Seven Social Media Trends for 2013: Part II

In yesterday’s blog, I rattled off three of my top seven social media trends for 2013.  Here’s part two of what you’ll see in social media next year:

4)             Increased Social Media Regulation    

Innovation lies at the heart of social media:  if one approach doesn’t work, you can always try something different.  While some regulation is necessary, most social networks are tightening up their participant rules.  Most notably, Facebook has imposed some rigorous regulations pertaining to how games and contests are managed by brands.  A slight infraction will result in the removal of the page at Facebook’s sole discretion.  Earlier this year, Pinterest revised its terms of service to allay brand concerns over copyright infringement.  Look for more new regulations on these and other platforms next year.

5)             Additional Social Media Litigation:     

The civil courts still haven’t entirely caught up with the social media phenomenon.  Copyright infringement and defamation are the most prevalent types of lawsuits being filed today.  In today’s litigious society, it’s wise to exercise caution and common sense:  if you don’t own the content, don’t post it.  Refrain from denigrating brands and products in the public domain.

6)             Enhanced Features:        

In order to remain relevant to users and advertisers, social networks need to upgrade their current offerings and features.  New features will also attract new users and new advertisers to the platform.  Social networks also want to position themselves as the go-to resource for their users.

LinkedIn has added applications such as TripIt and SlideShare in recent years.  Look for additional information sharing applications to come online next year.  LinkedIn also reported in its September blog that a new notifications feature has been added to update users on any activity relating to their account.  The blog also reported that the notifications feature will carry over to the mobile version of LinkedIn in the near future.  These notifications will draw more attention to posts than ever before.

7)             Redesign of Existing Social Networks:  

The launch of new features will necessitate graphic and navigational redesigns on some platforms.  Facebook is widely known for the system-wide upgrades that it routinely makes to its interface.  As these networks continue to grow, expect refreshed pages designed to make sharing easier and more user friendly.

As of this writing, LinkedIn is in the process of rolling out a few newly redesigned “Company Pages.”  The new pages allow for greater integration with their employees’ and the company’s hiring activities.  A customized brand timeline – similar to the Facebook timeline feature – is also now a prominent feature of the newly minted Company Pages.  You’ll see the rollout of additional new design projects as the social networks continue to compete for market space – and your attention.

Advances in mobile technology will drive the major social networks to reinvent their offerings and revisit their positioning with even greater nimbleness in 2013.  Social media presents meeting planners and marketing professionals with greater opportunity to reach extended global audiences than ever before.  Be mindful of these and the other social media trends that continue to drive and impact how we communicate with our members and customers.  Think creatively about how you can use these innovative tools to enhance and promote your next event.

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