As we approach the middle of January of this new year, we can now begin to evaluate some of the predictions about changes in social media for 2012. Although these predictions have been in the forefront of our social networking minds, only time will tell if they have proven true or if we will still be awaiting new philosophies and strategies to arise from our favorite social outlets.
The first prediction is that 2012 will have a “less is more” motto in that businesses will decide what channels to use for their social media. Ryan Malone, owner of SmartBug Media, predicts that in 2012, “much of the overzealousness currently in social media will be replaced by a nuts-and-bolts focus on getting the most out of the channels that fit your business.” So instead of getting overwhelmed with updating a multitude of social media outlets, 2012 companies will seemingly try to hone in on a select few outlets that will greatly benefit their business, giving it maximum success with focused attention. This will be helpful so that companies will not get lost in a sea of several channels that are only getting the bare minimum. Quality not quantity will be the reigning voice this year in networking.
Another burning prediction is the blossoming use of strictly photo or video networks. Jay Baer, author of Convince & Convert, claims that we will be seeing, “power users reduce their Facebook (and Twitter) musings in favor of multimedia, where a picture (or video) speaks louder than 140 characters.” Although most social media outlets feature at least some version of photo uploads, people will now start to prefer social networks like Instagram and Flickr where they can portray and view photos in a very select and personal way. Also given that most smartphones now have very high quality cameras, 2012 will definitely see a boom in the usage of photo and video networks over other traditional social media outlets. Not to mention, being able to choose filters and frames give both picture taking and sharing photos a much more fun incentive.
A final prediction in social media for this new year is the appearance of more “do it all” services from our favorite social media big leagues (like Facebook, Twitter, and Google) who will aim to combine more and more highlighted features into their one individual network. Social media writer, Corina Mackay, claims that “this trend will continue into 2012, with more acquisitions and revamps, and fewer new apps gaining ground in the social space.” We can only wait and see what and how many features each social network will continue to offer. And if so, how will we choose which one is for us?
Unfortunately, no one can guess or imagine exactly what will arise or change in terms of social media for 2012. All we can do is try our best to keep up with the fast-growing and ever-changing avenues of social networking in both our personal and professional lives, all while trying to to get the most from what social media can potentially offer.