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12 Social Media trends for 2011

I just ran into a new interesting article at the Harvard Business Review, and just couldn´t help but to answer the post with my 2 cents. The post was from David Armano, SVP of Edelmann, a global media and communications company. David had compiled a list of 6 Social Media trends that he sees going big in 2011.

His list, roughly, was like this;

  • Social Media going from local to global with big brands, not just national or local campaigns, but companies like Ford or Starbucks launching global Social Media campaigns.
  • Affordable tablet Pcs (and Pads) helping Social Media become available 24/7 and mobile, on the go.
  • Facebook Places helping location-based services go big
  • Social Media schizophrenia emerging when people have too many profiles and networks to maintain and follow.
  • Google vs. FB battle, Google finding new ways of working with searching Social Media in new and innovative ways, not necessarily tying to build a new Facebook or create a new Buzz anymore, but adjusting what they do best into Social Media and vice versa.
  • Social integration to old websites making them ´hip´ again, breathing new life to old portals and sites, making them information centrals for all information and profiles over the web and especially Social Media.

I think David has great points there and I just have to agree with just about all of them, but I see much more happening in Social Media next year. Here´s what I think should be added to the list.

The 2011 Social Media trends from my point of view;

    • Social features being integrated into other tools. I see a lot of new type of tools emerging, creating new value into old practises, old tools and the ways of working. E.g. here in Oulu, Finland, I´ve found a couple of interesting tools that may well find their place in the Social Media ecosystem if nurtured and funded correctly;
      • WeTellNetworks has a great new communication tool with social features, combining the best of internal communication tools, external social media feeds, Skype, 3rd parties´ access to internal communications with specified rights, document sharing, project management features, etc. The tool is in beta testing with customers in Finland and Germany and everything´s looking fine so far.
      • InterestID is a great new tool for event organizers for managing registrations, communicating related to the event and between the registered participants upfront, during and after the event, tagging people and companies with a great looking and feeling graphical tagging system, sharing documents, and all these are not just available in the tool online, but the tags and all have been taken into the live event as well, creating a unique experience to all participants, making seminars and fairs a new kind of social experience. And then there are the mobile tags… Anyway, the tool´s been tested in real events in South Africa, USA and Finland, and things are looking fine, new interface being built and the communication abilities enhanced. Promising future ahead…
      • SoMe-Monitor is a tool for tracking and following Social Media feeds from various locations, brought in centralized and controlled, being able to identify sources, trends and influencers, making it a great business intelligence tool. The system has recently been launched, new features and Social Media connections being built as we speak. Great interest all around.
    • New tools that combine old software tools, web portals and social networking aspects (either inbound or outbound effect, perhaps both).
    • Social CRM and Business Intelligence will be catching wind. Salesforce, Oracle and SAP will surely blow the horn for everyone to understand the importance of the social aspects in their tools, and the trend for using Social Media in general to support activities and decision making will increase fast. The importance of identifying influencers also grows as taking advantage of influencers and trends in business is growing.
    • Social recruiting going big – it´s been talked about for ages now, but finally in 2011 even the small companies enter Social Media to find new and better applicants, and to attract the passive resource pool. Many companies have used LinkedIn for years, Twitter has been used now by many in 2010, and the early adopters have entered Facebook, but will the masses follow in 2011? I believe so!
    • Transforming social networks into customer service, self-service, support and sales tools. Dell has done it, when do other companies follow? In 2011? Yes!
    • Location-based shopping tools growing fast; Foursquare, Gowalla, and similar are in 2011 being used actively in sales. Lots of interesting location.based campaigns will emerge in 2011, but will it be big or not?
    • The importance of local social networks will be exceeding expectations in 2011. vKontakte and QQ are growing already much faster than Facebook → not just having a number of language versions, but localizing the content is becoming really, really attractive. Can Facebook follow the lead?
    • Social Media metrics and analyzis tools are becoming popular. There´s been a lot of talk about Social Media ROI, and the general need for metrics and analyzis is now critical for many.
    • Social Media is hitting TV big time, more interactive features in TV shows will arise, Social Media feeds are shown at live TV shows, etc. Old media will finally meet new media big time. First signs are on…
    • The importance of showcasing your skills and specialism and growing a personal brand in Social Media (and personal branding in general) will be big in 2011. In many fields the competition is already global, one needs to play the skill card to compete with lower prices. Then again making yourself better found is always better, you never know when you may need a new job or project.
    • Integrating Social Media with brick-and-mortar business practises, creating new business models by combining these two (like Netcycler for example), the online and IRL (In Real-Life) practices take the best of both worlds to build new value to the customer.
    • The Microjob concept is soon coming available for all. Work and projects are broken into smaller pieces of work, divided between larger amount of people who are more specialized, and the outcome of the small parts is again reconstructed to the big picture for the client at the end. A new wave of Crowdsourcing is coming up.

Do you see the future like I see it? What other trends would you predict for 2011 and perhaps beyond? Is the big answer really 42?

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This entry was posted onDecember 7th, 2010 at 00:56. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can Leave a response, or Trackback.

51 Responses


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    8.12.2010 15:39 | #1 @
  2. Marti Barletta

    Tom – The big answer is ALWAYS 42! (RIP S.A.)

    8.12.2010 22:21 | #2 @
  3. Ivor Kellock

    @Marti the answer is now 44 – that’s inflation for you 😉 – 6 degrees of separation gets the entire planet connected…

    Social media will be taken up more locally and used by more small businesses – more effectively – especially in the UK
    More use of twitter – with more apps and widgets
    Local online marketing will get more prolific
    Google get more directly social
    Central Govts will start to appreciate the benefits of social media more
    The whole scene will grow, evolve new tools a nd more and more of us will use as more people buy and use smartphones….

    9.12.2010 00:50 | #3 @
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    Great to see David’s work inspiring such a thoughtful response! Unfortunately, the link back to his post on our site seems to not be working. Here’s the link to the post:

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    • Tom

      Thanks, need to check that!

      Anything you’d like to add to the list yourself? Is there a trend that you see rising above the others?

      11.12.2010 00:25 | #16 @
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    Looking forward to your future posts.

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    Good post Tom – I certainly agree with the integration into other tools. Already huge and will definitely increase in 2011.

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    Thanks for the comprehensive information and summary.I also feel Twitter will be utilised more for finding targeted information for businesses – keeping them up with latest research and trends in their particular sector. They will start using it more effectively to learn and discern info to their customers or to back their brand etc. Thanks again.

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  30. David Skul | Relativity | Internet Marketing

    It is definitely valid that the overwhelming presence of multiple social networks will facilitate the need for combining disparate social medias into one portal or application for easier management/viewing and I was impressed by some of the tools the writer referenced. Too bad they are not offered in English versions as well. I totally want access to so-me-monitor.

    I also agree with the postulate of growing HR recruiting efforts using social media outlets. I was recently contacted by a group of graduate students from Europe asking my opinion on this trend as well. It seems to be much larger oversees than in the US right now but growing.

    I also agree that the small business/brick and mortar business model is going to have to change and is changing rapidly to include social media tools. These businesses will have to market their brands effectively and use the social sphere for customer service and relationship building as well to be effective here. The good news for these businesses is they have the ability to access a limitless market place now with an opportunity to build brand loyalty like never before.

    I just finished 10 tips for internet marketers using social media at check them out and let me know what you all think. Thanks again

    Thank you for your post.

    28.12.2010 17:27 | #31 @
  31. Urs E. Gattiker

    Dear Tom

    Thanks for your input on my blog post:

    2011 trends: On-line video and social media ROI (return on investment)

    I replied to your comment, of course and as per your suggestion came over here to leave a comment.

    You make many predictions but I surely would have also read something about why you see these trends emerging. I tried to spell mine out a bit in more detail such as why PR and social media might converge a bit but still stay different here:

    2011 trends: Social media best practice and ROI

    And while I agree with you that there is a lot of talk about social media ROI, this does not mean people have a handle on measuring it. In fact, most people do it wrong. I prefer the term cost-benefit analysis so I do not get confused looks from the budget committee.

    Happy New Year to you Tom.

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