This blog post is based upon Social Media Marketing World 2013 (#SMMW13) that is coming to its end in San Diego, California, with 1000 digital marketing specialists. Lucky you if you managed to attend it rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan! You probably had the luxury of cruising gorgeous San Diego bay in the evenings on a private yacht. Between inspiring conversations with other experts and the exciting roster of speakers, I’ve had the pleasure of gaining some insight on the biggest social media trends of 2013.
I’ll be sharing highlights of my experience in a series of blog articles. Tune in for more insights over the next few days, and in the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek at the hottest social media trends that are right around the corner for your brand:
1. Content is Social
2011 was the year where social media marketing became a runaway phenomenon. In 2012, brands began to realize the incredible efficacy of content marketing. 2013 is the year where companies are beginning to realize that you simply can’t gain an audience without social media, and you can’t educate and engage without branded content.
If I had to pick a single social media trend driving conversations at #SMMW13, it would be the convergence of social and content marketing. In interviews, Jason Miller, resident Social Media Strategist at Marketo, has admitted that he agrees, and “believes that this is the year where content and social media will convene into the driving force behind organizations’ marketing strategies.”
2. Engagement Goes Deeper
For many brands who are just starting a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, any engagement is a good thing. Posts that gain “Likes” and “Shares” are certainly rewarding, but paying attention to Facebook Insights is crucial. Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies believes that a leading social media trend will be looking deeper at engagement, as a tool for learning more about your audience.
3. Podcasting Gains Steam
One of the most-effective ways to be heard could be to literally invest in publishing branded sound bytes. One of the powerhouses behind the conference, Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner reported that a recent survey of 3,000 marketers revealed there would be an 800% increase in podcasting in 2013. Approximately 1 in 7 people on the planet have a mobile-enabled device, allowing convenient access to podcasts.
4. Social Commerce Grows
Despite the meteoric rise of social media, consumers still trust recommendations from family and friends more than any paid media, or online review websites. Viveka Von Rosen, CEO of LinkedIn to Business, predicts a rise in social commerce, like Facebook’s graph search. More social media networks will likely invest in tools that allow users to explore their friends’ and families’ “Likes” and experiences with brands.
5. Personalization Matters
Personalization is really nothing new, but as the internet becomes more sophisticated, it’s becoming increasingly possible for brands to develop real friendships with customers. Many of us see this daily with Amazon’s custom-tailored suggestions lists. Paul Colligan, Education Tzar of Traffic Geyser, Inc. states that “personalization has always been good business.” Fortunately, through sophisticated marketing automation software and highly targeted content marketing, your brand can provide just as personalized of an experience as eCommerce giants.
Sound Off: What social media trends do you predict will take over the digital marketing realm in 2013?