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Gini Dietrich

Eight Social Media Trends for 2012

By: Gini Dietrich | November 28, 2011 | 
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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.

171 comments
maragarettate
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.

amandaohaver
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. 

danielleawilson
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. 

 

sherrilynne
sherrilynne

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

Loco4SEO
Loco4SEO

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.

http://www.usanfranonline.com/online-internet-marketing-training

hdbbstephen
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.

MolliMegasko
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.

John_Trader1
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.

ChrisBradley
ChrisBradley

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.

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

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,

Marcus

ChasenShaw
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 - http://chasenshaw.com

lauraclick
lauraclick

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.

Leon
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

Leon

alexwood15
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 http://www.psfk.com/2011/11/artist-hand-draws-profile-pics-of-twitter-followers.html 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 http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2009/12/07/Kate-Spade-Launches-iPhone-App.aspx

TheJackB
TheJackB

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.

Latest blog post: A Letter To The Universe

byronfernandez
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!

jeffespo
jeffespo

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).

Latest blog post: Cartoon of the day

DanGordon
DanGordon

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
ginidietrich moderator

@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.

ChrisBradley
ChrisBradley

@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.

jeffespo
jeffespo

@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

Latest blog post: Cartoon of the day

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