Digital futures 2013 – social media trends to watch out for this year
Fast moving, ever changing the social media world will continue dominate our lives in this year. Here are our predictions on what you and your small business can expect in your social media world in 2013.
1. mobile advertising – as a nation we are in love with our smart phones, sales continue to climb, 4G is on the horizon, browsing is faster and screens are brighter than ever before. But this year, something’s going to come between us and our love of smart phones – intrusive new advertising, sponsored messages, celebrity spam. We spend at least 10% of our shopping time on our mobiles, browsing and comparing prices, but retailers haven’t kept up and last year only spent a measly 1% of their advertising budget on the mobile channel. 2013 will be the year it all changes, as retailers switch to mobile promotions and advertising, inserting themselves into the personal and private space of the smart phone. And if you want to be free of the promotional noise, you’ll have to pay for it. There will be tears!
2. digital rehab – if you’ve spent so much time living in the twitter timeline or responding to pokes on Facebook 2013 could be the year that you check yourself in to a rural retreat for a full digital detox. Could you spend a weekend without your gadgets and without access to the web? Could you make conversation over dinner without checking facts on Wikipedia or sneaking a Google search in under the table? And if your digital friends are more interesting to you on live chat than a good old fashioned face to face conversation, now may be the time to get yourself into rehab.
3. the long arm of the law – gone are the days of anarchy on Facebook and Twitter. Lord Levenson’s stiff report on media activity in the wake of the phone hacking scandal will keep the uses and abuses of traditional and social media in the public – and in the legal - eye. You can expect more high profile prosecutions of opinionated tweeters who cross the boundary between gossip and libel and you’ll see the use of social media channels like Facebook for evidence in criminal prosecutions of all kinds. By the end of 2013 expect a shift in public perceptions of social media – no longer a global friendly chat, more of an international personal publishing machine.
4. cross channel content – you know the score, you’re watching Masterchef or Corrie and checking the twitter feed for programme gossip at the same time – and 2013 is the year you can expect TV to come out of the box and into your phone like never before. Expect characters to tweet before and after shows, get unique content off screen that’s just as important as on screen viewing. The boundary between reality and fiction on the social web will continue to blur making our digital worlds even more compelling.
5. internal social networks – forget phone calls and email, think twitter and blogs. We’ve had the technology for ages, but now it’s time to ring fence our own social network in business and use them to improve communication, share ideas, keep tabs on projects and work towards goals. The benefits are that it’s cheap as chips, if not free and unlike phone, text or email, you get a record of your news and what’s been discussed so everyone can access and review You’ll not need much to get started, your own hashtag, Google group, blog or whatever social media channel you prefer and perhaps a small amount of digital consultancy from an expert to keep your conversations out of the public domain.
6. deep engagement rather than bloated networks – will 2013 be the year we learn the value of real social engagement with our colleagues, friends and customers? Some future gazers say that striving for high numbers of followers and likes will be overshadowed by the goal of true engagement. Engagement means conversation and interaction, shared values and mutual benefit. It’s like the difference between friends and acquaintances or window shoppers and real customers. The question is, how will you achieve engagement and what metrics will you use to measure it? Something to ponder.
Social Media for small businesses
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