Carly Harrington with the Knoxville News Sentinel recently contacted me for some 2011 social media predictions. Knowing that she’d not be able to use them all, or use them unedited, I decided to post them here for everyone to see.
Admittedly, these are pretty safe predictions, but they’re intended to be useful to those that don’t live and breath social media every day. I have other predictions that are a bit more on the edge, but those don’t really have mass appeal.
1. We’ll reach content overload as more folks join the social media frenzy because they continue to think they have to do it, even if they don’t know what ‘it’ is. This will be a catalyst causing the savvy communicators to move social media forward as a communications tool by focusing on the message. What we’re seeing online now is the modern equivalent to cave markings. How the messages are crafted and presented will start to shift.
2. Businesses that were early adopters into the social media frenzy will find themselves putting more focus on actual ROI. The number of followers and ‘likes’ are irrelevant without the ability to influence behavior. Deeper analysis of social media activities will spur change in behavior.
3. Rather than seeing social media as a ‘magic bullet,’ companies will work it into existing PR and communications strategies. It’s only a piece of the puzzle. Emails and fax machines were revolutionary at one time, and so were calculator watches, but eventually they fade into the background and are used as needed.
4. People calling themselves social media ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’ will find it harder to compete as stand-alone consultants as agencies do a better job of incorporating the myriad of pieces into traditional services.
5. Many service providers will realize the damage they’re doing to themselves by cheapening services through the ever-growing list of coupon sites and back away. A new generation of service providers will fill in the gap, because as we know, ‘there’s a sucker born every minute.’
So, what do you see coming in 2011?