Over the span of the last year, the social media landscape has changed dramatically: Facebook became a publicly traded company, LinkedIn ended its integration agreement with Twitter and Instagram changed the way many of us share images. Blogs hit mainstream marketing channels and became a formidable extension of social networking by sharing valuable content with interested – and highly qualified – subscribers. Major events like the Superbowl, the Olympics and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions launched social media command centers to satisfy the need for real-time information.
In 2013, we can expect more of the same. New social networking sites will debut; some will enjoy a meteoric rise in popularity, just as Pinterest experienced earlier this year. Google+ will continue to evolve and attempt to gain traction with brands and mainstream users. Highly specialized niche websites and social networks will continue to proliferate the social media scene. As the consumer attention span dwindles, individuals will not only expect – but also demand – content that is relevant to them. Content that doesn’t deliver relevancy will be dismissed.
What other developments should event marketers expect in 2013? Here are some other trends to be mindful of as you develop next year’s social media strategy:
1) Greater Use of Mobile Applications:
Demand for instantaneous access to information will not abate in 2013. Hundreds of thousands of smartphone and tablet apps are already available. Each social network has its own mobile app; however, as these networks expand their range of services, their mobile apps will evolve to support these more robust platforms. More attractive and user-friendly apps invite greater participation.
2) More Outsourcing:
More demand for content and interaction on the social media information highway requires additional expertise and support. Some companies may be unwilling to commit a staff position to social networking. A variety of social media consultants and consulting companies are equipped to deliver and implement your strategy.
3) Decreased Emphasis on Email:
Many event marketers struggle with declining email open and click-through rates. Social media posts deliver a quick hit of information, which is often all people are seeking. In-depth email communiqués may not have that same direct impact. Marketers will rely less on email and more on social media networks to convey their messages. The power of the “share” and “like” features, where users organically disseminate brand information throughout their social networks, simply can’t be replicated by email.
Part II tomorrow!