In the year ahead, there seem to be some major social media tactics you can expect to see affecting businesses. Some of these trends have already been carried out by companies, but in 2012, expect to see a mass adoption of these plans carried out by all types of businesses.
1. Google+ Explosion
Google+ will continually come out with new features, and Google+ pages will continue to become more business-friendly. The integration with other Google properties, like in paid search ads, its search engine results page, Google Reader and YouTube will be the greatest advantage for Google.
Google had a strong focus on social media last year by basing its employee bonus and salary structure off of its success through social media. This has resulted in everyone involved the Google world constantly considering social media. This internal focus will lead to an external force where consumers will make Google+ a main social media platform in 2012.
2. Creating Engaged Communities
Businesses will be sure to pay attention to their current community members in 2012, as marketers become more advanced in planning and measuring their campaigns. There will be a stronger emphasis on creating an engaged community as opposed to mere numbers of followers. So, community managers need to energize community members and engage with them in multiple areas, like market research, product development and product discounts, for example.
Managing and building communities is about the consumers, the information and staying consistent. This strategy will be seen heavily in 2012 and will become a key part of community management.
3. Stronger Marketing Intelligence
Last year there was a lot of new technology platforms that changed social media monitoring and provided advanced data to help drive marketing campaigns.
This year, businesses will move beyond just looking at company mentions and influencer scores, and move more toward combining different social data in order to create a marketing intelligence that will drive future marketing campaigns. Many tools do this already, but there is sure to be more this year.
4. Social Media Driving SEO
The usual on-page SEO factors will still remain constant, as it makes your content search friendly, but in 2012, strong sharing activities through social media will drive SEO results.
SEO conversions will be higher and simpler to measure on organic search. And as a result, more companies will carry out a closer collaboration between their social teams and searches.
5. Real, Quality Content
Everyone appreciates content that is relevant, engaging and unique to the consumer. In the past few years, companies have worked hard to come up with content with the sole purpose of creating content for SEO.
In 2012, there will be a more structured way for businesses to form content with a focus on giving unique value to consumers that will lead to higher engagement levels with community members.
5. The Power of Facebook
In the past, companies worked to get a somewhat superficial quantity of Facebook fans without considering the quality of those fans. This year, expect to see companies focus on finding greater profitability with a sharp ROI emphasis in the form of Facebook ads, contests and promotions.
Companies will find that there’s more to Facebook than measuring a linear conversion path from a fan to a consumer. Marketers will measure the non-linear path of ROI more by making Facebook-exclusive promotions to drive foot traffic to the retail stores.
Facebook Ads campaigns will be measured based on the profitability that leads to revenues or supports.
7. SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile)
More integrated campaigns that combine social media with local offers involving mobile devices will be seen in 2012. Socially promoted mobile content can build brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales.
Sites like LivingSocial and Groupon are good examples of using deals to drive local sales. Foursquare is another example of the SoLoMo strategy.
It’s clear that the quickly changing social media environment can be overwhelming. However, by staying on-top of the latest social media tactics, your company can stay strong in the social media world.