2012: Social Media Marketing Trends

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Here are three important trends to bank on in 2012 according to Social Media Today! Emineo Media blog.wordcloud.12.20

Go Mobile: Mobile continues to be adopted heavily as a research and purchasing tool by savvy consumers, accounting for 14% of all Black Friday traffic by some reports. Marketers should view it as a core tenet of 2012 planning. Stay ahead of the curve in 2012 and interact with your on-the-go audience in fun and unique ways. Utilize check-ins, instant offers or coupons to engage your audience in real-time. Think about using QR codes, which are underused and often misunderstood; when used properly they can help drive consumer behavior and can be a great compliment to a promotion such as a sweepstakes. Go beyond the web and reach customers in person or through print ads that utilize QR codes to drive consumers to your website, social channels, or a dedicated microsite.

Go Cross-Platform: Cross-channel promotions are becoming more essential than ever, as Google+ and other platforms continue to grow in popularity and cater to different user types and behaviors. The most social brands on the web are already experimenting with Google+ to find ways to authentically interact with their audience on this emerging platform. Google already announced that promotions cannot be hosted on the social network, surprising many brands that look to promotions to grow their audiences and interact with their fans. Instead, brands can use dedicated microsites, promoted and linked from their Google+ pages like they already do with Twitter sweepstakes, as the hub of a promotion geared toward their Google+ audiences. Microsites are the perfect way to allow engagement for users from their preferred networks, while controlling the visual branding, sharing tools and features.

Get In the Cloud: You know about the cloud, but you thought it was just for storage, security or distributed processing? It’s time to take your marketing into the cloud, too. Proactive brand marketers, already investing resources to engage audiences across social channels, think of their marketing as an always-on service targeted across a vast network of consumers, rather than a series of one-off campaigns and promotions. They use technology partners to deliver on-demand marketing utilities, ranging from promotions to branded apps to powerful back-end management and metrics dashboard.

You can start integrating the cloud by licensing a Software-as-a-Service tool (such as the Votigo Platform for creating audience engaging apps across all social platforms) or by tapping into a powerful API which your own developers can use to build out the social marketing apps that your need to take your audience to the next level.

Source Social Media Today

21 Social Media Marketing Trends

Emineo Media social-media-marketing-trends-2012

1. Social media marketing

Social media is going to be integral part of everything we do when promoting our business. This will make social media an integral part of marketing and it will not be a separate activity. Much like SEO or email marketing, social media will be just one tool in the box. Emineo Media social-media-marketing-trends-2012

2. Integrating social media to corporate websites

Brands start large scale integration of social media content into their digital properties. Big brands will use social media connect and user generated content to get closer to customers. This will help them get most out of true fans and brand advocates by linking their web properties to conversations.

3. More support through social media

The integration of social media will lead to people reporting their problems in their channel of choice. Social media integration lets some of those problems be handled by the peers. However, companies should find ways to avoid their social media channels becoming a glorified helpdesk.

4. Social CRM will make inroads in larger organizations

Social data will be added to the CRM systems to find trends in sentiment and indivitual preferences of customers. The goal is to engage the customer in a conversation and give value that binds them tighter to the brand. As brands lose control of online interaction social CRM will help them react and predict how conversations are taking place. Findings from IBM showed that in the next three to five years, 81% plan to focus on customer analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

5. Social media will influence more sales

Social media integration will allow customers to get real user opinions before making purchase decisions. Social commerce is not web shop on Facebook. It’s a digital property where people can make their decision based on marketing materials from the brand and augmented with feedback from existing customers in a form of ratings, reviews and comments.

6. Social commerce on mobile devices

We will lead into a new era in eCommerce where you can directly purchase from your Facebook account. With proliferation of mobile platforms social commerce will become popular on mobile devices. Facebook’s Open Graph will also let you directly purchase with Facebook credits based on recommendations by your friends.

7. Social media budgets will grow

Most companies will increase their social media budgets. This includes in-house spending on and outsourced services. Part of the investments go to boost their own social presence through blogs and product reviews. Rest goes to external sites like Facebook.

8. Social media advertising will grow

Social media channels are looking to turn a profit so they are looking for ways to get at your advertising budget. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others are looking into way to display more marketing messages to their users. This will increase budgets dedicated to social media advertising.

Social media advertising will grow to $5 Billion in 2012, 25% of that will be locally targeted social advertising.

9. Social media ROI is a must

More result oriented. Still less than half of the marketers measure results from social media. Social media ROI is a hot topic but less than half of the marketers report seeing it. We see that the budgets will grow and social gets more important in the brand’s marketing mix. This means that C-level will demand results. Dollars in sales. It can be as easy as direct sales from Facebook or a bit more vague as in conversion rate of people from social channels is higher than average.

In the course of our conversations with CMOs worldwide, an overwhelming consensus emerged. The vast majority of CMOs believe there are three key areas for improvement. They must understand and deliver value to empowered customers; create lasting relationships with those customers; and measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms. Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study (PDF).

10. Rise of the branded content

Next to advertising there will be a push be in the user’s stream. This means brands need to create content that is good enough to be curated and shared. Content has longer shelf life, can be reused in different channels, has higher perceived value for customers. This means that content creation budgets may in many cases exceed the social advertising budgets. It wouldn’t be surprising if some brands will kill advertising in favor of content creation.

11. Content Curation and Discovery

Information explosion has created an attention deficit and people want to have a quick overview of what’s important and easily find what they need. Aggregation and content curation are going to be very important and brands start filtering information to give value to their customers.Brands will integrate curation into their IT or use third party services. News aggregation apps like Flipboard and magazine apps will find a market in corporate circles.

12. Tabletizing and mobilizing websites

Not exactly a social media thing but businesses start to make their sites mobile. Like 10 years ago companies made websites because everybody else did, now they will make their sites mobile because everybody else does. People will use more social networks’ messaging instead of regular email and IM.

13. Social gaming will grow and spill over to real world

Social Media Games have more players than prime time TV shows have viewers. In-game ads and branded game items will become important promotional tools. As social media will become more mobile so will social gaming. This means that games that are hosted on social networks, such as Zynga and EA on Facebook, will be playable on mobile devices. These kinds of games will be played on-the-go – when you’re traveling by bus, sitting in a boring lecture, waiting for your lunch. Social gaming will be integrated with real life to physically perform tasks offline that have effect in the virtual world. Engage real friends, go to locations, flash mobs, etc. The potential growth of mobile social gaming will be huge.

14. Location! Location! Location!

Location based services will be everywhere. Local information, reviews, coupons, loyalty programs and more. All tied in with your social graph. We are moving towards an era of real-time need for information. More and more people will be checking for recommendations about nearby restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. Location based services will be part of many marketing campaigns. Near-field communication chips in mobile devices get more common and will pave the way to the new era of “tap & pay” commerce. Loyalty programs will start moving towards NFC and location based solutions. NFC will be a convenient way for you to connect, share and react.

15. Most social media usage will be on mobile devices

Social media is happening in real time and people share content when it’s happening! As smartphone penetrations reaches majority and tablets become increasingly popular, sharing content will move towards mobile devices. Smartphones gives us extra depth into personalization – we can share what we want, when we want. The limits are fading! You will always be connected with social media, no matter where you are!

16. Group buying sites will add location based services

Let’s face it, it is a brain dead model. Grow a huge list by offering really cheap deals and then sell that list to businesses to get really cheap deals. Group buying will not go away but businesses will understand better what it is and use it accordingly. To spell it out: businesses buy an opportunity to let potential customers sample their offering at a hugely discounted rate in hopes of repeat business. New layer of value can be added by integrating with location based services that will alert users to deals when they are in the neighborhood.

17. Interacting with live TV in social media

Live TV shows will react to user interactions such as votes, suggestions, etc. We have the ability to change what’s happening by providing real-time feedback on social networks. TV is going to be everywhere through mobile apps.

18. News will be social

News websites will gradually be replaced by applications integrated with social media technology such as Facebook’s Open Graph. While this won’t happen instantly, we’re going down that road as we speak. People will be reading news from their dedicated applications such as iPad’s Flipboard or Washington Post Social Reader. We will take in a lot of recommendations and read the same things that our friends are reading.

19. Mobile apps will become more social

All of the successful new mobile apps will be deeply integrated with social networks allowing you to share and engage more than ever before. We will be taking in a lot of suggestions and recommendations from our friends, colleagues and other trustworthy peers.

20. Your social media footprint will grow

Frictionless sharing capabilities and social gestures will make our lives increasingly visible on social networking sites. Music, TV shows, check-ins, purchases and more will be automatically posted to social media sites. Always connected, always sharing! If you don’t share, your friends will. Some may rise privacy concerns but most people will ignore the implications and their lives are going to be more open than ever before.

21. Facebook will break the 1 Billion people mark

Where does that more than 1 billion Facebook users come from? The countries with more than 20 million people and Facebook penetration below 20% will add most of this growth in 2012. Add the potential growth of other countries and you get to a cool billion or 1.1 billion even. And that does not include China.

Source: Dreamgrow

Mobile Email Usage Experiencing Growth Spurt

Emineo Media iphone-email

With the growth of smartphones and other internet-connected mobile devices, mobile email usage is also experiencing a growth spurt. Due to the rise in mobile email viewership, both webmail and desktop email are experiencing declines in share. Emineo Media iphone-email

Mobile is not expected to replace webmail or desktop email anytime soon, though. According to email certification and reputation monitoring company Return Path, webmail is still the most popular form of email use around the world, representing 44% of all message views, followed by desktop with 33%. Mobile comes in third, with 23% of all email views occurring on mobile devices.

Return Path’s report, which analyzed email data from April 2011 to September 2011, indicates mobile email views were up 34% from the last study the company conducted from October 2010 through March 2011. Meanwhile, webmail decreased 11% and desktop email decreased 9.5%. iPad usage is largely responsible for mobile email growth. Return Path data indicates that use of iPads rose 73% during the April–September time period.

Time of day and day of week have a strong influence on where consumers view their email. Desktop usage accounts for the majority of email views during weekdays, whereas mobile emailing spikes on weekends. According to Return Path, Monday is a particularly weak day for mobile usage.

Where email is viewed is also slightly dependent on vertical industry. Email users were quicker to read entertainment, social networking and publishing emails on mobile devices, while saving messages from software firms for desktop or webmail viewing.

Research from Litmus, a small software company based in Cambridge, Mass., indicates that email access via mobile device, for the most part, has climbed since July 2010. Despite dips in November 2010 and January 2011, mobile device email usage is expanding, while webmail is in slight decline. The spikes in mobile email correspond with summer months in which consumers may be checking in on email while vacationing or spending time out of the office.

Both Litmus and Return Path research suggest that users are accessing email wherever they happen to be. Email is likely to continue to grow on more platforms, as more and more consumers embrace connected devices.

Source emarketer