17 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2011

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In the last days of 2010 I’m looking at what are the important developments in social networking landscape. What are the key technologies and where are we headed in 2011. Here are 17 points that you should keep your eyes on next year:

1. Audience will have control. This means that brands will be visible on social media if they like it or not. If a brand doesn’t have a presence on social media consumers will still talk about them.

2. Social media monitoring gets even more important. On a tactical level it’s important to facilitate sales and provide customer service. Strategically brands need to monitor overall sentiment and find the influencers.

3. Engaging customers will be a challenge. As more and more brands go social there will be a lot of noise. To stand out brands need to be relevant, engaging and have a dialog with their customers.

4. Community management is important to engage people. Thriving community will keep the brand relevant and interesting allowing people to express themselves. Planning and creating content, telling stories, organizing events and tying it all together with other communication activities.

5. 2011 will be the year when most social media and personal communications will be in the mobile devices. It will be everywhere, always connected customers will share loads of information about what they are doing and consuming.

6. One social network to rule them all. It is a pointless to have dozens of profiles on different social networks. People will flock to the network with most users. Right now it’s Facebook.

7. Integrating websites with social technology will make them more appealing to users. People will have options to share information about the sites they visit and interact with friends. Logging in to websites will be done through you social network identity.

2011 social media marketing trends8. Social commerce. Friend’s recommendations are the most powerful sales triggers. Businesses will use that by integrating shopping to social networks and using social connect in their e-commerce sites. The toolbox for the online retailer will get more mobile and connected with mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.

9. Location! Location! Location! Foursquare, Facebook Places, Goupon, and others will find ways to make their location based services useful for businesses. Local information, reviews, coupons, loyalty programs and more. All tied in with your social graph. How to help you to get together with your friends and use the brands at the same time.

10. Measuring results! While it’s still time for trying out new media and technology, serious money will be spent. The guys upstairs want to know how much of that investment are they going to get back. Models of measuring social media marketing effectiveness will emerge.

11. Social media will be integrated to overall marketing activities. This approach is important to get the most value out of your activities. The multichannel buyers will spend a lot more money on your brand than other segments.

12. Brand is customer experience, service, product, people, stories, community. Marketing will be managing conversations about these elements of your brand. Brands will create content that helps consumers to feel better about the brand and give them reasons to share their experiences.

13. Marketing will hit mobiles big time. 2011 will continue the mobile explosion and this trend will go on for years. Mobile and location based marketing will grow very fast.

14. Personal messaging will move to social networks. The importance of standalone email, IM and other services will decline.

15. Campaigns will get more dynamic, spanning from offline to actionable social channels.
We still see only baby steps, true integration and interactivity will take some time. Location based services, group buying, mobile and social commerce will move this trend ahead in 2011.

16. The home page for internet users will be a social network. People are there to talk to others. Brands need to find way to make themselves meaningful in these conversations.

17. Facebook will get close to 800 million users. Country after country Facebook will become the dominant social network. Currently only a few big strongholds remain. China, Brazil, Russia, Japan, South-Korea.

Image credits: marchecco

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's also writing on a personal growth website FixWillPower.com. 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.

15 Responses

  1. seo mauritius says:

    Great List thanks for sharing just bookmarked it

  2. Peter McCormack says:

    Probably not 🙂

    But what will replace email, I can understand how youngsters don’t use email now instead of social and IM but there is no structure required with these messages. Business comms need structure and email offers this.

  3. Priit Kallas says:

    I don’t dismiss email. I will probably use it for decades. But my younger colleagues are using it less, in favor of IM and other means. When my son gets into business after dozen or so years, email will maybe be reserved for rare “official” messages like agreements…

    Google wanted to revolutionize, life will just evolve. Seems that we are not going to get on common ground in this matter 🙂

  4. Peter McCormack says:

    Hi Priit, you are running the risk of sounding like a “social media guru”.

    Email may be dropping amongst 18 year olds but it will stay as a business tool, Google tried to implement Wave but that failed, Facebook will try with their messaging product but that will also fail.

    What will replace email for business? Nothing, therefore everyone will have email addresses. All email data points to increase spend as email is still in growth.

    Funny thing is whilst social media types dismiss email it continually outperforms social.

  5. Priit Kallas says:

    Well, Peter. Being on more than one network is not reasonable for most people. We, marketing droids, might jump on each new thing that comes but regular people won’t.

    Amazon structure is great. But adding social graph will improve it.

    Email has dropped 60% among 18yo and younger. This trend will not do away. When they reach “business age” in 10 years or so email will be a lot less important than today.

  6. Tom Jones says:

    Your on the ball!! Peter McCormack!!

    Its the grass-roots that drive whats relevant!

    If we grow tooo BIG tooo fast!…. we may loose our head in the cloud!

    If we get stuck in our own cloud? well.. we all know what happens then!

  7. Ghani says:

    Excellent report.Keep it coming.

  8. Peter McCormack says:

    I don’t agree with all of this. One social network will not rule all, if anything social networks will fragment as users require genuine engagement. With the need for likes to drive Facebook data it will become your passport to the net, I expect its display revenues will be driven from network deals rather than onsite activity. Essentially Facebook will become a layer of net personalisation.

    Social commerce is relevant but not tied to your direct friends group, the Amazon structure is perfect.

    Email will not decline, this is a slightly ridiculous comment, web based social network email is totally unsuitable for business requirements.

  9. pasquale quarta says:

    This is a very interesting and complete summary…Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sumit Roy says:

    Interesting list of trends.

    Would like to add one.

    Marketers will realise “Social Media” is not free. People cost is still a cost.

  11. Tom Laine says:

    Interesting thoughts, I recently reviewed the Social Media trends for 2011 myself at http://socialmediocracy.com/12-social-media-trends-for-2011/ from a slightly different point of view. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on those…

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