Last year during this time I had the opportunity to speak with Preetham Venkky, KRDS Asia Head for the first time. Over the year, I had numerous occasions to talk to the gentleman who is deeply passionate about what he does and says. No one can doubt the knowledge Preetham brings to the table when it is about social media.

We are half way through the chilly month of December, 2012. I felt that it is the right time to give him a buzz and get his thoughts like I did last year on how social media has evolved in 2012 and what could be the trends that would surround the Indian social media market in 2013. So, below is the transcript of the list of 7 major trends that Preetham thinks will occupy the Indian social media space dominantly.

1. Mobile component becomes stronger: Mobile becomes stronger coupled with the social component. Mobile apps would be a necessity and every business will have to have it like they once had websites. But the integration of mobile with social would mean a deeper level of integration where you could also see virtual trial rooms on your mobile screen for example.

2. SoLoMo becomes stronger: Social, local and mobile (SoLoMo), a terminology that has been harped by everyone in 2012 but in 2013 it will find stronger feet. Facebook will take a load of consumer data and merge that with local and mobile. For example, a retailer would or can find interesting ways to serve you since you drive a certain segment of car and live in the nearby locality. The addressing would be again innovative.

3. Online and offline connection: One would see a lot of “Like” buttons popping at offline places and joints. These would not only be for deals or to tell people that you are socially active but also in terms of feedback and to keep in touch. The connection would be both ways and we have already started seeing this happening in the US, where you walk in stores and it shows the social response for a garment that you have selected for your birthday party even before you think of buying.

4. Integrated campaigns: Integrated campaigns would be more intelligent than what they are now. For now it is the same thing in all networks; only the size of the ad changes depending on the network. YouTube has the same ad with a bigger size and the Facebook one reduces. In 2013 things would change and even though they would be integrated campaigns, they would focus on each network. The conversations would be different but would be aligned to the objective of the campaign with less of cut copy paste jobs.

5. Sweepstakes contests: We are already seeing an end to the sweepstakes contests and in 2013 it would be gone. However, they would change to more of gamification and change to long-term perspective.

6. Anonymity control by media: Anonymity has made Internet popular but media sites and networks would control this. The control would be exercised to have more meaningful conversations on network. Websites like NDTV, YouTube, etc. would force users to be real and join conversations rather than be in disguise and create mischief.

7. Data and market intelligence: Finally, data will play bigger role and would be used for marketing intelligence. One of the examples could be Bollywood learning from Hollywood how they are using big data to understand consumer behavior and preferences. Learnings could be drawn from the campaigns that were designed for movies like the Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, etc.

At our end, we had some interesting ones like the movie Barfi but beyond that it was more of a template based intelligence. This would slowly change and we would find data being used in insightful ways by all forms of business in their social media marketing activities.

If these 7 trends get Preetham excited then he had some depressing news for users too. Ads would stalk users more aggressively and they would be more real-time. So users would be forced to use ad blockers on their browsers but then you can’t avoid being stalked!

In addition to the 2013 trends, Preetham also added that one would find more responsive design and the love for social messaging apps like Whatapp, etc. will keep growing.

Whether these trends will come to light is something we will have to wait and watch for in 2013 but meanwhile let us know what do you think about these trends shared by Preetham.

Slider image courtesy: 2013