16
Dec
10

Five Social Media Trends for 2011 and Beyond

Previously, we shared five marketing trends for 2011.  With social media being such a huge component of integrated marketing programs, we thought we would drill down on social media trends. Here are five social media trends for 2011 courtesy of Weise Communications.

1. With the rapid adoption of smart phones, QR Codes will explode in the U.S.

The QR (quick response) code can direct a user to Internet content.  To the right is the QR code for The Side Note.  If you have an application such as NEOReader or RedLaser open on your smart phone and take a picture of this image, our blog will open on your smart phone.  Cool huh?

Mainstream adoption of QR codes appears to be starting.  OnStar and AXE Shower Gel have created traditional magazine ads and incorporated QR codes. For these codes to truly hit the mainstream, people will have to know what to do when they see a QR code, the content must be rewarding and engaging.  Also, advertisers must resist the temptation to let the QR code stand alone. Consumers need to have some expectations about the content they are going to access.

Yamanashi Prefecture has taken the QR code content to another level by producing headstones with QR codes embedded in them. The “Memorial Service Window” enables visitors to scan the QR code and get pictures, videos and other information on the deceased. It also keeps a log of each time the code was scanned so family members can know when relatives visit the gravesite.

2. Location-based marketing will take on more prominence

Services like Foursquare and Gowalla use smart phones geo-location capabilities to let users notify others of their locations by “checking in” to that location.  Marketers will develop more innovations to drive traffic to retail locations.  One that we really liked was a Foursquare promotion in which mayors of 37 Arby’s locations from Evansville, Ind., to Huntsville, Ala., get reserved seats at “Mayor’s tables” and 50 percent off meals.

This is a great example of how location-based marketing will become wildly successful.  It will get more narrowly focused. People are more likely to use like Foursquare and Gowalla when they believe they will receive special treatment and can point to a specific value from participating.

3. Wikileaks is a pre-cursor to a new wave of privacy concerns

One of the side effects of Wikileaks, and the rapid explosion of released classified information disseminated through Wikileaks related social media, is that companies will tie social media information and interactions with the desire to keep certain information out of public forums.

Wikileaks has spawned new social business intelligence companies. These companies are working on the ability to effectively obtain and combine mobile, online and tangible information in ways that will identify information about a person or a business that is more accurate than having someone’s Social Security number.  Before this begins to sound like the ramblings of a conspiracy-theory freak, the trend we see on the horizon companies being more vigilant about data privacy in social media.

4. Measuring social media effectiveness will NOT solely be based on ROI

Retweets, fans and likes are not reflected on an income statement however, it does not mean that they are without value and merit. Marketers will have to push the C-Suite to recognize the value of these indicators beyond the bottom line.

Forrester research reveals that most companies don’t know how to determine the ROI of social media and offers a balanced marketing scorecard that incorporates customer attitude shifts about a brand and the ability to respond in a crisis.

5. Twitter figures out how to monetize the service

Twitter failed with Early Bird and is having mild success with promoted tweets, but we think Twitter will finally realize the secret of their service is…that they are a search engine.  Here are a few suggestions that Twitter can implement to start generating serious income:

  • Allow an auction/bid process for keyword purchases
  • Deliver targeted ads based on search terms
  • Deliver targeted ads based on tweet history

We also wonder if Twitter will give companies the opportunity to purchase followers.  How would those on Twitter choose to opt-in? Could the Twitter account holder share in the revenue? If your bought, can you ‘unfollow’?

Tell us what social media trends you see taking off in 2011. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 

 


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