We’re beyond the half-way mark of this year, folks! Do you know where your social media strategy is? The world continues to change at lightning speed. Here are a few social media predictions for the rest of the year. What do you think?
1. Community Managers will get better titles.
Talk to any community manager, and he or she will tell you it’s a tough job. Their positions, typically solidified with a title within the last twelve months, are full of nebulous responsibilities and lots of pressure. They are asked to wrangle the social media crazies, produce reports for the executives, produce and promote content on too many channels, and create “something fun” for the social media contests. As this world matures, the best brands will recognize it’s more than one job in many cases. Community management will begin to splinter into specific roles and teams will lead brands to the engaged communities they seek.
2. Mobile will be more than a buzz word.
We’ve talked a lot about mobile this year, and how important it is. But many organizations continue to produce watered-down versions of their typical website for mobile consumers. Smart brands have already begun creating mobile-specific experiences based on what the customer needs in the moment. Walgreens, for example, produced a smart app based on what mobile users did the most. Many more organizations will catch up with this trend in 2014 and beyond.
3. In-Store experience will lend itself to social sharing.
Speaking of creating the best experience, technology and social media will help customers make better decisions in person. Companies like Home Depot figured out how to bring the online experience into the store for customers through interactive screens, and more will surely follow. Nordstrom and Target have woven the online social experience of Pinterest with their in-store experience by showcasing items as “Most Pinned” and creating boards of their own on the Pinterest site. Customers want this type of social integration, both online and off!
4. A new network will rise and fall.
It seems inevitable that there will be buzz around something new and shiny in the social world, creating a flurry of activity which then leads to a thud. Google+ was the new kid for a while, and as it seems to limp along through this year, something touted as the “new Facebook” will emerge in a tornado of press leaks and early adopter reviews. As users become disenchanted with the big players, they will seek out alternatives. As you read this, excited engineers and user experience designers are predicting their overthrow of Facebook. Easier said than done, but there will be something to cause a stir.
5. Social users will continue to gain control over their own privacy and sharing settings.
No longer the ignorant masses, social media users will push back on privacy concerns and automated settings. As concerns around privacy rise, users will stay more informed and make more thoughtful choices about their settings. As the government is now threatening to become involved in many cases, this one could swing wildly from one end of the pendulum to the other. Users want choice, and hopefully both the social networks and the government will realize it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. What do you think will happen in the remainder of this year?