Yesterday Social Media Examiner, one of my favorite sources, published 30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 From the Pros, a collection of thoughts from luminaries such as Mari Smith, Jason Falls, Jay Baer, and many others on where the socialverse is headed in the year that lies before us.
It’s all good stuff (as if we’d expect any less from SME!), but a few predictions really stood out for me as I think about my clients and their goals for 2012:
Strategy takes center stage for social media, Jason Falls
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an evening with Jason Falls here in Houston (thanks again, Michele Price!), and one of the many gems he shared was the idea that it’s perfectly OK to use social media as a business tool.
Sure, we’re here to inform, engage, enlighten, connect, and do lots of other touchy-feely stuff, but once we’ve done that and built a certain level of trust, we can ask for the sale (or the webinar registration, the consulting gig, the ebook purchase, whatever business goal is driving our efforts). We are, after all, in business for a reason.
Regularly creating unique content becomes essential, Lewis Howes
High-quality, unique content is no longer a “nice to have”—it’s an essential element in any successful marketing plan, and not having it could mean trouble. And as Lewis points out, we can’t just create content pieces once or twice and call it a day. We need to create a steady stream to ensure that we continue attracting the attention that can lead to closed business.
YouTube rises to top of mind, Phyllis Khare
If you’ve been holding off on getting your business involved in the online video revolution, 2012 will be the year of do-or-die. YouTube’s most recent round of changes reflect a much more social experience, and that’s excellent news for creators who consistently produce quality video content.
And if you think you can’t afford it, let’s look at some numbers. You can get a used or refurbished video camera (like my beloved Flip) for as little as $50 on eBay. As far as editing goes, there’s a huge variety of software packages available for $100 or less. And yes, a little time is needed to learn the ins and outs, but it’s an investment that will pay off if you use your new skills consistently.
Email and social call a truce, Jason Miller
Last week I shared my biggest social media mistakes of 2011, and one of those was relying on social media to the exclusion of other approaches. It’s an oversight I plan to correct in 2012, for the very reasons that Jason presents:
Smart marketers understand that social and email marketing are not mutually exclusive. As email becomes more social and social becomes better at finding leads, the platforms will complement one another for smarter, more targeted messaging and list-building efforts.
Which predictions—these or others you’ve read—will affect the decisions you make in 2012? Share your thoughts with us in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!