Now that the 2011 holiday season is in full swing, I thought it would be a good time to put together my wish list for social media to make its next leap forward. Some of the items below are opinion and others are observations that I’ve seen from reading others’ work and performing client work. As opposed to last year’s post relating social media to the holidays, this post is like sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for that fire truck on steroids
Here are my holiday wish list items for 2012:
1. Better low cost tools for timing posts at the best times
To date, there are no free tools that automatically do this. I am not toting for complete automation, but this would free up more time for actual engagement and conversation.
2. Better tools for holistically measuring social media’s impact on ROI
No one has figured this out yet. There are many tools that measure correlation, but I want to know how this affects my bottom line. I repeat, no one has figured this out yet.
3. More businesses realizing the notion of being good at business while using social media rather than being good at social media.
Many people think that social media is going to magically cure their problems. What they don’t know is that their business is suffering from poor customer service, faulty operations, poor employee morale, among many other issues. Fix those problems first, and social media will come easily. Hat tip to Jay Baer for coining that phrase above.
4. More businesses will start to understand that social media is a long term investment in time and money, with no quick return.
Social media is the new paradigm to moving business into the future. It’s not a quick fix, and it’s certainly not a channel which will convert sales in the short term (well maybe if you do it right). Much like you would account for a piece of equipment to give you a return over a long time period, you must approach social media as a business investment, not a marketing expense. It’s not a tactic, it’s a business strategy!
5. Likes and followers will be “so last year”.
We need to stop focusing on the size of the audience when reporting success or failure. Sure, getting enough people to pay attention to you is important for getting any type of traction, but it is not the end product of an initiative. It’s only a piece of the puzzle.
6. Daily deals sites will need to change up their business models.
Businesses are starting to realize that maybe digital coupon buyers aren’t the type of customers they want. Here is my advice to business owners, focus on your loyal customers and build your social networks, e-mail lists, and local event schedule. At the same time, daily deal sites need to reduce the their cut of the pie, and I think businesses will start warming up to them.
7. Check-in Services will more frequently tie check-ins to loyalty cards.
This is starting to happen now, but it will serve companies and consumers well. More loyalty deals based on location data, and more data for marketers to utilize for targeting.
8. Hyper local social media will take over in 2012
Walmart and Applebee’s are starting to realize that focusing efforts on local initiatives is more relevant and in-context with local customers. So I think that more local content and mobile initiatives will be huge next year.
Santa are you listening?
Santa, if I ever asked for anything, could you please consider these items? I swear, I’ve been good this year. I’ve worked hard, adopted a cat, volunteered at a local animal farm, plus other amazingly spectacular stuff!