21 Social Media Predictions for 2011
by Erik Qualman
- Facebook will go public and make the current $50 billion dollar valuation look like a bargain. Mark Zuckerberg remains as CEO rather than hire someone with more experience like Yahoo and Google did in the past.
- The Federal Trade Commission (unfortunately) will adopt privacy rules in the hopes of protecting the people. Innovation will be stifled.
- Social search will flex its muscle.
- Social commerce will flex its muscle.
- Companies will try to determine how best to integrate with the explosion of social gaming.
- Twitter will be acquired, most likely by a media company like CNN. Twitter has proven successful when coordinating closely with major events on television (e.g., World Cup, helping resurrect MTV Video Music Awards from the dead, etc.) With its new platform, Twitter is poised to make money. However, can it avoid becoming the next Digg?
- Facebook wrestles with its continued international expansion and faces difficult challenges in Japan and China.
- If you don’t have a mobile version of your site today, you are already behind.
- More and more, a marketer’s job will be focused on getting a consumer to publicly rate a product or service. (See social commerce and social search above.)
- Groupon will regret turning down Google’s $6 billion dollar offer when local imitators start to nibble at its market share. Groupon will also realize there is a limit to the number of “wow deals” out there.
- Social media technologies will start to consolidate and only the strong will survive: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. (Sorry, Foursquare, MySpace, Orkut, Gowalla, etc.)
- Google becomes the next Microsoft and Facebook becomes the next Google.
- Social media becomes core to every business – not just the marketing and PR departments either. It will be central to the entire business strategy and affect recruiting, customer service, sales, etc.
- B2B companies will catch up to B2C companies in using social media.
- There will be fewer “social media” gurus. Those who can’t drive meaningful results will be left behind.
- We will see more practical use of geo-location tools. For example, if you go to Starbucks every morning, as soon as you are in the car and 10 minutes away from the store, your coffee order will be placed and ready when you arrive.
- Fifty-four percent of all companies block social media in the workplace. Expect this number to decline as companies start to leverage their employees more and more as media outlets.
- Social media activities will increase due to advances in mobile technology and a drop in the price of tablets. This will help to offset some of the social wear out from the older demographics. Baby boomers will still use it, but less frequently. Similar to how portals and e-mail usage trended.
- More people will learn they can plug their laptops into their high-definition televisions and watch online content and get rid of their cable television service – and bill. This will only result in the intensification of Net neutrality talks in Washington.
- We will see more social capabilities integrated into e-readers.
- The trend of marketing dollars moving from traditional media to digital media continues at a rapid pace.