Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Social Media In 2010So far, 2010 has been the year of the tablet, the Blu-Ray, the e-reader, and 3D entertainment. These ideas represent fine consumer product innovations, but let's take a moment and talk about business models. The next year will see a host of changes for many large companies. One of the most interesting (and something we have had our eye on for years) is the integration of social technologies into large, and often siloed, organizations.

If you’re thinking, “wait a minute, I thought that was 2009,” think again. 2009 was indeed social media’s first year in the mainstream corporate consciousness, but for many, adoption has been slow and support has been the same.

Here's what you have to look forward to in 2010:

1) Social media won’t just be social media. That is, Social media in 2010 will no longer be a stand-alone feature. Instead of being the add-on garage, many innovative services and products will have social technologies built into business strategy. Social media will be used, not as a novelty, or an experiment, but as a strategic and integrated piece of a business unit. If we had it our way, the term "social media" would dissapear and simply be understood as a core operating principal of any successful organization.

2) Conversation will king technology.
Instead of focusing on spreading presence across mediums, (whether it be Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin) companies will begin to hone in on the most important part—the conversation. More in-depth efforts will be made to forge relationships, not small talk. Insights will be gathered with more efficiency and passed up the chain with more regularity.

3) Long-term will lead.
Throwing out tweets into the vast social media landscape with the hope that someone re-tweets or responds will be a thing of the past as marketers become better at crafting sticky messages. More in-depth (and ultimately fulfilling) interactions for the brand and the consumer will be far more regular than one-offs.

4) People will bolster relationships—not bots.
The companies that have the right strategy and implementation in place will, if they haven’t already, begin to interact with people as people—not bots, not nameless suits—people. In turn, company-consumer trust levels will increase.

5) Crowdsourcing will come with the territory.
People that are fans of products and services will help to police themselves—and companies will be more willing to allow the communities they are building to grow organically, ultimately facilitating consumer to corporate as well as consumer to consumer conversations with less interference.

Are your public relations professionals, marketing managers, agencies, and account teams still talking about social media one-offs? The most successful companies in 2010 will employ people who understand that social technologies have become a required practice and embrace these concepts as part of the job.

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