Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Predictions of Social Media for 2013

    
From Business2Community.com comes several predictions for 2013 about Social Media. Fifty four thought leaders weighed in on the subject. Here is an abbreviated version of what they said:

·        52% (28 experts) predict that social media will be used to increase the effectiveness, importance and methods of communication between businesses and consumers.

·        22% (12 experts) predict social media will increase leads, conversions, and sales.

·        The remaining predictions ranged from social media influencing B2B to oversaturation (leading to a new network) to replacing business websites.

Some of the most interesting predictions related to B2C communications were the emphasis on using less words and more voice. Voice in these examples consists of images and videos to be used to connect with consumers as well as consumers being able to connect with the businesses. One expert predicts that companies will begin to pay – or otherwise reward - users to promote their products in almost real time with the increased usage of mobile social media. Other experts predict that more useful terms than “Likes”, “Followers” and “Fans” will be used to signify engagement. This will allow consumers to segment their networks based on interests easier.

Social media will increase leads, conversions, and sales by increasing its ability to “activate” consumers. Jayme Pretzloff, Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, said that social media influence has doubled for Wixon from 2011 to 2012. In 2011 almost 70% of users were not affected by social media in their buying selection and in 2012 only 35% said social media did not influence their buying decision. The other experts who predicted sales to increase also agreed that social media would continue to influence buying choices. Some even said social media would produce more sales than brick and mortar stores. One reason for this was mentioned by the founder of Online Optimism, Flynn Zaiger. He said to expect Amazon to join forces with one of the major social networks to not only shop for the best deal but also make sure their friends approved of the purchase.

Although the capability to quantifythe ROI on social media will be more effective in 2013 according to the predictions, most experts agree the focus should be turned away from quantity of users to the quality of users. The only way to keep quality users is to have a real and personal relationship with them. Social media in 2013 is how this relationship will be created and strengthened.

References:
2- Free Webinar on the Future of Social Media: http://webcasts.business2community.com