My last week of work this year was filled with client deadline mayhem, tragic e-cards, bottles of (cheap) red wine and a presentation to the Interaction department about the wonderful work we’ve done and what we predict in 2012. After a festive break from digital it would only be fitting to be ending a great year with one last blog post.
Here are my predictions for Social Media in 2012:
This isn’t necessarily about having a game element to geo-location technology (foursquare), but more so an incentive that provides real-time value. Services such a SCVNGR do this in its primary form; users on checking in can do challenges in exchange for points which unlock discounts and free swag. This will be stepped up a notch in 2012 with many of our smart phone holding NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology such as the Google Nexus and Nokia N7 though this will really come into it’s own once iPhone get on board too.
This will mean users can check-in to a location, swipe their phone over a poster or sign to authorise their where-abouts and receive exclusive content, gifts and discounts. This could be particularly beneficial for the floundering high street retailers where they will be able to turn social actions into transactions.
In short, this is the art of chatting online about a show while watching it on TV. This is nothing ground-breaking (many shows instigate talk on Twitter with a hashtag at the start), simply more people will be doing this in 2012. In fact, a recent study found 76% of UK’s TV viewers use a second screen (mobile, tablet or computer) while watching a show. Zeebox is an example of a company making this experience as effortless as ever and I can’t help but feel the recent boom of internet-enabled TV’s will only help encourage this engagement.
The year of Social Media B2B
Q4 this year saw many of our clients explore the benefits of B2B Social Media, be it as the market thought-leader on a LinkedIN group page or other. 2011 was very much about understanding how Social Media can benefit brands and being shown the ropes. Now with a good foundation of understanding, 2012 will see brands come into their own and know what they want from Social Media and how to get it. Truth is, you don’t have to be on Facebook if that’s not the audience you want to speak to. There are many platforms like LinkedIN which may actually be better value for money. Twitter can be a great channel too for this if used smartly.
The great thing with Social Media is there are no set-rules. Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIN all function in completely different ways with users who want to engage in completely different ways. Even the platforms we use are ever-increasing from integrating with televisions and games consoles to the continuous adoption of smart phones. 2012 is going to be an exciting year for Social Media and the once “fad your 16 year-old daughter is on” will now be an innate extension of how us people interact.
What are your thoughts? What do you think will change in 2012!?
And one more thing. Happy New Year!