I have been digging the web left and right for hottest 2012 SMM trends and came across so many of them, but the following three (3) struck me most:
Real-Time Content Analysis
Social Media Training And Education
1. Real-Time Content Analysis
According to the renowned marketing strategist David Meerman Scott:
Data has been with us for a long time…but it is only recently that marketers are realizing they need sophisticated tools to harness that data and make sense and use of it. As a result, marketing departments will add a new job function that will play a role similar to that of bond traders in financial institutions in that they will rely on instant, real-time data to make informed decisions…Awareness Inc.- 2012 Social Marketing & New Media Predictions Whitepaper
In other words, Meerman predicts that 2012 will witness the need for “real-time content analysts” who must possess the following skills:
Excellent knowledge of automated content curation tools (Experts predict that more intelligent content curation tools will see the light in 2012. That’s music to my ears!)
Outstanding analytical skills that allow them to filter important information out of massive amounts of data driven from different resources, identify commonalities between them, and finally, make business recommendations accordingly
The ability to make decisions on the fly and provide instant responses to customer’s feedback/complaints, prospects questions and so forth(Meerman believes that web 2.0 marketers must quit the “campaign mentality” and develop “new mentality, infrastructure and workflows to meaningfully participate in real time.”)
Give recommendations for the enterprise content marketing strategy
2. Social Media Training and Education
In her Huffington Post article, Beverly Macy predicts that busineesss will:
a. Take social education as seriously as Six Sigma. The enterprise NOT fluent in social will be at a competitive disadvantage. ALL employees must be exposed to basic social media training and education to attain a knowledge baseline in the organization.
b. Smart Chief Learning Officers will seek outside consultation and guidance.
c. Companies will realize they can’t make strategic decisions on social media policy guidelines without fully understanding the implications of social media technologies. They can’t manage something they don’t know. Budget will be allocated for corporate training of executives — even if those executives will never post a status update to Facebook.
I couldn’t agree more! Social media has long past the stage of being the hot new thing. The question is not not whether businesses should use social media; it is how to use it intelligently.
Some of the burning issues that businesses will need to get educated about in 2012 are:
How to identify and reach their target markets using social media
How to cherry-pick the best social media sites for their business
How to effectively engage with customers/prospects on social media to maximize conversions and enhance customer’s loyalty
How to measure their SMM campaigns effectively (Lucky for us, experts predict the rise of more efficient social ROI and social media integration tools will be developed in 2012.)
(In our relentless quest to give businesses a clear sense of direction on social media, Garious is in the process of launching a new book. It is designed to be an extremely hands-on workbook with specific action steps that answer the questions above, backed up with real-life examples and case studies. Click here for more details.)
3. Social Intelligence
I firmly believe that 2012 will be the social intelligence year. In fact, social intelligence is the direct result of social media education in general and real-time content analysis in particular.
Once businesses figure out how to harness the power of social media, they will be able to drive intelligent business decisions based on brand reputation, customers’ insights and competitive analysis.
It’s Your Turn…
Did the 2012 SMM trends I listed resonate with you? Do you agree they are the hottest trends? What other predictions do you have in mind? Your valuable contribution is much appreciated.
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