The Wha? Column: Social Media Predictions For 2012

I hope 2011 was a good year for everyone and I hope 2012 treats everyone even better!  It’s a new year, a new start, and I wanted my first post in The Wha? Column to be about some predictions for social media in 2012.

My previous posts were about Twitter and I do predict that you will all see the Twitter logo in almost every ad in the Super Bowl this year.  But along with the giants of social media that are Facebook and Twitter, many other social utilities, apps, blogging tools, video and picture sharing websites and much, much more are coming up through the ranks and new ones are being created by the minute. 

A piece of advice for small businesses especially this year is to not be intimidated by everything that is out there but instead pick and choose the best medium that will benefit your business and learn it well.  Create a marketing strategy, create unique content, learn about your customer’s wants and needs, and build a community to stay ahead of your competitors. 

Strategy is going to be huge this year and companies are going to look at social media marketing in an entirely new way now that our society focuses on information in real-time.  Companies will start capitalizing by focusing their attentions on current buzz and trends.  Companies are going to start creating creative content on a consistent basis to help gain the attention of their customers and they will focus on becoming “experts” in the fields they choose to communicate through social media. 

One thing that has shifted is more people are using the Internet now on their smartphones and tablets more than their laptops and desktop computers.  More companies are embracing this mobile shift and are learning to utilize web design and content to work well with mobile devices. 

Another big prediction for 2012 is going to be the growth of YouTube in the way that information will be shared.  YouTube has made some big changes recently with their design and they are marketing themselves to be and behave much more like a social networking site.  You will see more companies using YouTube in their marketing strategies and you will see companies who have resisted using video scrambling to catch up.

I feel you will also see a shift this year with blue-collar businesses utilizing social media with more and more carpenters, plumbers, landscapers, etc. learning to understand this new age of marketing.  They are going to see and learn about the way people shop, think and make decisions .  I feel they will start blogging, making educational videos and tutorials, promoting products and deals and handling customer service more with social media. Hopefully the feeling that social media only works best for white-collar and tech industries will be a thing of the past and more small businesses and blue-collar industries will catch up to the current trends. 

These are just a few predictions for where I think social media is heading towards in 2012 and I left out many other things that I see will be the new ways businesses will use social media for their marketing and promotions.  My hope for the future of Union City is to see old and new businesses start capitalizing with social media and to stay ahead of marketing trends in the future.