The Social Media Examiner is one of my daily stops on the Interweb. The Examiner is a free online magazine designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find leads, increase sales and generate more brand awareness. For us it is filled daily with tips and tricks and valuable insights.
Yesterday was no exception. Culminating ideas from right at 30 industry leaders, the Examiner put together a list of 30 Social Media Predictions of which I have pulled the Top 5 (as chosen by moi) that will resonate most with our social media strategies.
More companies will invest in social media.
“As paid search traffic and conversion rates continue to decline and become more expensive, companies will start looking to social media to replace volume. Therefore, measuring the ROI of social media will become a top priority as companies consider expanding budgets and staff members for social media–related activities.”
Nicole Kelly is the director of social media for CareOne Debt Relief Services and is passionately working to understand and help define social media measurement.
Facebook will become a real ecommerce platform.
“I predict Facebook will launch a Facebook-based ecommerce payment system so that users can truly complete the entire checkout process without leaving Facebook. No iFrames, no logging in to your Paypal account, etc. Look out, Paypal!”
Social communication skills will get better.
“We will all get cleverer with how we communicate online and add a little etiquette as we realize we are not simply communicating with another computer, but a warm-blooded human. Networking and developing relationships online is no different than offline, so let’s stop treating it differently. The Internet has simply increased its scale.”
Social media will have an ever-larger impact in the search engine rankings.
“In the same way that the search engines currently value incoming links as a way of giving credibility to a website, I think we will also see Facebook Likes, tweets and other forms of social media sharing working their way into the formula. From a publishing perspective, this isn’t a big change. High-quality, outstanding content is still key to an organic SEO campaign. Publishers (and who isn’t a publisher these days) need to create content that others will want to share and make it easy for them to do so with Facebook Like buttons, Tweet This buttons and other easy-to-use social media tools built right into the post. Visitors should be encouraged to share across social media channels, especially as this sharing starts to play a more important role in the search engine rankings.”
Jim Lodico is a copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs.
Deals, specials and discounts will flourish inside of Facebook pages.
“Facebook pages are quickly becoming the exclusive promo hubs; the place where businesses can offer exclusive discounts and specials to warm audiences on a consistent basis. And the best thing about Facebook promos is that they can spread virally inside Facebook and beyond quickly, cheaply and with few barriers. With the continuing sophistication and flexibility of Facebook pages, I predict we will see a huge rise of promo hubs inside Facebook and businesses will continue to create even more opportunities to gain greater visibility for themselves while offering enticing opportunities via great deals to their customers.”
What do you think? Is this Top 5 really a top 5 or just a handful of ideas? Do you see social media doing something different in 2011? If so, what? What is your prediction?