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?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich