Social media is one of the fastest growing, most exciting and unpredictable industries. In just the past few years, it has gone from nonexistence, to something used only by teenagers and lonely singles, to something that is almost as important as breathing for any person hoping to keep in the know. Companies are finally starting to take notice of the importance of social media, and they are devoting real resources to becoming a presence online. It is hard to say exactly what will happen in the near future, as one of the main features of social media is its unpredictability. But what is certain is that it is going to be a bigger force than it has ever been before.
Last year saw the emergence of Instagram and Pinterest as new global online forces. Not only has this changed the way that companies market online, but it is widening a market that was once made up of only Facebook. With Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram, all major social media players, if you want to get your message out there, you will first have to master a lot of different platforms. However, the most interesting thing is that this year could just as easily see a new network emerge, either replacing a current one, or slotting into an empty niche. Sites like Reddit has never been more popular, StumbleUpon is growing at an astounding rate, and LinkedIn is becoming more of an influence in the world of social media. Although there are so many different platforms, each is different, and has specific roles to play, depending on what your overall objective is. There are so many social media secrets out there that if you want to keep up on these trends, you have a lot of work to do.
This growth has led to a huge increase in the number of social media jobs, and it is a number that we can expect to grow massively in 2013. Not only are the networks themselves looking to hire more employees as their businesses grow, but you can expect more and more companies to take advantage of this new form of marketing, hiring teams of social media experts to help them to expand their influence online. On the the other end of the spectrum, LinkedIn is becoming a huge resource to people looking for work. Jobs are posted regularly, and companies are able to target specific people they might want to recruit, all because of this simple professional networking site.
Marketing is a huge part of social media. Those companies who recognize this are the ones who will keep themselves ahead of the game. More and more businesses are starting to realize that online involvement produces real results, which in turn leads to more customers. Marketing is not the same as it was 10 years ago, or even five years ago, so people will need to adapt, or else fall behind. YouTube campaigns like Blendtec’s “Will it blend?”, Zagg’s extreme screen protector tests, and Vivint’s Vivint Reviews have used YouTube to their advantage by creating campaigns that build followings and customer bases.
As social media expands, it is not just in terms of which sites are visited. Social media is becoming an increasingly multimedia experience. People will tweet as they watch television. They will share news stories, and watch clips from movies and music videos. People like to have all aspects of their lives connected, and social media is letting them do that. The top trends of 2012 all came from big news or television events, and you can expect it to be much the same in the foreseeable future. Businesses, news stations, reality TV shows, political coverage, and even your regular sitcom will often have a #hashtag that you can tweet with on Twitter to connect with others watching and discuss ideas, new developments, and share opinions.
Social media has completely changed the way businesses interact with their consumers. There have been many examples of how companies have managed certain situations (for good and bad) through social media. Social media campaigns have to be well though out and closely monitored. McDonald’s had a recent backfire of a Twitter campaign that should have been foreseen and avoided, but wasn’t. Social media gives a lot of power to the people. People no longer use official channels to complain about a product, they turn to social media. This can create bad publicity that can really harm a company. So in 2013 you can expect this sort of thing to grow, and big companies to have a more personal presence on social media.