I was going to make this post a whiz through the social media tools and give a few predictions for 2011. I’m also going to reflect on the social media features that stuck out for me through my own journey through the year, the good and the bad and why these topics will need to be a focus for 2011 if you want to succeed in your social media marketing activities. Bruce wrote a great post about what went right and wrong for him in 2010, but I think I’ll save my personal reflections for another post in 2011 and build on my post in 2009. So this one is about 5 social media themes that I think will matter in 2011…
- Social Web sites
More and more companies have included a social component to their websites. Whether that’s an embedded Twitter feed or social buttons on a web page or blog, web sites have become more engaging. And with search including social status messages and fees, real time search helps your SEO and rankings. Social searching will find your site without any extra SEO additions to the web page.
- Crisis management
Large and small companies alike don’t know how to handle PR Crises often resorting to ‘delay. deflect, defend’ tactics that they’ve done in the past. Yahoo!, who should know better had a wobble when news leaked out that it’s delicious bookmarking services was going to be sunsetted.
(Image from the Techcrunch blog)
Without a viable alternative (Microsoft played around with a tagging service a couple of years ago), what would happen? Delicous inicated on its blog that there may be a home for it outside the company but the search engine land blog had confirmation that this was unlikely and techcrunch reported that Yahoo had devalued delicious significantly if they were actually going to sell it! not a good move…
Having an effective crisis management plan in place would have significantly diluted the impact of this news – and having a good set of employee guidelines would minimise the impact of the leaks… Fail…
- Lead Generation
There are a couple of interesting companies that have used Facebook to generate leads outside of the B2C space. Forrester Research, for example has a fan page on Facebook which seems to be at odds with it’s B2B corporate image. However, events and videos are linked to from Facebook, there are links to YouTube videos and there are reports you can download for free without a subscription. This is a really effective way of demonstrating that Facebook can actually be used for B2B successfully and acknowledges the blending of our work life and social life. Nice one Forrester. A great way of turning page visits into leads with a content rich, compelling and engaging Facebook Page. Other B2B companies that use Facebook pages for leads are Cisco (who also initiate their graduate recruitment via Facebook as do Ernst & Young), Gartner, Hubspot and Dell
- Location based applications
Facebook Places, Gowalla, Foursquare have all been talked about this year due oto privacy concerns, but they are a great way for B2C advertisers to tempt folks into the building with the promise of a coupon, discount or special offer. Adding geolocation services to your application means that you’ll build a much richer application, and bring the community together at events and gatherings – only if the application is well written of course. I think that social commerce applications will come to the fore in 2011 – perhaps a deal with Groupon and Facebook places perhaps.
Do I use them? Hardly at all. I’m busy interacting with folks on another medium like Twitter or Facebook to collect another foursquare badge…
- The rise of mobile
This is best explained by this infographic from the Flowtown blog
If you’re focusing on B2C, you need to be on Facebook, you need to have a mobile app and you need to take advantage of geo-location services. There are over 4.5 billion mobile devices out there, many with a data plan. Smartphones are the way to interact with your customers and allow them to connect with each other. If you’re running a social commerce site, you need to be here…
Roll on 2011. There are some exciting times ahead Happy New Year!