Gini Dietrich

Eight Social Media Trends for 2012

By: Gini Dietrich | November 28, 2011 | 

Welcome back to the real world! I hope everyone had a really good Thanksgiving weekend.

To start the last 20 work days of the year, I thought now was a good time to discuss trends for next year.

This will get you started on planning and getting everything ready to launch the year on January 2.

I’ve written the eight social media trends you  need to pay attention to for next year.

But, before we get started, we’re going to let you choose the ninth trend, just like we did last year, for the chance to win two seats to the trends webinar.

The contest information is at the end of the post.

2012 Social Media Trends

  1. Reporting to All Stakeholders. At the PRSA Conference this year, I had a really interesting conversation with Dan Tisch, who is serving as president of Global Alliance this year. He said that some countries, such as Australia, are reporting to all stakeholders. Meaning, they’re not just doing investor relations, but reporting results to employees, customers, prospects, influencers, and more. This is going to become a bigger trend, especially as accounting principles are looking to include brand awareness as part of the balance sheet.
  2. Social TV Convergence. I’m not a television watcher, but I’m seeing something interesting happening with apps, such as Get Glue. You can “check in” to a TV program and then have conversations with people around the world who are watching the same thing. It allows you to review the shows, talk about what’s happening, and listen to what others are saying. It works for movies and music, too! Plus, if the rumors are true and Steve Jobs’s last project was iTV, this will become HUGE next year.
  3. Integration of All Disciplines. This is kind of selfish one on my part (because I have a book coming out about it), but integration is going to be crucial next year. Today we talk about mobile, social, marketing, public relations, advertising, direct, email, customer service, and sales as if they’re working in silos. But 2012 is the year it need to integrate. Customer service can’t do its job without talking to sales. Sales needs the help of public relations. And mobile can’t live without marketing. You’ll see these disciplines all work together, as if they’re in a circle, and not in silos.
  4. Results. If you aren’t measuring your results to true dollars and cents, you may work yourself out of a job in 2012. We started to talk about how to do this earlier this month, but it’s going to take learning some marketing, product management, and basic accounting (integration, integration, integration) to do this effectively.
  5. Email Marketing. As much as I would love email to be dead, something like 107 trillion emails were sent in 2010. It’s not going anywhere, yet most of us (as marketers) have forgotten about it. It’s not the new, shiny penny and it’s kind of old and stodgy (I think I read it’s celebrating its 40th birthday). But it’s still really effective. Everyone uses email. Not everyone uses social networks (yet).
  6. Social Commerce. The other day I was in the Apple store and I checked in, using Foursquare. It asked me if I wanted to pay using the Apple app. Um, yes! Especially because it was a Sunday and there were a gazillion people there. So I downloaded the Apple app, scanned the mouse bar code, it gave me a subtotal, and I hit OK. It took the amount right out of my iTunes account, emailed me a receipt, and I was on my way. Starbucks does this using your phone and their at-register scanner. You’ll see more and more of this next year.
  7. New Social Networks. I know, I know. We need another social network like we need a hole in the head. BUT there are some cool things, such as Pinterest, that are gaining traction. In fact, yesterday I was scrolling through my Facebook stream and I saw Samuel Gordon Jewelers is having their first Pinterest contest: “Pin To Win.” It’s still way too early to see any results, but rest assured I’m watching what they’re (and others) are doing with this and other new social networks.
  8. Print to Tablet Swap. During the holiday weekend, I was scrolling through the app store on George (my iPad) and I found Catalogue. It stores all of your catalogs in a handy app so you can scroll through any of them at any time. It also recommends catalogs you should be reading, based on your preferences. My mom and I debated it’s merits the other day. She likes the tactile feel of turning the pages. I think it’s super green and I love that I have them all in one spot. You’ll see a big swap of print moving to the tablet in 2012.

Win Two Webinar Seats

On December 8 at 11 a.m. central time, we are going to have a one hour webinar on how to implement these trends PLUS one.

You get to decide on the extra trend and I get to accept the challenge of explaining to you how to implement it into your 2012 marketing plans.

If you are the author of the most compelling trend, and you create a challenge for me, you will win two free seats to the webinar…one for you and one for a friend or colleague. But be creative and read the comments. If someone else has already chosen your trend, you must come up with something else because, if it’s the winning trend, we’ll go with the first person who left it in the comments.

The deadline for leaving your trend and challenge is this Thursday at 5 p.m. central time. We’ll announce the winner on Friday, during Gin and Topics.

If you don’t participate or don’t win, but still want to attend the webinar, pre-registration is $40 until December 5. After that, the price is $50.

So let’s hear it! What do you have in you?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • My trend: everything is small and local. Even big box stores and national chains will be more effective if they start to act smaller and more local. I’m already seeing some chains of restaurants encouraging their local franchisees and stores to create their own online presence, and to get more involved in the community in terms of causes. There is a backlash against larger businesses, in favor of small local businesses, so if the larger businesses can create a local feel and presence, they will have a much better chance.

    • and I’ll add to this, it has to be genuine. Not just going through the motions and faking it.

      • ginidietrich

        @KenMueller You mean, fake like Soldier Field telling me they were participating in Small Business Saturday by offering a percentage off my purchase…but they weren’t even open?!?

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller no way far and wide. Companies that go far and wide will trump small and local everytime. OK they pay of congresspeople. That is how they do it!

    • FollowtheLawyer

      @KenMueller Chick-fil-A is a good example of that with franchisees creating fundraising partnerships with local schools.

      • @FollowtheLawyer@KenMueller they aren’t open Sunday and that is the day I eat chicken. So they lost my chicken business. In fact I get my chicken through @Gini Dietrich who is a rep for Omaha Chicken. 4 free cornholders with your first order. Used mine all summer.

  • BestRoofer

    I think that the new trend will be towards even more video. Video in e-mails, tweets, facebook and more. I think that explosive growth of video will be the 9th trend.

    • @BestRoofer and video would be PERFECT for you, Joe….

      • ginidietrich

        @KenMueller@BestRoofer Video would be perfect for you, Joe! People want to see what they don’t normally get to see behind the curtain. Video while you’re on top of their roofs?! Priceless.

  • Advanced target segmentation using combined data from social profiles. – Let’s face it, we all have profiles on Facebook, twitter, blogs, Foursquare, and many many other social networks, with a combination of both public and private data, Someone out there with mad skills will create some really cool tools to combine this data into meaningful information about your customers/targets/clients. We have the basis of this with PeekYou and Spokeo, but watch as someone balances the creepy and the meaningful aspects of this information.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayDolan Is that someone going to be you? Or your cat??

      • @ginidietrich If either Miss Chibi or I knew how to program, we would have conquered this by now and be swimming in cash.

      • @ginidietrich@JayDolan that profiling weapon is not getting through my body and mind armor made of Unobtanium. You can not profile me Jay! Aside from paranoid Schizophrenic but beyond that I am like the lead lining a nuclear reactor. I am like a black hole where light isn’t strong enough to get out. Plus it helps that a guy with my exact name won the World Series of Poker a few years back.

        BTW people who started spokeo….I have nothing nice to say and plenty that would get me in trouble.

    • John_Trader1

      @JayDolan I agree with Jay. Data mining for customization of campaigns and special offers will become even more significant in 2012.

      • ginidietrich

        @John_Trader1@JayDolan I actually just saw a start-up that is doing this. Hang on…I’ll find out who it was. It’s HeroBox.

        • @ginidietrich@John_Trader1@JayDolan there are others too. but it needs to be useful

    • FollowtheLawyer

      @JayDolan I love the idea of being able to create bespoke offers and pitches.

  • TMNinja

    Your iPad is named “George???” 😉

    How about device personalization?

    It may seem a bit far-off… but with technology like Siri we are *talking* to our devices more than ever.

    Siri has managed to begin breaking down the interpersonal wall between us and our tech. Granted “she” is providing more of an illusion of personality at this point. But, I can foresee our devices getting to know us better and better, and thus interacting in more personal ways.

    For example, if I say, “Call Amy,” Siri knows to call my wife, even though I may have 10 Amys in my address book.

    Siri provides a new way for us to interact with our technology, now we have to make it even more personal. For example, when I ask Siri for suggested dinner reservations, she should know my favorite types of restaurants.

    Today we are concerned about backing up our contacts, appointments, and data on our phones.

    At what point, will we be concerned about backing up the “personality” of our phone?

    • ginidietrich

      @TMNinja Yes…and my iPhone is George II.

      I love this. I’ve been watching to see what Siri does to search because she doesn’t send you to the web. She sends you to apps.

      I found another app called Alfred. He asks you a bunch of questions about your dining preferences and then makes suggestions. It’s really freaking cool!

    • @TMNinja Wow! This is… spooky and brilliant at the same time that a computer, er, Siri, can figure out which ‘Amy’ takes priority. Asimov take note!

      • @TMNinja (I mean Asimov *fans* take note — poor Issac be dead, you know)

  • i think this is the year Facebook dies. Twitter will be bought by China and turned into a Broadcast Channel for Party Propoganda. FourSquare will offer real time sports betting. And @KenMueller moves to Wichita to open a boutique agency selling fans and followers by the thousands.

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM I have nothing to say to this.

      • @ginidietrich they say i am an oracle

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM You really are.

        • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM That’s not all they say…

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich I got it this last year but unexpectedly social privacy came from Google. Though not sure if that is why people use Google Plus.

        • @HowieSPM@KenMueller@ginidietrich I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t know how you come up with this stuff. (It’s Monday morning, I don’t feel like using the real S word I wanted to.)

    • @HowieSPM I expected you to say @KenMueller was going to become a beekeeper. Maybe the boutique agency is just a cover.

      • @Erin F.@KenMueller Ken actually breeds really rare butterflies. He freeze dries them then dips them in chocolate and sells them overseas for bank.

  • DonovanGroupInc

    As I shared on FB – I especially loved #6…being a target shopper (i.e. in/out and avoid all lineups) will be definitely doing a bit more shopping in the Apple store as a result. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @DonovanGroupInc It’s sooooooo easy and VERY cool! I was in and out of there in seconds. No waiting in line. No harassment. Just buy my stuff and get out.

      • @ginidietrich@DonovanGroupInc people share on Facebook?

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM@DonovanGroupInc I know YOU think Facebook is going to die, but nearly 800 million people say you’re wrong.

  • Waited to see Mobile Marketing in your list, but no. Somewhat there, but in general mobile has begun to take off with larger tech companies still struggling to find creative ways to launch apps and even more creative ways to hire developers and skilled technicians.

    What’s that mean for marketers and PR? The need to establish trust; you had no qualm in the Apple store b/c it already earned your trust. Other peeps, like moms and grandmas, not so much.

    There is still a generational divide among Boomers grappling with the internet age and social media/networks and integrated marketing will need to push that education to engage and earn trust in mobile for all stakeholders.

    So, maybe my 9th is Mobile Marketing Deeper Dive or some such.

    As an aside, saw today’s WSJ about a new paper brand adopted by Staples’ Quill etailer from The Office ala Bubba Gump Shrimp. Creative branding from TV coming to life…NOT my 9th, but interesting aside. (And, if you watch your Twitter stream during a fave TV show or other, it’s alive with peeps bantering…I know you know this!)

    Welcome back, Gin Blossom.

    • @Soulati | PR Imagine a day when Tiger Woods doesn’t have to have a press conference and we all get a personal not from him on our phone. Kind of brings a tear from my eye.

    • ginidietrich

      @Soulati | PR I think mobile marketing is already here. You could combine social commerce, mobile marketing, and geo-location/marketing into one. It all happens on the phone and is customized to you.

      I’m not sure I agree that trust has to be developed in order for me to use their app. I mean, I’m already in their store and buying. That’s trust, in and of itself. Their app just makes it easier. I don’t have to carry a purse and I don’t have to stand in line. Of course, I shop like a guy. Get me in and out. I hate browsing, window shopping, and trying on clothes. HATE.

      I saw that same article. It’s pretty interesting.

      • Nope. Point was, you had already established trust to use their app. And, I’m also saying mobile marketing phase II, not mobile in general. I’m sitting in sessions with companies that know they need mobile but are not exactly sure how to develop it. These are legal tech/software/publishing/financials. It’s not here here; it’s just here. @ginidietrich

        • ginidietrich

          @Soulati | PR I agree. But my point is the trends should be things companies don’t yet know they need. They know they need to be using social (in most cases). They know they need to be mobile ready. The stuff I’m talking about they don’t know they need yet. That’s our jobs…to help them understand what makes sense and what doesn’t.

        • @ginidietrich@Soulati | PR still can’t grasp this social commerce. So I buy some of your crops in farmville and you get facebook credits. Which you can then use to purchase songs from I Tunes?

  • Social commerce? That was MOBILE commerce. Trending missing… Social is there now, you can buy junk more and more online, but mobile is the bigger trend. as @Soulati | PR suggests.

    #3 and #7 are at odds I think now and will continue to be. Integration will occur with more social networks narrowing down or finding their audience better… or become more fractionated.

    • FRACTIONATED???!!! Thought I was the best coiner, but you just took home the cake!! Or, did that get added to Merriam’s recently? @faybiz

      • sadly, it is a real word! who knew? @Soulati | PR

        • ginidietrich

          @faybiz@Soulati | PR Never argue with Todd and his words.

  • I can’t participate in the trends contest so I’ll just react to some of the ideas here.

    I didn’t know about Catalogue, but I LOVE IT!!!!! Can I tell you how many catalogs I get in the mail and recycle without even looking? It’s pathetic, and it takes a lot of effort and time to remove yourself from all of the lists. I do it little by little, but I doubt most people do that. I cringe at the wasted paper in catalogs.

    PS, if email is old and stodgy at 40, what does that make me?

    • ginidietrich

      @Lisa Gerber Do you really want me to answer that?

    • UHMMM. OLD AND STODGY AT 40? @Lisa Gerber

      • ginidietrich

        @Soulati | PR@Lisa Gerber She’s the one who asked!

        • @ginidietrich@Soulati | PR@Lisa Gerber I’m 49. And a guy in a roomful of women. I shall keep my mouth shut. (Mama didn’t raise no fool!)

          Oh, and you’re all lovely! And, no, that outfit does NOT make you look fat.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller I think your mom would be very disappointed to learn about some of the words you play in WWF.

        • @ginidietrich That was just yesterday!!! And I had no other words to play!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller I’m so telling.

        • @ginidietrich nuh-uh. And don’t think I haven’t been storing up blackmail info on you!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Puh-lease. There is no blackmail material.

        • @ginidietrich oh. that’s right. you do all the incriminating stuff right out there in public for all of us to see. thanks for the entertainment!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Exactly!

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller World Widlife Federation? I support them too. Ken tell your mom I am happy she supports world wildlife.

  • I’m no psychic, so I’ll remain mum about upcoming trends. 😉 I know a lot of people are excited about Pinterest. I hope to focus on the fourth trend, results. I know I need to work on that area. I love the third trend, but I like integration. I like to see how different disciplines can inform each other and make them better or understood in a different way.

    • @Erin F. i bet you are psychic we all are. I predict I will click Like on your comment. Wow I am psychic. See! You can be too Erin!

      • @HowieSPM I predict that I will have a Tumblr account at some point because of mschechter . Where does Tumblr fall into the trends?

        I think social media management tools could be an even larger trend in the future, especially as new social networks are created. I think, too, there may be a focus on niche networks. I remember hearing about Diaspora some time this year, but I haven’t heard much lately. Maybe in the upcoming one? There you are, Ms. @Gini Dietrich , I have submitted a trend, possibly two.

        • ginidietrich

          @Erin F. Now, see. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

        • @ginidietrich No ma’am. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @Erin F. Then, um, you will love the book geoff livingston and I are writing!

      • @ginidietrichgeoff livingston Does a publication date already exist for it?

        • ginidietrich

          @Erin F. It does! May. And we get to formally announce it next week. Woo hoo!

  • danielnewmanUV

    I love the Social Commerce tools – I hate dealing with lines and people. This simplifies things for me.

    I also love that you don’t self promote your upcoming books in your posts. People that do that are SO ANNOYING!!!


    • @danielnewmanUV But Daniel considering it is the 173rd in the See Dick Run series she needs some help!

      • danielnewmanUV

        @HowieSPM LOL

    • ginidietrich

      @danielnewmanUV Your mom.

      • danielnewmanUV

        @ginidietrich I think the two of you have age in common!!!! LMAO

  • ryancox

    I think that some kind of LBS deal notification, mobile marketing MMS/SMS based, and time-sensitive group purchasing are to be trends to look out for in 2012.

    LBS Deal notification — there is too much power in the LBS possibilites of the walking computers we are carrying for this not to take a giant leap in 2012. From smartphones, to not so smart phones, the iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.etc. there is just gobs of data being exchanged particular to location and time. I would expect to see deal notifications as part of wifi hotspots and check-ins be a major player in 2012.

    Mobile marketing MMS/SMS — playing off of the first thing I said, there is entirely too much data on the go for more marketing efforts not to be placed in LBS marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, check-in marketing, etc. The fact that the consumption patterns are getting more and more time-sensitive and location-sensitive open up the doors for an entire new business to evolve.

    Time-Sensitive Group Purchasing — [this is not so much a trend, but a prediction] The Daily Deal sites are a dime a dozen now…I get 9 emails a day form different ones that I honestly never check. However I think the next evolution of daily deals is the time-sensitive group buying by location factor. Meaning that the next wrinkle of group buying bring the element of time sensitive to group purchasing geo-specific. I check in at the mall on foursquare, and FootLocker is running a 2 hour 20% off deal at just that mall’s store. I’ll admit, there are a lot of moving parts — but all of the data (LBS check-in, barcodes on phones, etc..) is there.

    • ginidietrich

      @ryancox On Saturday, I got an alert from Foursquare saying one of my usual haunts (Soldier Field) is participating in Small Business Saturday. The problem? There wasn’t a game so they’re weren’t open.

      • ryancox

        @ginidietrich Yea that’s a pretty big fail — unless it was in reference to the gift store that was maybe open? IDK, it’s coming though @ginidietrich , it’s coming.

  • Chris_Eh_Young

    I agree with all of your predictions. If I had to add to your list, mine would be:

    The Groupon model dies a painful death.

    Facebook starts to see a steady decline of users.

    Social media as an industry and as a business tool needs an entire reboot as it moves from social media to social business.

    Automatic checkins from LBS will start to become mainstream. Detectors in doorways will be notified by your mobile device that will then trigger SMS or emails to let you know of specials.

    But then again, what do I know?

    • @Chris_Eh_Young Love all your predictions except the auto check in. I am on the fence while being a big mobile proponent. I guess my view is I want to walk into a store and have an app that allows me to scan for any special deals for me. And I want the store to tailor the deals based on my history.

      What I don’t want is going into a mall and having stores buzz my phone instantly.

    • ginidietrich

      @Chris_Eh_Young@HowieSPM I would LOVE automatic check-in, as long as I can control that it doesn’t post to my social networks. The idea that I’m in a store, it checks me in, and sends me specials, based on my preferences? Yes, please!

      • @ginidietrich@Chris_Eh_Young Have you seen your Facebook feed lately. I saw everywhere you went this weekend. How are they doing that?

      • Chris_Eh_Young

        @ginidietrich@HowieSPM Exactly. There would be control options built in just as Foursquare does now.

  • fergusonsarah

    I think someone out there with great skills will create some really cool tools to combine this data into meaningful information about your customers/targets/clients.

    • ginidietrich

      @fergusonsarah I’d love to see that … if it happens!

  • Jeannie Cusick Walters

    Is it Gini will achieve Global Domination? That’s what my money is on!

  • Gini Dietrich

    No, silly. That doesn’t happen until 2016.

  • Jeannie Cusick Walters


  • philgerb

    My head hurts from all the smart stuff shared here already. Wow!

    Here are my 3 thoughts:

    Integration of all disciplines (and the death of the social media “specialist”) – About time if you ask me. Folks who don’t know anything about business have no business taking such a huge slice of the pie, but like IT did in the 90s, social media did in the 00s and the past few years. EVERYONE must be socially adept (which really means learn how to communicate the business message via multiple channels instead of only 1) or your organization will die.

    Video – definitely a trend and one that must be taken seriously. My only concern is bandwidth for businesses, as download bandwidth continues to grow, while upload bandwidth struggles to keep up. This will keep some businesses behind, but the ones who invest will save $$$ as Skype is far less expensive than a trip around the world.

    Location based marketing will finally grow up and be recognized as the way to personalize a visit to your business “location” – I put location in quotes because it could be your website, your Twitter page, your Facebook page, whatever, you will start getting more personalized suggestions and conversations as you connect your networks across platforms. Similarly, brick and mortar locations will finally get a tool that will alert them when potential customers are getting close, to offer them a special offer just for them, instead of having to make the same offer to everyone.

    Here’s to the future! Thanks for starting the conversation @ginidietrich I can’t wait to see what happens!

    • ginidietrich

      @philgerb You have a REALLY good point about bandwidth, especially with the net neutrality debate. It concerns me no one is talking about this issue, yet we could all go from a very level playing field to paying for our Internet consumption. That could be very, very bad for small businesses.

    • geoffliving

      @philgerb@ginidietrich About time is the understatement of the year.

  • Oh…I like predicting the future. Let me go get my crystal ball. Its in my closet….in the back, I can’t reach it…wait a second…OW! Dammit! It fell and broke…:(

    No predictions from me. Let me ask my friend the Magic 8-Ball instead. It says “answer not very clear” Maybe its broken

    • @NancyD68 I tried using a similar excuse, but it was a no-go with the powers that be. I had to return and leave a comment about a trend.

      • ginidietrich

        @Erin F.@NancyD68 If you want to win two free seats, you have to ask the Magic 8 Ball a question that it can clearly answer for you.

        • @ginidietrich@Erin F. Here is my question for the Magic 8 Ball : “Will Nancy D finally get a job and make some money writing content and then have a webinar about building a community from the ground up?” Magic 8 Ball says – YES!

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68 Um, that’s not a trend.

        • @ginidietrich@NancyD68 We need to come up with a winning trend, Nancy!

        • @NancyD68@ginidietrich Too bad. I was going to ask the Magic 8 ball if I’m finally headed in the right direction. That’s not a trend, either.

        • @Erin F.@NancyD68@ginidietrich Maybe the trend is that readers of Spin Sucks start having more success (but not quite as much success as subscribers to Spin Sucks Pro)

        • @NancyD68@ginidietrich I also think the webinar is a great idea. You’re going to be a busy lady. Radio shows, webinars, writing…

        • @KenMueller@NancyD68@ginidietrich I’d be happy with more success.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller@Erin F.@NancyD68 How do you define success?

        • @ginidietrich@Erin F.@NancyD68 Now you’re getting picky! Success for me is when I make enough money to buy out that Arment dude.

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller@NancyD68 Success for me would be helping people to become better communicators in print or online, preferably while being paid to lend that assistance.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller He’s dead. You have to choose another benchmark.

        • ginidietrich

          @Erin F. How do you know when you’ve achieved it?

        • @ginidietrich For me it would be! I have been broke for years lady!

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller@Erin F. Success – doing better than I did yesterday is good. Living inside is better.

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68 LOL! OK, you win. That made me laugh out loud.

        • @ginidietrich YAY! I WIN!

        • @NancyD68 I saw your comment on John Falchetto’s blog earlier. It’s a really tough spot, but you’re already taking forward steps. That’s awesome.

        • @ginidietrich I think it would be found in comparing the person’s initial writing to something written several months later. It would also be found in seeing how the person’s online presence has grown due to better writing and in tracking whether the communication efforts are having the desired results – more customers entering the store, a general sense of goodwill, whatever goals the person has for the writing.

          If we’re speaking monetarily, it’s when I’ve paid off my student loan, can have my own place again, and can afford health insurance. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @Erin F. Now that last part? THAT’S measurable! Let’s go for that. By the end of 2012?

        • @ginidietrich I don’t know that paying off the student loan in a single year is realistic, but let’s aim for that. Having my own place and insurance probably are more doable. Kaarina and I talked today, and she suggested I take a few days and evaluate what it is exactly that I want to do. I think I realized it while speaking with her, but I still need to work on my list of pros and cons about specializing in writing. I’m also working on researching competition this week as well as starting several other things she suggested. I haven’t had this much homework in a very long time. 😀

        • ginidietrich

          @Erin F. Starting your own business is hard work! I agree with Kaarina. And I also think there is only so much analyzing you can do. If I had over-prepared when I started Arment Dietrich, I never would have launched. Sometimes you just have to get to work and figure it out along the way.

        • @ginidietrich That seems to be the story of my life.

  • MSchechter

    And to think, I just finished a submission for a guest post to this very site on a trend for 2012.

    I think we are going to also see a consolidation of people as well as the disciplines.

    2012 will not be the death of, but it will be the beginning of a serious reduction of the one man show. I think you saw a lot of it in the book writing this year with people cough ginidietrich. cough starting to team up to get more done. It will likely be indirect, with people keeping their autonomy, but I think you will see far deeper, far more apparent hooks. Personal Brands will begin to look a bit more like Personal Networks. A lot of this has happened already below the surface, but I think more and more we will see this taking center stage.

    I look forward to your rejection letter 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @MSchechter Is this what you wrote about? If so, I won’t ask questions. But I have so many questions!

      • MSchechter

        @ginidietrich Not exactly from this angle, but it’s complimentary to this. Didn’t want to ruin all the fun 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @MSchechter So talk to me more about consolidation of people. You mean solopreneurs will team up with others? Or…. ?

        • MSchechter

          @ginidietrich I think you’ve already seen it at the higher levels. I know Dachis was acquiring a few groups in your world. My industry has certainly seen consolidation.

          Now, I have a feeling you will see it both directly and indirectly at the solo level. I think you will see some solo pros join forces and create a super group or two. I also think you will see what I talk about in the post. More networks like Read and Trust where they are earning together, working separately and deeply supporting each others work.

          The needs of businesses, even the mid to small size ones are maturing, the skill sets of solopreneurs are going to become stretched (in many cases they are already) and businesses are going to want several avenues of niche expertise in one package. More skills, less overhead, more muscle. They may not be one brand or one shop, but I think they will start to be one network.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    My trend prediction for 2012: The Rise of Group Blogs

    The Google search algorithm’s preference for frequent, fresh and focused copy will make casual blogging obsolete. Solo bloggers who struggle to post even weekly will not be able to compete for page rank. However, content marketing and thought leadership salvation will be possible through leveraging the resources and momentum of group blogs curated by sponsoring vendors or established, authoritative solo bloggers. Additionally, we could see hyper-local affinity group blogs become more prominent (e.g. SoCo or South Lamar merchant group blogs in Austin). In other words, more Spin Sucks-style blogs 🙂

    At least two new legal marketing group blogs have launched in just the past few weeks.

    • ginidietrich

      @FollowtheLawyer Oh! Really, really good! I hadn’t thought of this one. Can you win two years in a row??

      • FollowtheLawyer

        @ginidietrich To paraphrase Francis Pharcellus Church: Yes, Virginia, you can win two years in a row…

      • FollowtheLawyer

        @ginidietrich To paraphrase Francis Pharcellus Church:

        Yes, Virginia, I can win two years in a row 🙂

    • @FollowtheLawyer Whoa. Interesting. I’m always a fan of Austin, too, so that doesn’t hurt. 🙂

      • FollowtheLawyer

        @Erin F. Thanks. It’s a crucible of social media antics, as you know.

        • @FollowtheLawyer It appears to be. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to Austin…

  • Thanks very much for the mention @Gini Dietrich . I can tell you thus far our website traffic is sustaining at a quadruple rate 3 days consecutively. Time will tell, but this could be the best promotion we’ve done to date from a hitting exact target demo standpoint. Great post & enjoyed reading all the trends! I think Pinterest is going to just climb and climb in user base having a very identifiable demo is fantastic. Happy Cyber Monday! 🙂 _DG

    • ginidietrich

      @DanGordon Quadruple?!? Are you measuring that traffic to conversions??

  • Nice picks here lady. One thing that I think we will see is a consolidation of networks. Now this will either be through attrition and closing up shops (Myspace, Gowalla, etc.) or another network buying out another (G+ with Twitter, Google TV or Apple Tv with a GetGlue to use it as a ratings proxy).

    • ginidietrich

      @jeffespo Are you planning to do this? Is there something you’d like to tell us?

      • @ginidietrich I am not rich and you know that. However some of those thoughts are in the draft of a similar post I have… I am planning on buying you though and making you my personal PR person. I heard you would take pay in Skittles

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo It’s true. I do take pay in Skittles.

        • rustyspeidel

          @ginidietrich@jeffespo You DO??

        • ginidietrich

          @rustyspeidel@jeffespo And wine.

        • @ginidietrich@rustyspeidel Damn it there goes t he G-Rating of our Skype call

  • byronfernandez

    @Gini Dietrich Has anyone mentioned mobile and/or QR codes? Def something I want to discuss at my new job. With the right size startup and budget, seems we’ve still only tapped the surface of it all!

    • ginidietrich

      @byronfernandez No one has mentioned QR codes. Tell me more about what you’re thinking.

      • byronfernandez

        @ginidietrich@byronfernandez Honestly…still an utter noob to the subject. However, know someone who wrote an excellent piece on it. Can connect you if you’re interested

        • byronfernandez

          @ginidietrich Lol wow…only just realized I accidentally replied to myself. Derp.

        • ginidietrich

          @byronfernandez I was hoping YOU would give me something on the subject so it would be contest ready.

  • When I went to the LA Auto show most of the sales collateral surrounding the vehicles was contained on iPads or something similar. I love the feel of paper but I think that we are going to see much less of it than we used to.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB I think you’re right. It’s much more green AND easier to carry around.

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  • alexwood15

    Hey Gini,

    Loved you’re ‘what’s up next’ review last year and looking forward to the next one. I’ll add a couple of points on social I think (and hope!) we’ll see more businesses doing in 2012. Summarised in four words…

    Stand out, help someone.

    True Personalisation = better results and engagement over time: (I say ‘true’ because personalisation is not the new concept)

    Congratulations, you now have a facebook, youtube, twitter, tumblr account for your business. Now, for double points and (hopefully) double business, what are the unique touches that make your brand memorable? We all have to work in the constraints of the social network platform – so what are you doing differently to stand out? Ideas like this are an outstanding example of extended thinking using the constraints of a social platform to stand out… oh and drive business of course.

    Help! Thank you [brand]

    So you have an app like every other app in your industry. Great, another touchpoint for ppl to connect with your brand. But is this all brands have to offer? What else can they do? Help their target audience. Enter Kate Spade. Her app ‘features a daily fully-editable calendar styled in the traditional Kate Spade motif’ to allow her busy, professional audience to not only engage with her brand but find usefulness in her product. Love it

    • ginidietrich

      @alexwood15 This is great! I love that you know the Kate Spade app. I shall check it out.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    A really valuable update. I’m still an absolute technical novice struggling to prepare a decent landing page. Normally when people post stuff like yours my eyes close, my head spins and I sink slowly to the floor, frothing at the mouth.

    But I didn’t with yours. That’s a big breakthrough. Well done.

    Maybe it will be fun after all.

    Best wishes


    • ginidietrich

      @Leon Oh darn! I must try harder next time then.

  • I realize I’m late to the party and I got dizzy reading all the comments, so I apologize if I’m echoing someone else here.

    I think that for small businesses anyway, 2012 is the year of focus. RIght now, it seems businesses just want the shiny icons to throw on their site. They want to be on every social outpost, but don’t do any of them well. I think it’s time that businesses take their engagement deeper instead of wider – at least for those that don’t have the staff and bandwidth to support multiple social networks well. Maybe this is wishful thinking instead of trend predictions, but I’d like to see businesses get things right on one network instead of doing a mediocre job trying to do things across five or six.

    I also love the social TV convergence. I noticed that USA Network started asking questions on the footer of the screen during the show and including a hashtag for people to talk about it online. Pretty smart if you ask me.

    • ginidietrich

      @lauraclick Food Network is also doing that – especially with their competition shows. I don’t use it, but I think it’s pretty darn cool.

      I love focus. That was the big mantra at Arment Dietrich this year. Sure we need to understand the new technologies because it’s our jobs, but we didn’t want to get carried away.

  • ChasenShaw

    Great content. Not just rehashed info. I dropped foursquare summer 2010 thinking it was a fad that wouldn’t last. Looks like it was just at its precipice. And Pinterest…oy vey. Time to get with it. Keep up the good work. Thanks again. chasenshaw –

    • ginidietrich

      @ChasenShaw I almost dropped Foursquare and now I’m glad I didn’t. It’s just now starting to become valuable. I’d say in the next six months you’ll want to take another look at it.

  • This was cool lady.

    Regarding email, I think it’s more alive than ever. In fact, I think there is going to be an email renaissance in the coming decade due to its connection with content and sales (which is what I’ll be speaking on at the email summit in Vegas…mega stoked!! ) 😉

    Thanks for all you do,


    • ginidietrich

      @Marcus_Sheridan I really wish email would die, but alas!

      • MSchechter

        @ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan Her disdain for it started right around the second she gave me hers…

  • Hi Gini, for No. 9 I would suggest – More focus on social proof or validation.

    I think we will see its importance and integration become stronger in helping to define relevance, content matchmaking and discerning quality of information and sources. A social currency for share-ability, find-ability and credibility.

    • ginidietrich

      @ChrisBradley Talk more about this…this is good! What kinds of social proof? Like Klout kind? Or… ?

      • @ginidietrich Social proof, as in the evidence that others have confidence in this, so I should too. It plays to the subconscious of power in numbers, so from a marketing or social media point of view, things like reviews and ratings, endorsements from industry leaders or celebrities, highlighting how socially successful something is.

        There are already great examples of this, like Amazon, “your buying X, other people who bought X also bought Y”.

        But what I think will be interesting next year is to see how the power of social proof will be further developed and more deeply integrated, just off the top of my head, your social share buttons, so 466 people have tweeted this, but what if it said 466 people have tweeted this, and it was retweeted 56 times, or that influential names, X, Y, Z were part of the 466 tweets…

        There is loads more scope, and obviously things will be application and target specific, but its going to be exciting to see if we can ever reach a trusted standard, and what shapes social proof will take.

        • ginidietrich

          @ChrisBradley Got it! I wasn’t clear what you meant (and really hoped it wasn’t Klout). I actually have a blog post in my drafts about this. It’s a fascinating topic to me.

        • @ginidietrich Awesome, looking forward to reading it!

        • ginidietrich

          @ChrisBradley You are the winner of the two webinar seats! And…I want to learn more about Publicate.

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  • John_Trader1

    With today’s Facebook/FTC settlement, I think that in 2012 you will see a trend of more companies taking proactive steps to protect the personal information of their subscriber base and being much more public about their efforts. With the proliferation of social media and the storage of more personal information about us than any time in digital history, privacy protection has become a hot button issue that will continue to rise in prominence in 2012. Does a company have a right to share personal information about a consumer without their knowledge? How should companies that run SM platforms organize and execute a policy that protects individual rights?

    I scrolled through the comments as best as I could and didn’t see this issue raised but perhaps I missed it.

    • ginidietrich

      @John_Trader1 It’s not really fair that you get to add this one when it was written BEFORE the settlement. I actually thought privacy would be big this year. I think you’re right – it has to go on the 2012 list.

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  • MolliMegasko

    You know, I’m feeling number five. As a marketer, I like creating the content and then tracking the analytics. For me, it ties into number four.

    • ginidietrich

      @MolliMegasko You. Crack. Me. Up!!!

    • I want to meet the woman Dorman called out on his post this week…astonishing. Hi, Molli! @MolliMegasko

      • ginidietrich

        @Soulati | PR@MolliMegasko She’s in the cool name club.

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  • hdbbstephen

    Something that I believe will be growing in 2012 is an increase in paid subscriptions for premium content from thought leaders in a variety of fields.

    • ginidietrich

      @hdbbstephen I hope you’re right!

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  • More privacy concerns in 12. Surprised were not hearing more law suits as privacy becomes violated. I get privacy statements in the mail from all financial institutions I do business with on an ongoing basis. I think eventually that will translate online.

    Prediction -In the education realm, online marketing courses will continue on a strong and steady growth.

  • More privacy concerns in 12. Surprised were not hearing more law suits as privacy becomes violated. I get privacy statements in the mail from all financial institutions I do business with on an ongoing basis. I think eventually that will translate online.

    Prediction -In the education realm, online marketing courses will continue on a strong and steady growth with an emphasis on social and mobile media. To get an idea of what is being taught in these growing industries check out the online marketing courses at the University of San Francisco.

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  • sherrilynne

    I totally agree with you about email marketing. It’s still an effective channel, when the marketing was done right.

    • ginidietrich

       @sherrilynne It’s funny how people forget about it. There was a study that came out yesterday (I think) that shows how it’s still the most effective tactic for B2B companies.

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  • danielleawilson

    I think a trend that will continue to grow in 2012 is the rise of small business and idea crowd sourcing.  With the unemployment rates still recovering and the rise of a generation of risk takers, it’s a natural progression that people will be looking for funding for their ideas. I think a future where entrepreneurs get funding for their ideas from individuals rather than from institutions is a definite possibility. Thus websites like Kickstarter will continue to grow in 2012. Also, people are not afraid to look for ways to supplement their existing incomes. This will lead to growth in applications like TaskRabbit and AirBnb, where you can take on short-term commitments risk-free for cash. 

    • ginidietrich

       @danielleawilson And look at how well Kickstarter has done…with no real equity in businesses, but people just giving a few dollars here and there.

  • amandaohaver

    Even though we are a few months into 2012 now there is still much time to go and I think (hope some of)  these trends actually happen. The idea of checking out using an app on my phone is crazy and crazy in a good way. It will make things so much easier. The other trend being tablets. As a college student the thought of having a textbook on my iPad would be great and easily accessible. But even with these great new technologies and trends there is always that black lash. Like how can stores ensure that people have checked out? Or for the tablets how are textbook and publishing companies going to react when they do not have to same revenue? These are questions that we won’t know the answers to unless these trends happen. But I am optimistic that theses trends are going to make things quicker and easier. 

    • ginidietrich

       @amandaohaver Some of it will be like the music industry – they’ll have to adapt because we demand it. The textbooks on your tablet are coming. As are classes done completely online.

  • maragarettate

    New social networked and social commerce are certainly the new ‘in-thing’. Pinterest is already roaring. And it won’t be late before Facebook comes up with some e-commerce features for its business pages.

    • ginidietrich

       @maragarettate I love Pinterest! We were just talking about its use for food companies last night. 

  • LauraFammy

    You guys should check out if you’re into social media, it’s a new social network :).

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