Nov 30, 2011 Written by 
President Barack Obama's job approval rating is now below former President Jimmy Carter at the equivalent point at the White House. The European Economic Crisis is unfolding as the 'lingua franca' of financial obscurity with their problems a lot like that of the US, but only worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Zuckerberg and crew could see an IPO value of around $100 billion and us mere mortals are quite frankly, just trying to get on with finishing the year off on a half decent note.

If you are not sure how the above relates to 2012 social media trends, then perhaps you should spend a few minutes searching google and type some of these topics in to see what sort of result you get. Maybe, log into your twitter account and see what people are saying (& trending) about President Barack Obama, the European Economic Crisis or Facebook's IPO.

Social media is now mainstream and in 2012, we will all see it go to another level. Fellow bloggers that have predicted that Facebook will have more than a billion users may be slightly off the mark, particularly if their user-interface changes don't go down with the loyal followers like they hope it will - but you will see a whole new level of endorsement for social media and any company that has failed to invest in social media whether they are a business-to-business or business-to-consumer organisation - will now know that they have no other choice.

Entrepreneurs and Chief Marketing Officers will place a greater emphasis on social media to the point of this investment becoming the number one 'spend' for most companies in marketing for 2012.

At long last, companies now realise that writing blogs and creating video can enhance their search engine optimisation, lead generation, customer relationship management and many other areas of their sales and marketing efforts.

Marketers who have failed to embrace social media in its enormity will find that they may have to take a paycut in lieu of the 22 year old social media 'genius' who has little more than a Degree. Afterall, it's the 22 year old that is going to 'bring in the business' in 2012 - not the 40 year old Chief Marketing Officer who still thinks advertising is king and every other element of the marketing mix is secondary.

Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex will have a major role to play helping marketers cut through the clutter of tweets and blog posts to figure out who they should be talking to.

Apps are here to stay. In fact, they are fast becoming one of the most important platforms to communicate with smart phones and androids becoming the new 'desktop computer'.

Cluzee is the latest craze in the US and will fast overcome other regions around the world with its sophisticated voice activation mechanism that allows anyone to ask any question at all and have an answer within seconds. Ring your mother, find a list of restaurants in the area, ask what the weather will be like in Moscow today or get Cluzee to read your latest text messages - it's all there in application heaven.

Another great tool that will become an even bigger global sensation is the application Flipbook.  It allows you to stop wasting time going from one social media platform to another to check updates or read through one news website after another. Find the latest in a magazine format that communicates only what you are interested in, in a smart, efficient and time saving way.

Typing of social media updates will become a thing of the past in 2012, with voice activation at its peak. This isn't such a bad thing because I personally think we all spend too much time typing and texting, so going back to voice may be just what the 'Doctor Ordered'. I have forgotten what some of my friends and colleagues voices sound like.

In 2012, a tighter integration between marketing, technology and data will see marketers taking technology into their own hands and by-passing the IT department. A power struggle in many organisations between the various departments will see marketers win on many accounts, afterall, they have ownership over brand and technology isn't what it was 1 year ago, let alone 5 or 10 years ago.

Companies using competitions as part of their marketing mix will forgo other traditional methods of executing a competition using social media platforms as the 'hero' and putting costly other platforms in the trash. Proximity Marketing platforms such as SpidaNet will integrate into social media platforms creating the meaningful one-to-one marketing platform for integrated marketing campaigns.

Business to business marketers that have felt solid in keeping with the old and doing the bare minimum in social media will find their age-old techniques are almost obsolete and will not get the brands that they represent to the level that they need to go to in 2012. If they don't know enough about social media and where it is heading, they will soon find themselves in the unemployment line and more savvy social media marketers taking the top positions in organisations.

Another trend in 2012 that will surprise many is how much more important social media experts will become in big organisations such as banks, large retailers and professional services. Don't be surprised that a Social Media Manager joins the Senior Management team alongside the Sales Manager, CFO, CIO and CMO.

With 98,000 tweets per minute, 695,000 Facebook updates per minute, 600 YouTube video's uploading per minute - there is alot going on. Now it's your job to keep ahead of the curve. Good luck!
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

1 comment

  • Jamie McBrien
    Jamie McBrien
    30/11/11

    While one cannot doubt the impact of social media, one must be concerned with the "22 year old social media genius". Actually, forget the genius (or anyone 22), and let's just focus in on the proliferation of people who have previously held a role with the term "marketing" in their responsibilities, and are now re-purposing themselves as subject matter expert's on social media. One only need to log in to "Linked In" (yes, a social media space!) to see the number of marketers offering their services, and their punch line invariably revolves around the millions or billions of users we could all be communicating with! Reminds be of Fund Mangers that try to provide you comfort of their capability by telling you they have billions under management, but then continue to lose it while still charging management fees. Alternately, not dissimilar to the banner advertising sales guys of yesteryear with their absurd CPM rates.

    Please note, I am not criticising the importance of social media, just the fact that it is an area of expertise that has zero barriers to entry, and someone can become an expert by simply saying they are. This impacts on the market, and particular those who actually are experts, which I know marketing eye is.

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