicole Kelly

"As paid search traffic and conversion rates continue to decline and become more expensive, companies will start looking to social media to replace volume. Therefore,measuring the ROI of social media will become a top priority as companies consider expanding budgets and staff members for social media–related activities."

Nicole Kelly is the director of social media for CareOne Debt Relief Services and is passionately working to understand and help define social media measurement.

#3: Social media will become mainstream.

debbie hemley

Debbie Hemley

"In 2011, the social media dust will finally settle and folks will stop referring to it as 'new' media. Social media will take its rightful place on the editorial calendars and budgets of corporate marketing departments. The calls to action will reverberate virtually and within the brick-and-mortar planning rooms of corporate marketing departments. Those who hadn't before will report reading online news, magazines and books; and watching more full-length and short videos on a myriad of screens and devices than they did in 2010. We will catch up with friends and colleagues as we leap from one geolocation to the next."

Debbie Hemley is a blogger and nonfiction writer. She writes about social media, marketing and writing.

#4: Quora will leave beta and become a serious player in social networking.

peter-wylie

Peter Wylie

"Quora is superior to any other question-and-answer platform in terms of quality, and it has fantastic technologists working on the product to help it scale.  Its experiment with setting up Twitter handles for every topic on the site using Mechanical Turk was genius, and it shows a clear strategic desire to integrate more closely with other social behavior.  Expect Quora to be brought up in conversation with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube in 2011."

Peter Wylie is lead researcher for Three Ships Media, an emerging media marketing company that specializes in using blogs and social networks to connect clients with target customers.

#5: People will demand more from social media.

jason falls

Jason Falls

"Business will demand more business-driving proof, readers will demand more substance to blogs and those who are practitioners will have to demand excellence out of themselves. This will go a long way in cleaning up the industry, in my opinion. The 'gurus' will fade away while the practitioners excel. If you aren't moving the needle, you're done."

Jason Falls is principal of Social Media Explorer, a social media marketing consulting firm based in Louisville, KY. He is the author of the popular industry blogSocialMediaExplorer.com.

#6: Social media will no longer be something the "cool kids" are doing.

lewis howes

Lewis Howes

"Social media is something all entrepreneurs and businesses have to do if they want to succeed going forward. In the last year, we've seen many start to jump in and experiment with various campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and geolocation networks. Going forward, we'll continue to see more of that and I see mobile and social media meshing even more.  There will start to be actual numbers and statistics to back up what works and what doesn't.  2011 will be an interesting year during which creativity will continue to thrive, yet social media will start to gain solid support with evidence that it does in fact work."

Lewis Howes is the author of two books on the topic of LinkedIn and runs the largest resource of sports social media marketing content online.  Learn more atLewisHowes.com.

#7: Facebook will become a real ecommerce platform.

tim ware

Tim Ware

"I predict Facebook will launch a Facebook-based ecommerce payment system so that users can truly complete the entire checkout process without leaving Facebook. No iFrames, no logging in to your Paypal account, etc. Look out, Paypal!"

Tim Ware is the owner of HyperArts Web Design, helping businesses build and promote their web presence. His focus these days is Facebook app development and Static FBML.

#8 Social communication skills will get better.

linda coles

Linda Coles

"We will all get cleverer with how we communicate online and add a little etiquette as we realize we are not simply communicating with another computer, but a warm-blooded human. Networking and developing relationships online is no different than offline, so let's stop treating it differently. The Internet has simply increased its scale."

Linda Coles of Blue Banana is a sought-after speaker who also runs various workshops and seminars on how to use social media tools effectively and productively.

#9: Social media will expand through creativity, diversification and content.

terry lozoff

Terry Lozoff

"Tumblr saw a decent amount of buzz in the business world during the latter part of 2010, but still has a relatively light presence in the corporate world. Following in the footsteps of brands like Huggies and news organizations like Newsweek and The New Yorker, more brands and content-based organizations will take a longer look at Tumblr in 2011, and how to engage with a new base of consumers through this channel, as well as others in the social periphery."

Terry Lozoff is the president and CEO ofAntler, an experiential and digital marketing agency based in Boston, MA.

#10: Internet noise will reach rock-concert levels.

dino dogan

Dino Dogan

"Three to four billion people are currently NOT online. However, given the growth and adoption patterns over the last 10 years, I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of 2011, more than 4 billion people are using the Internet, effectively doubling the current Internet population. Where is this growth coming from? This new emerging market is coming from Africa, the Middle East and South America. In 2011, a new playing field will open up filled with people hungry for specificity, quality and education."

Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, motorcyclist, dog trainer, singer/songwriter and martial artist. He's currently working on Human-Dog Problem Tree, a thesis in human-dog relationships. His home is atDIY Blogger.

#11: Social media will become targetable.

jay baer

Jay Baer

"2011 will be the year of convergence and integration. We've been talking about 'one-to-one marketing' for 20 years, but in 2011 we'll finally start to see it become a reality. We'll start to be able to send an email only to customers who clicked a particular bit.lylink on Twitter. We'll be able to send a Facebook status message only to customers who visited a particular page on our website. We'll be able to meaningfullysegment our social communication, and that will make social far more useful for companies and organizations of all sizes and levels of sophistication."

Jay Baer is a hype-free, tequila-loving social media strategist, speaker and coach. He's the author of Convince & Convert, one of the planet's most popular social media blogs. And his latest book is The Now Revolution.

#12: Social media will become more cross-functional.

jacob morgan

Jacob Morgan

"Social media will branch out from typically being owned by PR and/or marketing departments.  Social media itself will be seen as just a channel instead of a panacea for solving all organizational business problems.  Social media will also be looked at as more than just an external-facing communication channel; it will be perceived as an internal communication channel.  I think we will also see a broader movement toward 'social customer' strategy, which seeks to solve organizational business problems as they pertain to customers. This means integrating people, process and technology."

Jacob Morgan is the principal of Chess Media Group, a social business consultancy focused on customer and employee engagement strategies, and authors a popular blog on Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0.

#13: Small businesses will stand a better chance of competing with the bigger names.

ching ya

Ching Ya

"2011 will be the year where social media can be a game-changer for many sectors. Data on user experience and personalized sharing will be more emphasized than ever, but so will be the dispute about privacy and where the line should be drawn. Profile security will probably be another huge issue that requires a clear standard and resolution from the authority."

Ching Ya is the author of Social @ Blogging Tracker. She provides Facebook customization service for small business.

#14: There will be a shakeout in second-tier social media platforms.

rich brooks

Rich Brooks

"This shakeout will leave Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the only viable social media platforms for business. They will continue to steal ideas from each other to where their services overlap and they'll all become a bit homogeneous, leaving an opportunity for a disruptive technology in 2012. In addition, prominent B-schools will start promoting their social media course loads, legitimizing social media for giant corporations. Finally, Justin Beiber will cause a massive overload of the social media networks, forcing us all to re-evaluate our priorities."

Rich Brooks is president of Flyte New Media, a web design and Internet marketing company helping small businesses succeed with SEO, blogging, email marketing, social media and websites that sell.

#15: 2011 will be the breakout year for social search.

jeff korhan

Jeff Korhan

"There will be less noise as marketers seek more personalized interaction with consumers.  Fresh and creative methods of social marketing that encourage engagement will become the norm—along with a noticeable decrease in traditional brand marketing.  This progressive use of social media for what it does best will generally result in business becoming profoundly social."

Jeff Korhan is a professional speaker, consultant and columnist on new media and small business marketing. Read more on his website.

#16: Content marketing will drive social media forward.

kristi hines

Kristi Hines

"More businesses will continue to jump into social media, but instead of pushing sales pitches, they will be pushing content in the form of blogs, infographics, ebooks, whitepapers, free reports and much more.  Content development is growing in popularity, and social promotion—when done correctly—is the best way to make content marketing successful.  The only real issue with this will be if businesses go overboard pushing poor content in an attempt to try to get it to go viral."

Kristi Hines is an Internet marketing specialist with Vertical Measures and author of Kikolani, a blog that focuses on social media and networking strategies for successful bloggers and businesses.

#17: Social media will have an ever-larger impact in the search engine rankings.

jim lodico

Jim Lodico

"In the same way that the search engines currently value incoming links as a way of giving credibility to a website, I think we will also see Facebook Likes, tweets and other forms of social media sharing working their way into the formula. From a publishing perspective, this isn't a big change. High-quality, outstanding content is still key to an organic SEO campaign. Publishers (and who isn't a publisher these days) need to create content that others will want to share and make it easy for them to do so with Facebook Like buttons, Tweet This buttons and other easy-to-use social media tools built right into the post. Visitors should be encouraged to share across social media channels, especially as this sharing starts to play a more important role in the search engine rankings."

Jim Lodico is a copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs.

#18: Curation tools will become the primary way people use social media.

jamie beckland

Jamie Beckland

"I could tell you that all key metrics (like time spent, amount of content generated and influence) around social media will hit new records in 2011, but you already knew that, didn't you? With hundreds or thousands of online connections, it's impossible for people to keep track of all of the great content from their social network. In 2011, we will reach a tipping point, where there is no way to manage social media without a curation tool. From Facebook's Top News to Cadmus to Google Reader, filtering and prioritization is already a thorny challenge. In 2011, it will become a crisis as the number of voices, and number of channels, continue to explode. Look for a new set of consumer-oriented tools to lead the way, as business tools for marketers lag."

Jamie Beckland creates social and emerging media programs for White Horse, a digital marketing agency, and has built online communities since 2004.

#19: 2011 will be a year of listening, courage and enabling.

ekaterina walter

Ekaterina Walter

"More and more brands will realize the power of listening before engaging (and not the other way around). I anticipate more brands will have the courage to open up and truly and humanly participate, not just broadcast. Brands are also realizing how critical it is to fully enable their employees to become brand ambassadors, hence you see more brands creating internal university-like training around social media and putting Social Media Center of Excellence functions in place. This list is not exhaustive at all, but it demonstrates that more brands are going back to marketing basics and focusing on their objectives, their stories and on empowering internally rather than on technologies and platforms."

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia
Vice President
Tier 10 Marketing
cell: 505-301-6369 
fax: 801-340-8918

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