A couple of weeks ago, I promised to write about the additional social media trends I'm seeing for 2011. If you missed the first four (content, FTC rulings, net neutrality, and customer engagement) you can find that Spin Sucks post here.
I've had a chance to review the post-it note I keep on my desk and following are four additional trends you should pay attention to as you plan for 2011.
1. Social commerce. Social who? In short, you can now sell on Facebook by letting your customers buy, but also letting them tell their friends. And letting their friends tell their friends. Even if you don't offer ecommerce on your website, it's now possible to provide that service through the social network. And it's overly simple to set up.
2. Group buying. You've heard of sites, such as Groupon, that sell for discounts if you get your friends to "group" together to buy a product or service? Based on the $1 billion price tag Groupon received earlier this year, expect them and like-minded sites (such as LivingSocial, YouSwoop, and ScoutMom) to continue to grow, offering you a new way to reach different audiences.
3. Q&A sites. It may seem crazy if you're not a high user of the social platforms, but people are beginning to make real decisions based on recommendations from their virtual friends. Sites such as JustAnswer will begin to pop up, allowing people to ask a question and get real answers, from real people. The marketing possibilities become endless because you'll begin to collect data from groups of people instead of one customer at a time.
4. Mobile. It's no surprise our phones are becoming like third hands for most of us or that we're eons behind Asian countries on how we use them. But we're beginning to catch on and move toward abandoning our laptops for phones. Watch for movement toward mobile payments and begin thinking about how to accept payments via an application on the phone.
So, other than content, customer engagement, net neutrality, FTC rules, social commerce, group buying, Q&A sites, and mobile, what trends are you seeing, using technology, for 2011?