This week I moderated another webinar in the SocialMediaToday Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Social Media Predictions for 2014: What Do You Need to Watch? This webinar included an all rock star panel consisting of: Ekaterina Walter who is the CMO and a Partner at Branderati, Sandra Lopez who is the Marketing Strategy Director of New Business at Intel, and Ray Wang who is the Principle Analyst and Founder of Constellation Research.
Sandra Lopez, from Intel, started us off with the first big trend to watch out for next year what she calls ... "The Genie Economy". This is where social media and technology adoption by Millennials is driving a new world of immediacy. Evidence has been apps like WUNWUN in New York City, eBay now, and most recently Amazons announcement of drones delivering Amazon goods in 30 min. Further evidence can be found in services like UBER that leverage data to deliver cabs in less than 5 min. Is there really this kind of demand? Just ask Twitter followers who recently said in a survey that 81% percent of them want a brand to respond in the same day!
Ray Wang, from Constellation Research, then took us through how brands are migrating to a fully digital business. Brands are recognizing that they no longer sell products and services as buyers now seek experiences and outcomes! Because of this Ray predicts a shift from engagement to personalization at scale across every channel. He also declared that B2B and B2C labels are dead - its now Peer to Peer (P2P) and Machine to Machine (M2M) - this was very popular and widely tweeted by the audience.
Ekaterina Walker, from Branderati, then gave us her prediction that we are in the Age of Advocacy. She cites that consumers are more comfortable now with social media, which has resulted in not just end consumers becoming brand advocates but employees too. Getting employees into the act is important since according to Pew Research in the US each person has approximately 634 social ties - if you can get your employees to talk about your brand that's some pretty powerful reach!
After the presentations were over we had a lively discussion about 2014 trends and we took questions from the audience. If you have ever been on a SocialMediaToday webinar before, you know they are very "participant-driven" and we love to ask your questions of our panelists. Many of the questions from our audience revolved around topics such as: How can you organize your company around Big Data and use it to your advantage, What social networks should you keep your eye on next year and what new marketing titles are coming in 2014 (like the Chief Experience Officer?).
If that piqued your interest and you want to hear the replay of this webinar, please check out this link. Otherwise please join us for the next year on another SocialMediaToday webinar! Look for the 2014 schedule posted here.
Photo Credit: 2014 Predictions/shutterstock