It’s easy to get caught up in today’s trends or even focus on the next six months. Some of 2009’s biggest trends included an increased emphasis on real-time search and information distribution, while distribution of marketing content in widgets and other pieces of portable content that worked across devices and social spaces also saw its stake rise. Plus, there were great improvements in social-media monitoring and analytics. And most notably, marketers finally acknowledged that social media was more than just a fad, with almost complete adoption by all major marketers.
Here are the top 11 predictions for what social media will look like in 2012 (based on a full presentation which is available on my blog). Some of these items exist today in their early stages, but this list is about what I believe will become the norm in 2012. Ultimately, share of voice, point of view and community influence will be more important than brand ownership — and marketers will need to get over it if they want to stay relevant in 2012.
1. Privacy expectations will (have to) change
There will be a cultural shift, whereby people will begin to find it increasingly more acceptable to expose more and more of their personal details on different forms of social media. Sharing your likes, dislikes, opinions, photos, videos and other forms of personal information will be the norm and people will become more accepting of personalized experiences, both corporate and personal, that are reacting to this dearth of personal information.
2. Complete decentralization of social networks
The concept of a friend network will be a portable experience. You’ll find most digital experiences will be able to leverage the power of your social networks in a way that leverages your readily available personal information and the relationships you’ve established. We’re already seeing the beginnings of this with Facebook Connect and Google’s FriendConnect.