It’s that most wonderful time of the year … time to predict the future as we close out the year! I think my 2011 social media predictions were pretty solid, so I’m going to take another stab at it for 2012. Here are the five social media trends I think marketers need to be aware of in the next year as we grow and change along with technology and consumer demand.

Content Marketing

Content curation was so last year. In 2012 we’re going broader; we’ll be talking about a marketing discipline called “Content Marketing.” It’s actually not all that new; in fact, some social media pundits have been talking about it for years. But 2012 is the year content marketing is hits the social media trends list and the mainstream, because content marketing is now a concept that executives can finally sink their teeth into.

Content marketing is essentially the same thing that social media gurus have been discussing for quite some time, which is that brands must “be the media.” But “be the media” is a scary concept for a CMO or CEO, because they think that media = expensive. Because corporate execs are finally beginning to understand how writing blogs or creating video can enhance SEO, lead generation, customer relationship management, and more, budgets seem to be loosening to allow marketers to create, as well as curate, content as a marketing strategy.

As such, we will be looking for marketing staff with more and varied skills. We’ll need people with great editorial skills; who can write blogs, white papers and slide presentations; and who can conceptualize and perhaps even edit video. If the marketing staff has those capabilities, the costs for content marketing get absorbed into the department and no longer represent a scary line item.

And if our marketing staff is also our content creating and curating team, we also need to think about hiring for our department in a different way: people who are in social media roles most likely need to be the customer they’re serving, or at least must be able to walk comfortably in their shoes. A 45 year old man likely won’t be the content marketer for breastfeeding supplies. Brands will be looking for content marketers who match their demographic, which may open up new corporate job opportunities to subject matter experts in a variety of disciplines.

Social Media InfluenceSocial Media Trends 2012 Influence

Influence in 2012 might be defined by Klout, or Kred, or PeerIndex. It doesn’t matter. The point is that anyone who is looking to court customers is wanting to understand who’s who, else they wind up in a morass of names, unable to know whom to court to help them spread the word about their product or service. Influence-ranking services such as those above, as maligned as they are, are merely trying to help marketers cut through the clutter of tweets and blog posts to figure out who they should talk to. 2012 is not going to be the year that a perfect tool emerges, but it will be a year for broad adoption of the ranking tools and lots of C-suite talk about “influence” in general.

Personally, I think the future of social media influence is in a combination of online and offline factors. For example, how do you augment someone’s influence score if they’ve written a book? Or if they’re the president of their kids’ school PTA? Or if they have an extensive speaking career? Any of those factors would indicate that those individuals have opportunities to spread messages to groups of people who likely trust them and rely on their opinions, yet this is in no way reflected in any of the online influence scores. Because of this disconnect between online and offline influence, I’m not putting my money down on any of the influence rankers at this point. I am, however, using them all personally to understand how they work, and selectively relying on them to advise clients, though my rolodex of bloggers whom I know personally is still a far better asset. After all, social media is still about relationships, and there’s no substitute for getting to know the people you are hoping will help you promote your brand.

Convergence of Marketing + Technology + Data

Perhaps the most important of the social media trends to come, tighter integration between marketing, technology, and data is at topic I predict we’ll hear a lot about. New positions like “Marketing Technologist” and “Marketing Scientist” will emerge; within marketing departments people will learn these new skills and take on new roles.

Imagine what would happen if you, the marketer, had someone on staff who could create technology to meet the needs of your content and your promotions, who understood Facebook Connect and maybe even iPhone development, to boot? What if that person were a WordPress expert too? The future of marketing does not include waiting for the IT department to figure out what a WordPress plugin is. Marketers are going to take technology into their own hands and either train or hire people within their own departments who can move much more nimbly and creatively than traditional tech departments can.

I’m also seeing a trend towards marketers who are becoming masters at data analysis; smart marketer Dan Zarrella is one of the best known in the genre of Marketing Scientist. Some companies, like my client (and SME colleague Ilana Rabinowitz at) Lion Brand Yarn, are starting to install analysts within their marketing departments. At Lion Brand they have a staffer devoted to gleaning insights out of Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; they use the data generated to determine what content to provide within each of their platforms, to develop better promotions and events, and to figure out which products are resonating within various consumer communities.

Just as with content marketing, above, smart marketers are going to figure out how to train or hire for the skills they need to make savvy social marketing decisions, rather than waiting for budgets to be approved or for help from other departments internally.

Legal Challenges Within Social Media

Let’s talk for an honest minute about one of the pitfalls of the crazy growth social media has experienced over the past few years. It’s a bit hard these days to figure out who’s shilling for whom and what are the rules, exactly. In order to quell some of the confusion, a couple of years ago the FTC laid out some very clear guidelines for blogger disclosure, and though there’s been continued debate about how to comply (do we really have to indicate a sponsored tweet?), disclosure is now the norm, not the exception. So good on you, bloggers and brands, for making that happen. And keep it up.

However, I predict that in 2012 a new legal menace is going to rear its ugly head, and it’s largely due to the plethora of bloggers who have cropped up and devoted themselves to reviews and giveaways, many of which are created and run in ways which do not comply with FTC and state guidelines. The law and how it handles this new, vast world is going to be one of the most important social media trends we see. In case you missed it, I’ve recently written nearly 1,800 words on the topic of Sweepstakes and Contests in these very pages, and I encourage you to check it out. In a nutshell, it says that most bloggers, and therefore brands, are doing it wrong: there are rules, and they’re not being followed. Ouch.

To be perfectly frank, I admit to welcoming some state or federal scrutiny on giveaways practices because I feel it will raise the bar for participation by bloggers (and brands) and help blogging get back to what it once was: storytelling and resources, not simply crass commercialism. I’m quite sure I’ll hear differing opinions on this score; please bring it on in the comments.

Social Security

Nope, this is not the kind that Congress is endlessly debating. It’s the kind you’re going to need now that your social networking information is being used by all sorts of outside agencies and companies to judge you in ways you never thought possible. Like insurance. And loans. And law enforcement.

Insurance companies are already using social media to validate claims: if you say you were in a car accident one night but update Facebook to say you had a fantastic evening, you may be sniffed out by your insurer. This will go even further in the coming year(s) as your social updates as well as your network may be part of the evaluation when you look for new insurance or apply for a loan. On the law enforcement side, social media can assist individuals and communities in the case of a disaster or accident by monitoring community social activity, looking for calls for help, and evaluating needs as information comes in from across the range of social networks. We also know that cops and agencies are using publicly-shared social media data to help fight crime which could lead to challenges in privacy rights and changes in how the social networks protect (or don’t protect) individuals’ data.  Even charities are getting into the act of co-opting individuals who may or may not be entirely aware of how their images and social connections are being used.

While privacy and security concerns have obvious implications for individuals, there are correlating considerations for marketers as well. If you’re selling products or services in a way which could potentially use customers’ social connections to enhance your offering, you’d better get working on it quickly before new startups step in to fill the void. Even if you personally don’t love the idea of using social connections in that way, trust me, someone else out there is going to do it, so you might as well protect your brand and figure it out.

What’s Not Here: Google+

I actually have a sixth prediction: that there will be dozens of 2012 social media predictions posts which include Google+. Yet I’m not really including it here, because it’s simply a platform, not a trend or movement. Brands will use Google+ as well as Facebook, Twitter, blogging, video, etc. to implement any or all of the above trends in one way or another. There is no question that Google+ will likely be a major force for brands in 2012, particularly now that brand pages have been rolled out and it’s seems pretty clear that good SEO for brands in the future will involve Google+ in some way. So keep your eye on this one, but don’t call it a trend, use it as a tool.

So friends, how did I do? Did I get social media trends for 2012 right in your eyes? What major trend did I miss? As always, I’m totally up for the debate and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Image source: flickr.com (Bruce Dupree via aafromaa)

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About Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab is the Principal of Crackerjack Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in social media planning and execution. Stephanie is also the founder of the Digital Family Summit, the first-of-its-kind conference for tween bloggers and content creators and their families. Throughout her 20-year career, she has developed and led marketing and social media programs for top brands and has presented on social media and e-commerce topics at numerous conferences and corporate events. Stephanie writes about social media at CrackerjackMarketing.com, sometimes hangs out at Google+, and tweets @stephanies.

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  • Emily

    Stephanie,

    I really enjoyed reading your article on your predictions for the 5 social media trends for 2012. I was intrigued by your suggestions of new positions, like Marketing Technologist and Marketing Scientist, that may arise in marketing departments for creating content and blog to enhance web presence. I also agree that Google+ is taking off as a social media platform.  In a blog we just wrote on Google+(http://www.grmwebsite.com/blog/bid/67691/How-To-Add-Google-To-Your-Social-Media-Marketing-Strategy) , Google+ already has 40 million members, as compared to Facebook with 800 million and LinkedIn with 135 million.

    Emily

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Emily, for reading and commenting. Great post on G+, btw!

    • Sarah Behunek

      Emily, I totally agree with Stephanie in terms skill sets employers will be looking for (a variety of communications skill sets), as well as imagining new positions (just this week I was thinking it would be great to have what she has labeled a “Marketing Technologist”. Finally, she is right and trends bear this out that many marketers/digital media specialists are moving past IT departments if/when those departments are slow to implement. Great post Stephanie. 

  • Emily

    Stephanie,

    I really enjoyed reading your article on your predictions for the 5 social media trends for 2012. I was intrigued by your suggestions of new positions, like Marketing Technologist and Marketing Scientist, that may arise in marketing departments for creating content and blog to enhance web presence. I also agree that Google+ is taking off as a social media platform.  In a blog we just wrote on Google+(http://www.grmwebsite.com/blog/bid/67691/How-To-Add-Google-To-Your-Social-Media-Marketing-Strategy) , Google+ already has 40 million members, as compared to Facebook with 800 million and LinkedIn with 135 million.

    Emily

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Emily, for reading and commenting. Great post on G+, btw!

    • Sarah Behunek

      Emily, I totally agree with Stephanie in terms skill sets employers will be looking for (a variety of communications skill sets), as well as imagining new positions (just this week I was thinking it would be great to have what she has labeled a “Marketing Technologist”. Finally, she is right and trends bear this out that many marketers/digital media specialists are moving past IT departments if/when those departments are slow to implement. Great post Stephanie. 

  • http://twitter.com/sMoRTy71 Shawn Morton

    I still struggle understanding how “content marketing” differs from “marketing.” Seems like a new name to describe something that already exists. Sure, the marketing tactics need to adjust to be better aligned with digital and social, but I don’t think it warrants a new “thing.” 

    • http://communitas.tumblr.com/ tobymurdock

      shawn–

      i think that the major difference is that “content marketing” is about creating content regarding customer’s needs & concerns while “traditional marketing” typically creates content about the brand’s products and services.

      now in the past marketers have produced content about customer’s needs, but the importance of doing so has never been so great. the big shift is customer control: with so much information available on the internet, customers have declining interest in ads being shoved at them, as they are confident that they can find info about products and services when they want that info.

      given this, marketers who are going after content marketing are doing it with big scope and big ambition. amex open forum is taking on inc. magazine. l’oreal’s makeup.com is taking on glamour. to win at content marketing and thus at marketing, brands need to produce content whose quality is on par with traditional media. it seems daunting, but the economics are way in favor of brands to do it (for more, see: http://bit.ly/n1vetN).

      this level of content produciton by brands, this ambition to become publishers, is a real change.

       

      • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

        Toby, I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks! 100% agreed with how you describe it – it’s not company-driven content, it’s lifestyle or problem-solving content aligned with the needs of the company’s desired customer base. Shawn, it’s definitely marketing, but it’s a new discipline, because, as I said above, it’ll be hard for the middle-aged man to be a qualified content marketer for breastfeeding supplies. That same guy could be a marketer for that company – he can buy ads, strategize about messaging, etc., but it’ll be nigh impossible for him to authentically write for the lifestyle of the breastfeeding mom. Content marketers will in most cases need to be very closely aligned with the needs and attitudes of the customers the content is serving.

      • Tammy Trujillo

        Toby – Agree with all that you said. Content marketing is a shift in how brands speak to consumers. Instead of an ad campaign with a slogan, there are blog posts, videos, etc. that are not about promoting product and services, but about showing a brand’s stream of consciousness and convincing the customer to want to be a part of the brand and interact with it.  

      • http://twitter.com/RedRocketMedia Red Rocket Media

        Totally agree with you Toby.  Clever companies are totally shifting the way they communicate with their prospects and customers. They are stepping away from the traditional, self-promotional marketing material and moving towards providing solutions for their prospects instead. People no longer want to be sold to, they want to be educated, studies suggest for the first 80% of the buying cycle. This means there will no doubt be a shift in skills within marketing departments as businesses start to require the skills of brand journalists, people who are skilled at telling entertaining and educational stories. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for traditional marketers of course, just that the requirements within the marketing department are changing. 

        Michelle Hill (Marketing Manager at Red Rocket Media)

  • http://twitter.com/sMoRTy71 Shawn Morton

    I still struggle understanding how “content marketing” differs from “marketing.” Seems like a new name to describe something that already exists. Sure, the marketing tactics need to adjust to be better aligned with digital and social, but I don’t think it warrants a new “thing.” 

    • http://communitas.tumblr.com/ tobymurdock

      shawn–

      i think that the major difference is that “content marketing” is about creating content regarding customer’s needs & concerns while “traditional marketing” typically creates content about the brand’s products and services.

      now in the past marketers have produced content about customer’s needs, but the importance of doing so has never been so great. the big shift is customer control: with so much information available on the internet, customers have declining interest in ads being shoved at them, as they are confident that they can find info about products and services when they want that info.

      given this, marketers who are going after content marketing are doing it with big scope and big ambition. amex open forum is taking on inc. magazine. l’oreal’s makeup.com is taking on glamour. to win at content marketing and thus at marketing, brands need to produce content whose quality is on par with traditional media. it seems daunting, but the economics are way in favor of brands to do it (for more, see: http://bit.ly/n1vetN).

      this level of content produciton by brands, this ambition to become publishers, is a real change.

       

      • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

        Toby, I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks! 100% agreed with how you describe it – it’s not company-driven content, it’s lifestyle or problem-solving content aligned with the needs of the company’s desired customer base. Shawn, it’s definitely marketing, but it’s a new discipline, because, as I said above, it’ll be hard for the middle-aged man to be a qualified content marketer for breastfeeding supplies. That same guy could be a marketer for that company – he can buy ads, strategize about messaging, etc., but it’ll be nigh impossible for him to authentically write for the lifestyle of the breastfeeding mom. Content marketers will in most cases need to be very closely aligned with the needs and attitudes of the customers the content is serving.

      • Tammy Trujillo

        Toby – Agree with all that you said. Content marketing is a shift in how brands speak to consumers. Instead of an ad campaign with a slogan, there are blog posts, videos, etc. that are not about promoting product and services, but about showing a brand’s stream of consciousness and convincing the customer to want to be a part of the brand and interact with it.  

      • http://twitter.com/RedRocketMedia Red Rocket Media

        Totally agree with you Toby.  Clever companies are totally shifting the way they communicate with their prospects and customers. They are stepping away from the traditional, self-promotional marketing material and moving towards providing solutions for their prospects instead. People no longer want to be sold to, they want to be educated, studies suggest for the first 80% of the buying cycle. This means there will no doubt be a shift in skills within marketing departments as businesses start to require the skills of brand journalists, people who are skilled at telling entertaining and educational stories. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for traditional marketers of course, just that the requirements within the marketing department are changing. 

        Michelle Hill (Marketing Manager at Red Rocket Media)

  • http://twitter.com/jberoiz Javier Beroiz

    I have read with great joy your predictions. I am happy to know brands are getting planners to discover insights from social media, as I think there is a wide field beyond us. I would like to know more about how do you see us interacting through mobile, do you think it’s a new window or that the medium is the message. Thanks

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Javier, I had mobile in my original list of trends and really debated whether it was a trend or a tool. In the end I decided it was, like Google+, just a tool and that smart marketers will use mobile to execute on all of the above concepts. I definitely do believe that mobile will pick up even more momentum in 2012, it’s clearly important for every marketer, social or otherwise, to understand mobile and have some mobile marketing in their toolkit.

  • http://twitter.com/jberoiz Javier Beroiz

    I have read with great joy your predictions. I am happy to know brands are getting planners to discover insights from social media, as I think there is a wide field beyond us. I would like to know more about how do you see us interacting through mobile, do you think it’s a new window or that the medium is the message. Thanks

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Javier, I had mobile in my original list of trends and really debated whether it was a trend or a tool. In the end I decided it was, like Google+, just a tool and that smart marketers will use mobile to execute on all of the above concepts. I definitely do believe that mobile will pick up even more momentum in 2012, it’s clearly important for every marketer, social or otherwise, to understand mobile and have some mobile marketing in their toolkit.

  • http://twitter.com/chutche6 Cynthia Hutchens

    Great part about influencing and the tools used to measure, i.e. Klout etc! You hit the nail on the head.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Cynthia!

  • http://twitter.com/chutche6 Cynthia Hutchens

    Great part about influencing and the tools used to measure, i.e. Klout etc! You hit the nail on the head.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Cynthia!

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  • Anonymous

    * I’m also skeptical about Google+: they’re too little too late and even Google doesn’t have the street cred in social to unseat Google. You know that Facebook is just way too far ahead when there are vast ecosystems listed at http://www.buyfacebookfansreviews.com that do nothing other than promote Facebook pages. There’s very little Google can do to come anywhere close to catching up here. The best they can do is create new pro-privacy features that influence Facebook into adjusting their feature set a bit unless I’m woefully mistaken.

    * The last few years, much of the hype was about location based websites like 4square. I think they’ll be around for a while, but its doubtful about impacting the market like the hype said it was and I think Apple with Siri has a much better chance of taking over location based search and services.

    * Whether its Klout, one of its competitors, or some other service nobody has ever heard of yet, I think these metrics are going to be big for a lot of big businesses and this is a significant market if you understand how these big companies operate based on data and what their employees do all day. I don’t think Klout is the final word here and more products will emerge, but there’s no doubt about the fact that Klout is in a really solid position right now despite some of their recent privacy fails.

    * Another trend that’s going to shape the world even though its a negative: government monitoring of social media. That will shape law enforcement, the spin in news cycles, and could affect a lot of real world political issues. That is going to shape the world a bit over the next few years because I would think that flat out censorship of social media is not going to happen anywhere except in limited numbers of countries like China or certain parts of the Middle east. Still, this is a significant issue as politicians get involved with social media and the internet.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Inm, glad we’re aligned here! Per your comment about Siri, I found this incredibly interesting: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/siri-and-the-end-of-seo-as-we-know-it.html – it envisions Siri taking over search as we know it. Because Siri is effectively gating search into her (?!) universe, so we’re no longer searching the entire web. Do you agree?

  • Anonymous

    * I’m also skeptical about Google+: they’re too little too late and even Google doesn’t have the street cred in social to unseat Google. You know that Facebook is just way too far ahead when there are vast ecosystems listed at http://www.buyfacebookfansreviews.com that do nothing other than promote Facebook pages. There’s very little Google can do to come anywhere close to catching up here. The best they can do is create new pro-privacy features that influence Facebook into adjusting their feature set a bit unless I’m woefully mistaken.

    * The last few years, much of the hype was about location based websites like 4square. I think they’ll be around for a while, but its doubtful about impacting the market like the hype said it was and I think Apple with Siri has a much better chance of taking over location based search and services.

    * Whether its Klout, one of its competitors, or some other service nobody has ever heard of yet, I think these metrics are going to be big for a lot of big businesses and this is a significant market if you understand how these big companies operate based on data and what their employees do all day. I don’t think Klout is the final word here and more products will emerge, but there’s no doubt about the fact that Klout is in a really solid position right now despite some of their recent privacy fails.

    * Another trend that’s going to shape the world even though its a negative: government monitoring of social media. That will shape law enforcement, the spin in news cycles, and could affect a lot of real world political issues. That is going to shape the world a bit over the next few years because I would think that flat out censorship of social media is not going to happen anywhere except in limited numbers of countries like China or certain parts of the Middle east. Still, this is a significant issue as politicians get involved with social media and the internet.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Inm, glad we’re aligned here! Per your comment about Siri, I found this incredibly interesting: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/siri-and-the-end-of-seo-as-we-know-it.html – it envisions Siri taking over search as we know it. Because Siri is effectively gating search into her (?!) universe, so we’re no longer searching the entire web. Do you agree?

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  • http://www.blurbpoint.com/link-building-services.php Link Building Services

    I would like to say that g+ will not be used just as one tool for the business , but it will be the whole complete path to build the business even for the beginners. And just not by the reason of features of g+ , but people will use it more for getting the effective results in google for their website.
    As google has announced to make the old data new and for that it used social media more. And as per the panda update it also consider the more quality traffic and from the social media more. So both these things are connected. And as g+ is the giant social network by google so google will use it more for providing the results.
    And on g+ even with the old stuff , people eager to do work with it. As on any new network the old information still consider as the new one. So due to many reasons people going to use g+.

  • http://www.blurbpoint.com/link-building-services.php Link Building Services

    I would like to say that g+ will not be used just as one tool for the business , but it will be the whole complete path to build the business even for the beginners. And just not by the reason of features of g+ , but people will use it more for getting the effective results in google for their website.
    As google has announced to make the old data new and for that it used social media more. And as per the panda update it also consider the more quality traffic and from the social media more. So both these things are connected. And as g+ is the giant social network by google so google will use it more for providing the results.
    And on g+ even with the old stuff , people eager to do work with it. As on any new network the old information still consider as the new one. So due to many reasons people going to use g+.

  • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

    Stephanie, I like your list and prediction. I would like to add one trend I would like to see in 2012 – that social media will become an integral part of the corporate DNA, and not just a perceived marketing function. I see Social Media being included in Human Resources and recruiting, Learning and development, Legal, IT, and other departments. I see social media being used for internal as well as external stake holders, and being embraced more by CEOs and other leaders, to drive transparency and increase efficiency in the business.
    Or maybe this is a prediction for 2020?? 

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Raz, I think you’re so right. In 2012 it may be just the marketing department morphing, but, like you, I hope social will infuse the DNA of all corporations over time. 2020? Hopefully sooner…!

  • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

    Stephanie, I like your list and prediction. I would like to add one trend I would like to see in 2012 – that social media will become an integral part of the corporate DNA, and not just a perceived marketing function. I see Social Media being included in Human Resources and recruiting, Learning and development, Legal, IT, and other departments. I see social media being used for internal as well as external stake holders, and being embraced more by CEOs and other leaders, to drive transparency and increase efficiency in the business.
    Or maybe this is a prediction for 2020?? 

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Raz, I think you’re so right. In 2012 it may be just the marketing department morphing, but, like you, I hope social will infuse the DNA of all corporations over time. 2020? Hopefully sooner…!

  • http://andrewspong.myopenid.com/ Andrew Spong

    Nice post Stephanie.

    I’m with you on influence and convergence as we begin to grasp the importance of social metadata in general.

    However, I think 2012 is the year we will begin to finally acknowledge that the Social Web is not an environment within which the sort of activities that we currently associate with the term ‘marketing’ are fit for purpose.

    I posit that we are entering a postmarketing age in as much as the bundle of concepts that we reach for when we speak of ‘marketing’ are concerned. We must ask whether industry-standard marketing practices are still fit for purpose. I contend that they are not, and am chronicling their decline on a Scoop.it page (‘Influenced’). Social business is not about decanting new wine into old bottles. It is about seeing the relationship between vendors and customers in an entirely new, transparent way.

    I say more about this with regard to the health conversation on the social web on a post on stwem.com. Google ‘Trends 2012′.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Hey Andrew – agreed wholeheartedly, though probably won’t happen in 2012 – companies move so much more slowly than we’d like. This is a big mindshift and I’ll bet it’s a decade more before we look back to realize how big the change is.

  • http://andrewspong.myopenid.com/ Andrew Spong

    Nice post Stephanie.

    I’m with you on influence and convergence as we begin to grasp the importance of social metadata in general.

    However, I think 2012 is the year we will begin to finally acknowledge that the Social Web is not an environment within which the sort of activities that we currently associate with the term ‘marketing’ are fit for purpose.

    I posit that we are entering a postmarketing age in as much as the bundle of concepts that we reach for when we speak of ‘marketing’ are concerned. We must ask whether industry-standard marketing practices are still fit for purpose. I contend that they are not, and am chronicling their decline on a Scoop.it page (‘Influenced’). Social business is not about decanting new wine into old bottles. It is about seeing the relationship between vendors and customers in an entirely new, transparent way.

    I say more about this with regard to the health conversation on the social web on a post on stwem.com. Google ‘Trends 2012′.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Hey Andrew – agreed wholeheartedly, though probably won’t happen in 2012 – companies move so much more slowly than we’d like. This is a big mindshift and I’ll bet it’s a decade more before we look back to realize how big the change is.

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  • http://blogbizbuzz.com Joan-BlogBizBuzz

    Wow Stephanie,

    Quite a lot to digest in here, over the past couple of years I have taken cognizance of FTC rulings living in South Africa, being caught up with the ‘legal beagle’ of being online. Sadly many are unaware of the legal requirements. Folk living outside of the USA, I  personally do not think are aware of what is required, (or turn a blind eye). A lot do not establish a proper business, rather chase a quick ‘buck’.

    Social Media tightening up on security issues is overdue, unfortunately many do not read the small print, let alone know what they sign up for.

    Moving into 2012 with Mobile Marketing, content is going to have to be concise. Marketing is on the move again, excellent content on a blog linking a mobile site for customers ease of use. I think Andrew sums this up “It is about seeing the relationship between vendors and customers in an entirely new, transparent way.”

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Joan! You’re so right about people not knowing the rules….inside and outside of the USA. 

  • http://blogbizbuzz.com Joan-BlogBizBuzz

    Wow Stephanie,

    Quite a lot to digest in here, over the past couple of years I have taken cognizance of FTC rulings living in South Africa, being caught up with the ‘legal beagle’ of being online. Sadly many are unaware of the legal requirements. Folk living outside of the USA, I  personally do not think are aware of what is required, (or turn a blind eye). A lot do not establish a proper business, rather chase a quick ‘buck’.

    Social Media tightening up on security issues is overdue, unfortunately many do not read the small print, let alone know what they sign up for.

    Moving into 2012 with Mobile Marketing, content is going to have to be concise. Marketing is on the move again, excellent content on a blog linking a mobile site for customers ease of use. I think Andrew sums this up “It is about seeing the relationship between vendors and customers in an entirely new, transparent way.”

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Joan! You’re so right about people not knowing the rules….inside and outside of the USA. 

  • Gloria Keeling

    I enjoyed this blog post ..thanks to Digital Media Vancouver for posting it on Facebook..
    Business is booming in Social Media fashion…clever comments..good people promoting 
    it..kudos to Erin Garrity..who has had the foresight to focus on this “Field of Dreams”
    marketing strategy…
    Gloria Keeling<3

  • Gloria Keeling

    I enjoyed this blog post ..thanks to Digital Media Vancouver for posting it on Facebook..
    Business is booming in Social Media fashion…clever comments..good people promoting 
    it..kudos to Erin Garrity..who has had the foresight to focus on this “Field of Dreams”
    marketing strategy…
    Gloria Keeling<3

  • Gloria Keeling

    I enjoyed this blog post ..thanks to Digital Media Vancouver for posting it on Facebook..
    Business is booming in Social Media fashion…clever comments..good people promoting 
    it..kudos to Erin Garrity..who has had the foresight to focus on this “Field of Dreams”
    marketing strategy…
    Gloria Keeling<3

  • Gloria Keeling

    I enjoyed this blog post ..thanks to Digital Media Vancouver for posting it on Facebook..
    Business is booming in Social Media fashion…clever comments..good people promoting 
    it..kudos to Erin Garrity..who has had the foresight to focus on this “Field of Dreams”
    marketing strategy…
    Gloria Keeling<3

  • http://www.stevefogg.com Steve Fogg

    I think the biggest trend will be mobile search and especially Siri. While Apple may not leapfrog Google in shear volume in the next calendar year they have the runs on the board to change the way we do things. Think iPod, iPhone, iPad they changed how we interface with phone, computers and portable players in around 6 months.

    Changing the way we search through voice search may just be another way they leapfrog google and more specifically Android.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Steve, I’m in total agreement on the impact Siri will have on mobile and search. I think, however, that mobile (and search) are both tools, not trends. Content marketing, for example, will be one of the strategies brands use to get into Siri (or Google’s) search results or to make their marketing more mobile. Do you agree?

  • http://www.stevefogg.com Steve Fogg

    I think the biggest trend will be mobile search and especially Siri. While Apple may not leapfrog Google in shear volume in the next calendar year they have the runs on the board to change the way we do things. Think iPod, iPhone, iPad they changed how we interface with phone, computers and portable players in around 6 months.

    Changing the way we search through voice search may just be another way they leapfrog google and more specifically Android.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Steve, I’m in total agreement on the impact Siri will have on mobile and search. I think, however, that mobile (and search) are both tools, not trends. Content marketing, for example, will be one of the strategies brands use to get into Siri (or Google’s) search results or to make their marketing more mobile. Do you agree?

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  • Dar’shun Kendrick

    Talking about social media legal consequences, view my latest blog at http://kendricklaw.wordpress.com. 

  • Dar’shun Kendrick

    Talking about social media legal consequences, view my latest blog at http://kendricklaw.wordpress.com. 

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  • Sara

    Hey! Great post per usual. Curious what you think of Meetup – combines the online and off. It’s a super social platform but never really thought of as “social media.”

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Funny, I think of Meetup as sort of Web 1.0, but it is quite social. I think it goes to my point about influence, above – what do you do about offline influence? If someone is a leader of a successful Meetup group, shouldn’t they have more clout/Klout/Kred/whatever?  At some point people will get that and some smart company will build it into an influence measure in some way.

      • Sara

        Funny because I’d much rather work with offline influencers of late than online ones – I like to see more examples of where it crosses over… maybe it’s a Midwest thing! wink, wink :)

  • Sara

    Hey! Great post per usual. Curious what you think of Meetup – combines the online and off. It’s a super social platform but never really thought of as “social media.”

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Funny, I think of Meetup as sort of Web 1.0, but it is quite social. I think it goes to my point about influence, above – what do you do about offline influence? If someone is a leader of a successful Meetup group, shouldn’t they have more clout/Klout/Kred/whatever?  At some point people will get that and some smart company will build it into an influence measure in some way.

      • Sara

        Funny because I’d much rather work with offline influencers of late than online ones – I like to see more examples of where it crosses over… maybe it’s a Midwest thing! wink, wink :)

  • http://www.concepthubinc.com Sherry Heyl

    I am not sold on influence – not in quantity anyway or as measured by sites like Klout. I still find it too easy to game and people who want influence may seem to have it by the numbers but not by trust and respect. I absolutely agree with you about the legal challenges as well as the backlashes to legislations that fall in line with SOPA.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Sherry. See my comment back to Sara regarding influence. It’s not fully baked yet. 

  • http://www.concepthubinc.com Sherry Heyl

    I am not sold on influence – not in quantity anyway or as measured by sites like Klout. I still find it too hard to game and people who want influence may seem to have it by the numbers but not by trust and respect. I absolutely agree with you about the legal challenges as well as the backlashes to legislations that fall in line with SOPA.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Sherry. See my comment back to Sara regarding influence. It’s not fully baked yet. 

  • http://www.top5socialmedia.com/ Social Media Marketing

    Wow, interesting! Has anyone else come
    across the same thing compared to this? I am curious where to find more
    responses on this matter…
     

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HHSA4DSVWYU4HXAEPXLIPEOQ7Y Seymore

    Its a good outlook. I think social media and mobile marketing continue to converge. More people are apt to purchase a smart phone. Content will need to be formatted for mobile, with shorter scan-able articles with less graphics.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HHSA4DSVWYU4HXAEPXLIPEOQ7Y Seymore

    Its a good outlook. I think social media and mobile marketing continue to converge. More people are apt to purchase a smart phone. Content will need to be formatted for mobile, with shorter scan-able articles with less graphics.

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  • Kelly Jones

    I absolutely loved this blog. As a social media manager I found it quite beneficial and I would love to do a blog similar to this one. Thanks for the inspiration! 

  • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

    Social media reviews are definitely a little excessive in some cases, however, as long as you pair it with real information like this post than it can be worthwhile.

  • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

    Social media reviews are definitely a little excessive in some cases, however, as long as you pair it with real information like this post than it can be worthwhile.

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  • purnawan widodo

    thanks for the information

  • Michael Tucker

    Great post…There is one trend I’d like add….Mobile!  As smart phone usage continue to grow there will be more social opportunities that involve mobile devices.  Moreover, this will make marketing ecspecially easy for firm looking to market abroad.  http://socialmobilebuzz.com

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