What does the near future of social media hold? Influential marketing expert Rohit Bhargava recently gave a sneak peek of seven of his annual 15 Social Media Trends to Watch at Potomac TechWire’s Social Media Outlook 2013.
Bhargava is a marketing expert whose recently released second book LIKEONOMICS is a #1 Global Marketing Best Seller. He was a founding member of the world’s largest team of social media strategists at Ogilvy, where he advised leading global brands including Intel, American Express, Novartis, Unilever and dozens of others on marketing strategy. He is frequently interviewed in media globally as an expert on business trends, marketing and social media and has recently appeared in The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian (UK), Fox News and CNBC.
So what are the growing social media trends to keep an eye on? Here are seven to watch with the other eight revealed on Bhargava’s blog on December 5th:
1. Shoptimization: A growing number of companies are using technology and apps to optimize the shopping process, making it faster, localized and more convenient. Watch this trend to catapult in 2013. Current examples are Key Ring; Dashlane which makes providing online checkout information easier and more secure, Macy’s in-store GPS which helps shoppers find their way in the massive NYC location.
2. Partnership Publishing: Reading between the lines of do-it-yourself and traditional publishing, partnership publishing encourages a do-it-together approach, pairing aspiring authors with publishing experts on an independent or boutique basis. Examples are Paper Lantern Lit, Net Minds, The Domino Project and LayerGloss.
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3. Increased Humanity from Financial and other Institutions: With the consumer becoming more publicly vocal via social media and mobile, even the biggest institutions such as banks and government are taking steps to become more transparent and more, well, “human.” From focusing on conversations and content in straightforward language, to networking and social media incorporations, to making processes simpler, it’s a trend we’ll all be hoping is successful. Early leaders include Ally Bank and Mint.com.
4. MeFunding: Consumers are less fearful about putting their personal information out there for the world to see. Emotional connections and personal stories bring out the humanity in us all and it works for the “mefunding” trend – like crowdfunding, but far more personal. Check out GoFundMe, indiegogo and GiveForward as examples of “mefunding” in action.
5. Hyper-Local Commerce: Get in on the ground floor of real estate and construction projects of your area; have your online shopping experience localized or personalized to mirror your little corner of the world and your own wants and needs. Visit Goodzer, Sears Local, Popularise, Fundrise, and Shopify for examples of this growing trend.
6. Friend-Sourced Travel: Who knows you better than your best friends? So why not let them plan and participate in your next getaway? Sites like Vayable let your friends help you curate your travel experience; DinewiththeDutch.com creates a new global family over dinner. Trippy.com presents the Pinterest for shared travel), whereas airbnb.com helps you find some of the most unique places to stay around the globe, all with the help of friends and even friends you haven’t met yet. Most of these sites use Facebook as a base to find and involve your friends, and then, choose your own adventure.
7. Degree-Free Learning: Who says you have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an education? Following in the footsteps of edX.org and Coursera.com is a new generation of online learning including creativeLIVE, Inc. Advisor, Jack Welch eMBA, UnCollege, E[nstitute] and Soundslice. Learn a trade, take up a hobby or master a new skill. The sky’s the limit online.
The trends above can be applied in some way to almost any industry. Which do you find most interesting or see the most potential for? Is there a trend not on this list that you are watching? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.