Tag Archives: 2010

How to survive in 2010

2009 was a banner year for social media. Fueled in large part by the impressive growth of Twitter and Facebook and the adoption of both by major brands and recognizable individuals, it’s safe to say that social media truly went ‘mainstream’ this year.

That means new opportunities, and new challenges, in 2010 as social media finds its place in the overall mediasphere. Here are five tips for companies looking to take their social media efforts to the next level in 2010.

Get creative. Just being on Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough. As social media matures, companies will need to do more to stand out and stay relevant. That means going beyond “We’re on [site name]” to “We’re using [site name] to do x, y and z” and developing strategies relevant to those objectives.
Bring on the right people. Many companies have relied on outside social media consultants and agencies (and unfortunately a few gurus) to help them get started with social media. That can work in the beginning but it’s hard to be truly ‘social’ and ‘authentic’ when somebody who isn’t part of your company is managing your social media presence. For companies that see social media as a long-term must, it’s time to consider building a competent in-house team that focuses, in whole or in large part, on social media.
Make measurement a priority. 2009 was the year that many companies really got involved with social media in a big way, or at least became far more comfortable with it. Now that initial experimentation is out of the way and social media is more than a new toy, measuring what social media delivers should be a priority. In other words, this is the year to face the social media ROI issue head on.
Specialize. Right now, the majority of companies I see have what I’d call a broad social media strategy. They have a presence on most of the popular sites, but depth is lacking. In 2010, companies should determine which platforms are best-suited to their needs and consider jettisoning those that are being used just for the sake of using them.
Prepare for the end of the honeymoon. If you’re serious about social media, you’re serious about turning it into something sustainable. At some point, the media honeymoon will be over and novelty alone won’t attract the attention it often does today. That means companies should start thinking less about how they’re going to get into relationships with consumers via social media and more about how they’re going to foster long-term relationships.


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Trends for Social Media in the Middle East for 2010

Middle Eastern spin.

Social Media Will Become a Single, Cohesive Experience Embedded In Our Activities and Technologies: “While I do agree that “everything we do will be gathered and streamed together, allowing people to view their world of activities as if it were projected in front of them, open to change, review and input at any point in time from any device or online tool,” this applies only to those people that actually opt-in to multiple services that then aggregate that activity. Otherwise, as the majority who seem to confine their social media activities to Facebook, their activity will be aggregated and collectively streamed in totality based on the structure of the site. Facebook has recently defaulted to open this means that more and more people will be publicly sharing, and since Eric Schmidt doesn’t give a damn about people’s privacy, then the Google behemoth will also exert publication preference on people as well. We will be more open whether anyone asks us or not. The statement that, “Users will access content from any device or platform, co-create and mashup their photos, videos and text with traditional content while interacting with each other” is wishful thinking since the majority are not creators and remixers, but viewers and perhaps commenters. Social Media in the Middle East is even further behind in terms of the participation hierarchy, so interaction around mashups will just be inching into the region by the end of 2010 for early adopters.
Social Media Innovation Will No Longer Be Limited By Technology: 2009 saw the emergence of Twitter and the maturation of Facebook. Any business owner or marketeer would have to have dug a serious hole in the sand to avoid talk of social media marketing, new ways to listen to your customers, engaging with users, going to the where people are interacting rather than trying to attract them to corporate sits, extending the brand, etc. 2010 will be the time to “[turn] information to wisdom and insight to action.” If not a single new social media tool was developed in ‘10 we’d still do alright with keeping ourselves building social media competencies. If we use these tools 50% over the year then the online landscape for companies, brands and users will be remarkably different. In the region, we are behind. There is less online voice, the voice is fragmented, and the channels for the voice that does exist are technologically archaic. In the developed world, there is talk so people seriously need to listen. Here, the more and more ‘people’ make it clear that they are listening, (hopefully) the more people will talk – and use the channels that enable discussion and engagement (read: kill all forums).
Mobile Will Take Center Stage: Are you listening my Middle Eastern friends?! “IDC predicts the number of mobile web users will hit one billion by 2010. As the technological barriers come down, people will increasingly use their phones on-the-go to access social networks, search, read content and find location-based information.” Start building…!
Expect an Intense Battle As People and Companies Look To Own Their Own Content: “Instead, content relevance and quality will become the key focus.” Given that Demand Media, Associated Content and AOL and are all churning out huge amounts of content, quality will be an issue in 2010. These companies are selling content to other sites and trying to win the search battle putting relevant, long-tail content in front of users, and wrapping this content with relevant ads. it’s less about finding great content, and more about winning the battle to be best positioned to be found in that search, and then monetizing that discovery space. A new flight to quality could empower niche site owners. In this region we are content-poor. Any good, localized content is great content. A content factory like Demand Media could seriously disrupt the Arabic online world and take the online landscape forward and drive usage = opportunity!
Enterprises Will Shape the Next Generation of What We’ve Called “Social Media”: as much as your mom will have an iphone, social media will grow-up and companies will increasingly make it their own…bringing social media platforms into the enterprise and empowering companies to adopt social media tools to grow revenues. As the enterprise takes on social media do the young rebel from ‘the man’ and fragment into ‘underground’ social networks away from brandization? Watch for it…
ROI Will Be Measured — And It Will Matter
Finally: Real, Cool and Very Bizarre Online-Offline Integration
Many “Old” Skills Will Be Needed Again
Women Will Rule Social Media: Fine. I could wait, so I skipped ahead to this point. You didn’t hear it here first, but never ever forget: “Women make 75% of all buying decisions for the home, and 85% of all consumer purchases.” If you can combine #4 and #9 in a manner that brings eyeballs with quality content and leads to the growth of an affinity community for women that respects their unique needs and online behaviours…then let’s talk. The opportunity to cater to women in the Middle East online is an opportunity diverse and comprehensive. There will be many winners here, but very few players here. A year from now we will see some winners…will you be one of them?
Social Media Will Move Into New Domains
What’s the biggest trend in social media that will take hold in the Middle East in 2010?

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6 Social Media Predictions for 2010

With 2010 fast approaching, there’s lots of talk about the social media predictions for the coming year. Although we don’t have a crystal ball here at SocialMediaExaminer.com, we do have recent social media studies to support some very likely trends.

David Armano recently published his social media predictions for 2010 on the Harvard Business Blog.  Here’s a detailed analysis on whether his predictions will likely come true.

Trend #1: Social Media Networks Become Exclusive

Armano predicts we’ll begin to see more exclusivity of networks as users focus more on specific niche content.  Indeed, research supports the prediction that people will be willing to pay for access to specialty networking groups.  Payment models by their very nature will exclude many spammers and create higher-quality networks.

“The bottom line is that users are willing to pay for social network content as long as sites cater to specific market niches as opposed to broader, mainstream audiences,” according to eMarketer.

Trend #2: Corporations Scale Social Media Efforts

Armano predicts corporations will begin to incorporate social media initiatives on a larger scale, moving beyond their one-off marketing experiments and general communication activity.

Research also supports this prediction.  For example, 94% of companies sponsoring online communities plan to increase their social networking support as well as engage with other social media tools, according to the 2009 Tribalization of Business Study by Deloitte.

Trend #3: Social Media for Business Becomes… Fun

Armano predicts businesses will focus more on adding entertainment to their social media efforts to incentivize user activity.

There’s plenty of data to support this trend:

Games rank #1 in top-performing mobile applications, followed by social networking apps, according to a recent report by Distimo. Games and networking are often closely related in many social media environments (I see this often on Facebook fan pages).

Here’s a great example of a mainstream company taking advantage of this emerging trend:  Volkswagen recently went 100% mobile for their GTI launch and created a virtual game via the Apple App Store.  It includes a chance to compete to win one of six limited-edition 2010 GTIs.  This is a great example of social media “game” marketing—and relates to trend #5.

Word of Facebook caution! Companies that plan on running contests on Facebook need to proceed with caution. Facebook just announced that brands, advertisers, and marketers that want to run contests or sweepstakes on its platform have to go through an approval process first. And it could get pricey.  For more information, check out this post by Mari Smith.

Trend #4: Social Media Policies Become Standard for Businesses

Armano predicts in the coming months, your company will release the “rules of engagement” for social media activity. These will be social media guidelines.

Here’s some data to support this trend:

  • 40% of companies actively block employee access to social media for any purpose and only 26% of companies actually encourage social media use to further business objectives, according to a report by Russell Herder.
  • 54% of chief information officers (CIOs) do not allow employees to visit social networking sites for any reason while they’re at work, according to a similar study by Robert Half Technology.
  • 19% of businesses permit social media use for business purposes onlyand 16% permit social media activity for limited personal use, according to the same study by Robert Half Technology.

Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, points out,“Professionals should let common sense prevail when using Facebook and similar sites—even outside of business hours.  Regrettable posts can be a career liability.”<

Trend #5: Mobile Becomes a Social Media Lifeline

According to Armano, with the banning of social media activity increasing in the workplace and smartphone sales on the rise, the social networking addiction will be carried over to mobile devices.

Here’s some research to support this trend:

Trend #6:  Social Networks Reduce Users’ Reliance on Email

Armano predicts sharing of content will be sent via social networking sites instead of via traditional email.

Here’s data to support this trend:

  • 32% of Gen Y consumers share promotional offers with members inside a social network, according to a report titled Participatory Network Marketing Methodology.
  • 34% of marketers feel integrating social media and email marketing is by
  • Universal McCann.
  • 81.5% of social network users (those who use the Internet at least every other day) say messaging friends is the top activity when visiting social media sites, also reported by Universal McCann.

Here I’ve highlighted the studies and articles that support Armano’s conclusions.  The research seems to affirm his predictions.

Do you agree with these predictions? Are there any you predict won’t surface as trends in 2010? What other trends would you add to the mix?  Please leave your comments below.


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