Review: 22 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2010

social media cristal ballA year ago I made some predictions about social media marketing in 2010. Let’s see how things turned out:

1. The fact that audience has the control starts to sink in.
More and more brands are getting on social media. Pepsi pulled Super Bowl ads in favor of social media. This trend will continue, brands will get more social and broadcast media will get more personal.

2. Social media will get real budgets.
Social media ad spending rose 20% this year and is set to grow even more in 2011. But this is just ads. Companies that use social media tools went from 58% in 2009 to 73% this year and will continue to 88% in 2012.

3. Social media will be integrated to overall marketing activities.
This year has gone by in the search of ROI. There are efforts to tie social media into marketing mix but in most companies the social media effort is still somewhat separate from other marketing efforts.

4. Social media ROI will become important. Measure how much do we get out of social media.
Measuring ROI is going up. Now more than 50% of the B2B companies measure social media ROI. Vocus survey finds that 74 percent believe demonstrating ROI will become even more important next year. (http://www.vocus.com/resources/public-relations-planning/index.asp)

5. Brands start to use listening platforms to monitor the conversations.
A recent study found that 62% of large US companies have voice of customer program in place.

6. Social media will reach behind corporate firewalls.
Social media is getting there but the main use seems to be recreation on company time. Use of social media in the workplace is developing rapidly with 58.5% of the survey participants checking Facebook regularly, 47.9 per cent checking LinkedIn regularly, 22.6 per cent checking Twitter, and 21.9 per cent reading blogs. Younger generations lead the pack in their use of social media.

7. Customer service and interaction with businesses becomes social.
This trend is yet to take off. Less than one percent cited that the most important objective was to offer customer service. I believe that this will change as branding moves from logos and imagery to experiences.

8. Measuring online activities and their effect on offline sales will become increasingly important.
This ties nicly back to measuring ROI of your online activities. Groupon is one way to do that. Multichannel integration where people get incentives online to act offline will get increasingly important.

9. Media will fragment even more and smaller communities can be hyper-targeted.
Well, here I was a bit off. It seems that people will come to large social networks and not to smaller sites. They may occasionally visit small sites but most of the activities take place in their semi-closed social graphs within larger networks.

10. Social networks chatter will be incorporated into CRM systems.
This is not yet come to pass in any big way. The listening platforms are there and used in large enterprises but integration on personal level isn’t there yet.

11. More sales will originate from social media contacts (B2B and B2C).
With the growth of social media the sales from that channel go up. There are good examples like Dell on Twitter. As people get more accustomed to social channels and the tools get more sophisticated the sales from social media will soar.

12. Marketing will hit mobiles big time.
This is probably the most important trend for years to come. People are being liberated from behind the desks and the social networks will be in their pocket.

13. All search will be real-time. Web, blogs, social networks.
Social media results are now integrated in search results. Google came out with its realtime search. What’s left is the realtime indexing. I believe that this will happen in near future.

14. Real-time will be the right time. Delays will cost customers.
Life is getting faster and faster. The impact of having internet in your pocket should speed interaction even further. The question is how to get enough manpower to provide realtime customer service.

15. People will use more social networks’ messaging instead of regular email and IM.
This trend will continue. Last big development in this are was Facebook’s new messaging system.

16. First large scale successful augmented reality applications.
OK, missed a bit. Mobile went big, but no augmented reality yet. Foursquare and others got into your pocket and tied you to your friends. Now Facebook Places and Deals will probably take over. Navigation apps and Google Goggles seem to be moving in the right direction.

17. Campaigns will get more dynamic, spanning from offline to actionable social channels.
Still baby steps, true integration and interactivity will take some time. Combining Foursquare and Groupon, giving a platform for the businesses should be one big step in that direction. At the moment it seems that Facebook is moving in the right direction.

18. Social networks will become more commercial.
No doubt about it. More money in more ads and branded messages. Promoted tweets on Twitter, Deals on Facebook just to name some specific developments. … and more ads on social networks.

19. Ads will be more interactive and connected to social networks.
This has not yet come to pass in any large scale. To get personalized interactivity into ads needs a massive infrastructure and it’s not there yet. But it will.

20. The home page for internet users will be social network’s profile page.
Spot on. Email will decline and social networks will take its place in person to person communications. In business email will remain dominant for some time but there will probably be some kind of hybrid solution in a few years.

21. Facebook will grow to 700 million? (Let’s look at some numbers).
This was an over the top prediction. At the time I posted this there was some 350 million active Facebook userbase doubled in 2009 and so I thought that it will double in 2010. Oh, well, It didn’t. The current number is probably around 550 million or even closer to 600 million.

22. Shopping will be integrated into social networking sites.
Another thing that hasn’t happened in any large scale. Amazon is as social as always but I was expecting more Facebook integrated e-commerce.

To be very critical then 11 of the predictions were right. So, bunch of drunken monkeys could have predicted as much. If I include the ones that are moving in the right direction then I might gain a few points on the monkeys. All in all 17 of the 22 predictions are happening or starting to move.

Happy holidays everybody!

Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

2 Responses

  1. Sumit Roy says:

    A bunch of drunken monkeys would have taken more than a year to make the predictions you did.

    You’re likely to get 11 out of 17 for the 2011 predictions.

    And that has nothing to do with the eggnog you are having.

    Happy holidays.

  1. December 23, 2010

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