Hottest Social Media Trends of 2012The hottest social media players on deck have moved into the batter’s box and are coming out swinging in 2012!  Over the next twelve months, keep your eyes open for this year’s Hottest Social Media Trends:

1.    New Buzz Words – as the ever-expanding online community grows, so does the vocabulary!  Put down “Social Media for Dummies” and roll with me!

  • Mocial:  is mobile + social = mocial.  It’s becoming more common for people to access social networks through their smartphones and every socially savvy company will be putting a lot of focus on this.  Providing apps for your business with social features and services, and improving the usability of mobile web access is going to be crucial in the growth of the mocial world!
  • Vlogging:  is video + blogging = vlogging.  No beating around the bush here, this is a video blog!  What you say in a video, recycle that content into a blog and boom…vlogging!  This isn’t entirely new to the social scene, but we will certainly be hearing more about it.
  • MoSoCom:  is mobile + social + commerce = MoSoCom.  The partnership between eBay and Facebook will lead us into a new era in eCommerce where you can make purchases directly from your Facebook account.  Pretty amazing!  You can also check into businesses (who participate, such as Starbucks or Apple Stores) on Foursquare, download the store’s app, scan the bar code, and like magic you get a receipt emailed to you.  Say goodbye to waiting in lines!

2.    Facebook Reaches ONE BILLION Users – this year Facebook will be celebrating a milestone when they hit the one billion user mark.  This monumental occasion will carry the company into its expected IPO (Initial Public Offering), in the spring.  Estimates put Facebook’s IPO at $10 billion, yet they are valued at more than $100 billion.  Wow!

3.    Business Branding with Facebook Apps – we will be seeing more and more companies branding themselves with Facebook Apps to build their business and leverage Facebook’s real-time feed.  These apps will potentially serve as new revenue streams by building a businesses’ following and acquiring relevant demographic information at the same time.  Huge!

4.    Political Love – from Twitter town hall meetings, YouTube Channels, to Facebook polling, there will be a ton of social media elements in this year’s campaign.  It’s almost impossible that any politician take the nomination without strong social media support!  The immediacy and direct communication with voters is a growing political tool that will put candidacies to the test for this upcoming election.  It’ll be interesting to see who has the strongest social presence and following!

5.    Social Searching – it’s integrating searches on social media platforms just like search engines do on the Internet.  Part of what makes social media so appealing is it’s full of opinions, idea, polls, and suggestions.  Companies are having their sites developed to help you share purchases with friends, ask for recommendations, and give feedback.  It’s important you interact with your leads and if they’re social searching make sure you are too.  This will be a heavy hitter in 2012!

6.    Social Television – TV is about to become a social experience in a bigger and broader sense.  There’s something interesting happening with apps, such as Get Glue.  You can “check in” to a TV program and have conversations with people around the world who are watching the same thing.  It allows you to review shows, talk about what’s happening, and listen to what others are saying.  This also works for music and movies and is going to be a powerful and influential trend!

7.    Location Based Services Will Boom – mobile, mobile, mobile!  We are moving toward an era that needs real-time information and billions of people will be checking for recommendations about local restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, spas, the list goes on and on.  Location based services (such as Influence Reports) will be a crucial part in many marketing campaigns, so make sure people can find you!  Get listed in all the online directories!

8.    Content Marketing – as more and more CEO’s understand that blogs and video can boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and generate leads, this kingpin will become mainstream.  It’s important to remember writing for tablets is different than writing for smartphones, so content creators need to develop strategies for each.

9.    Email Marketing – this oldie but goodie isn’t the newest kid on the block, but it’s totally effective and fairly low-tech, which allows businesses to reach a broad customer base.  It is extremely important to implement automated opt-in systems on all of your sites to continue building your list of followers.  As a business owner you need to realize everyone uses email.  Not everyone uses social media, YET!

10.  Rise of Media Specialists – these positions will have an increasing demand and will be an asset to any social marketing campaign.  These unique and talented individuals must be able to work on a multitude of platforms, create content, write, blog, work within the tech sphere, perform high-level SEO tasks, and know what they’re talking about all at the same time.  Sounds like the ultimate specialist and someone you need!

Stay current with what’s going on in the social world.  If you’ve been resistant to implementing social media in your marketing plans, it’s not too late to get started. Now is your chance to jump on board before you get jumped on by your competitors.  If you need help creating and implementing a social marketing campaign that includes one or all of these trends, I look forward to hearing from you.  I’m that Media Specialist you’ve been looking for!

Editor’s Note:  Angel Soria is an Internet Marketing Consultant, entrepreneur, and currently obtaining her Executive MBA at Fresno State.  For a free Influence Report, visit her website www.fresnolocalinternetmarketing.com, or follow her @talk2angelsoria.