2012 Key Social Technology Predictions from Top Business and Marketing Strategists

2011 was a year of increased adoption of social technologies within the enterprise, and that trend will continue into 2012. In their fifth annual survey of over 4,200 global executives, McKinsey concludes that when adopted at scale, “social technologies can boost a company’s financial performance and market share.”  To help stay ahead of this wave of change, we connected with 34 top business and marketing strategies to get their take on the key technologies that will impact marketing and sales in 2012 for our free eBook 2012 Social Marketing & New Media Predictions. Here are some of their top predictions:

Integrated Analytics for Market-Driven Insights – 2012 will see marketing empowered by sophisticated analytics – with companies, their marketing analytics teams and their social technology vendors coming together to turn the deluge of social data into actionable, measurable insights. Brian Solis and David Meerman Scott point to this trend as shaping how businesses will communicate and engage with their constituents – with market-driven and not-marketing driven insights, as Brian Solis clarifies. These insights will be augmented by new technologies that will accurately measure influence and engagement, adds Paul Gillin. Ekaterina Walters at Intel also gives integrated analytics thumbs up, commenting that until brands have the tools to measure the right things at the right time an integrated way, “we won’t know what the impact is.”

Toolset/ CRM Integration: 2012 is also touted as the year where we will see further integration of the social technology toolset. Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer and No Bullshit Social Media predicts monitoring platforms will be adding publishing and management solutions, while social platforms will evolve to include e-mail, mobile and website management.  The social technology toolset will also see a tighter integration between social data and CRM and web analytics solutions.  This tighter social CRM (sCRM) integration will allow brands to address the ROI question and measure the impact on bottom-line results. Errol Apostolopoulos at Optaros, Inc. adds that marketers can expect to see numbers that reflect revenue per fan along “with proven ways to tap into the interest graph”, which will lead to “a lot more social success stories”. Marc Meyer of the Digital Response Marketing Group votes for the integrated dashboard – bundling marketing, monitoring and management “to address multiple accounts and reduce multiple logins and processes.”

The Year of Mobile: 2012 is (yet again) proclaimed as the year of mobile. Smart phones are becoming the primary channel for users to interact with social networks. David Berkowitz shares 2012 will be the year Facebook will have more than half of its users accessing it from mobile devices. Debi Kleiman of MITX predicts that this mobile shift “will require brands to completely rethink how they connect and communicate with consumers.” Jim Storer adds that mobile will become “an imperative, not just a nice-to-have.”

Jay Baer believes that we will see a more concerted efforts by companies to make their content mobile-friendly, while near-field communications (NFL) opportunities will drive relevancy, immediacy and tractions for the mobile-savvy brands. As Neil Glassman puts it, NFL will be about “real, real-time marketing.”  Mark Lazen of Social Media Today and The Customer Collective agrees that ultimately, mobile will open up marketing opportunities for relevancy.

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Trends to Watch For: Other key social technology developments likely to impact the enterprise this year include – video, Google +, Facebook Edgerank, open APIs, inbound marketing tools and interactive voice response.  Access all 140+ predictions on what the experts agree would be the top social technology developments in 2012. Our free eBook 2012 Social Marketing & New Media Predictions also includes predictions on top social marketing developments, biggest challenges, and top news resources.  To get the latest from the experts quoted in the 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions, you can follow them on Twitter.

We welcome your thoughts, reactions, and feedback. Other social tech developments likely to impact us this year?  Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below, on Twitter at hashtag #AwarenessSMM, Facebook at Social Media Marketing Best Practices, LinkedIn at the Social Media Marketing Mavens Group.

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