The Future of Social Media in 2013: Six Points to Consider

NealSchaffer
Neal Schaffer President, Maximize Your Social

Posted on December 10th 2012

The Future of Social Media in 2013: Six Points to Consider

social media marketing

What will the future of Social Media Marketing bring? Here’s my best educated guess.

As we round the bend to the end of another term of learning and applying the principles of social media marketing, I wonder what 2013 will bring to the social media world. I have spoken to my classes about the history of Marketing, the emergence of social media, and how we utilize social platforms and tools for B2C and B2B.  But, now we need to consider what new tools, processes, trends, and gaps could appear as social media becomes more pervasive, effective, and required in business.

In the future, I think we will see a further evolution of how we produce and consume marketing messages as well an increase in the value of information produced via social (for business and consumers).  Some points to consider:

Tribes

I believe the future of social media can be seen by looking to the past. Humans by nature are social creatures, however we have spent years relying on mass media.  As time has passed, we are now relying less on mass media and more on our peers: we are once again turning to one another.  Consider your friends on Facebook or those you follow on Twitter. Via social,  I have surrounded myself with like minded people that I can have a symbiotic relationship with.   Many of the folks I follow on Twitter I follow because I can learn from them and I value the content they produce.

Relevancy

Relevant connections, content, and communications will remain increasingly important in order to cancel out the “noise”.  As consumers continue to be bombarded with tweets, status updates, mobile marketing messages and the like, it will be paramount for these communications to be relevant, timely, and personalized.  This is true for the business as well.  I see the future of social including smaller more niche social groups organized by brands to further identify consumer needs, research, and for crowdsourcing purposes.

Social CRM

If your business is on a social platform and engaging, good for you. If you are not utilizing it to facilitate customer service, shame on you.  Obviously, this will take some planning on your part to prepare staff and get processes in place for customer service inquiries.  Nevertheless, the benefits far outweigh the costs in this situation.  Consider the company who is “on Twitter” and ignores customer inquiries made via tweets.  This is the equivalent of having a customer at your business, asking you a question (with a store full of other customers and potential customers) while you stand there not listening with your hands covering your ears.  Potentially disastrous in real life; it would be online as well.

SoMo

By far the biggest and most exciting area of social will most likely be SoMo (social mobile).  Mobile phones have become an every day item that are utilized multiple times throughout the day.  Smartphones hold more information on the user than ever before; we rely on them to remind us of doctors appointments, to take and store photos, to stay in contact with our friends and family, to do searches, and to sometimes even make phone calls.  New and exciting possibilities abound surrounding smart phones and equipping them to better know the user, anticipate needs, and meet those needs.  However, with more people using smart phones as their primary tool for Internet searches, businesses will need to make changes to webpages and more to accommodate slower connections and/or smaller screens.

Integration

Mass media and social media will become more integrated across devices (such as laptop, tablets, smart phones) and platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to offer more relevant and personalized experiences.  Similarly, we will also see further integration with local and SoMo: SoLoMo. Consumers will utilize social media via mobile technology to include point of purchase and point of consumption.

The Future

The future of social media is my students, myself, and you….

Each of my students (and you the reader) have created personal digital brands via blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest.  As we all leave our digital footprints, we are not only representing ourselves, we are representing the brands we work for and the brands we ‘talk’ about via social.  Likewise, the individuals that make up brands are creating engaged company personas with both personality and transparency.  These folks are the future of social media.

Individuals will shape the future of social media.  What steps are you taking to do the most good with your digital footprint!?

The views expressed are those of the author, and do not represent those of Texas A&M University-Commerce or Southern New Hampshire University unless stated explicitly.

Jessica Rogers (11 Posts)

This monthly Social Media MBA column is contributed by Jessica Rogers. Jessica is a Dallas based Adjunct Marketing Instructor at Texas A&M University- Commerce and Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently working on her PhD in Business with an emphasis on Marketing; her dissertation research is focused on Social Media. Jessica teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses in Marketing, including Social Media, and has 16 years of field experience in business and marketing before starting her teaching career in 2009. Jessica holds a BS in Business Administration and an MS in Marketing.

 

Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Related Posts

NealSchaffer

Neal Schaffer

President, Maximize Your Social

Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in a row and creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing Blog Windmill Networking (recently rebranded as Maximize Social Business), Neal is a global social media speaker who also teaches as part of the Rutgers University Mini Social Media MBA Program. As an author, Neal is best known for his definitive book on social media strategy creation, implementation, and optimization “Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success” (Wiley)  but has also published two other award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: ”Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing” and “Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.”

As a leading social media speaker, Neal currently speaks on social media at dozens of corporate, professional association, and online events each year. In parallel, he continues to consult with, coach, and train clients on strategically leveraging social media for their business. Since launching his social media strategy consulting business in January, 2010, Neal has worked with dozens of companies, from small startups and solopreneurs to Fortune 500 enterprises and a Grammy Award-winning celebrity. In addition, Neal is also founder and editor-in-chief of Maximize Social Business, a leading social media for business resource featuring industry thought leaders.

Neal works with clients seeking his social media expertise in the following ways: 

Social Media Strategy Consultant - Neal works with companies in auditing their current social media efforts company-wide and creating a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns corporate objectives with the potential for social business. For smaller businesses who need to have an expert social media advisor on call for practical advice, Neal offers this service at reasonable rates to help as many companies as possible with their social media.

Social Media Speaker - Whether it’s a keynote speech, presentation for a professional association or a hands-on workshop for an internal audience, Neal delivers customized content with concrete takeaways to meet your needs.

Social Media Content Creator – Need a recognized social media author to ghostwrite or help in writing a social media book, ebook, whitepaper, or magazine article for your organization or enterprise? Neal is available for such work.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Qnary
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 2:57AM

Social media has become a place for us to connect with others who have similar interests as us as well as promote our brands and companies.  Once your company creates social media accounts, make sure you are keeping up with them and responding to your customers as if they were standing right in front of you asking a question or making a complaint.  Social media has become just as valuable as a face-to-face interaction and should be treated that way by businesses.

Kent Ong
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 6:13AM

Hi Neal, two things to master to secure our future - Data and Relationship.

We need to analyze data to understand consumers and we need to build relationship with consumers. Both are the most important things in the future. That's why we have Big Data.