The Final Countdown: Predicted Social Media Trends of 2013

Posted on October 1, 2013

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As we open the last quarter of 2013 (Can you believe it?), let’s take stock of where we now stand in the social media landscape as predicted by the mighty Dachis Group.

  1. The marketing funnel will increasingly support the natural customer journey across all touchpoints, instead of focusing on content types, channel silos, or other artificial constructs. Yes – finally brand are aligning efforts with general business goals instead of being regarded as a testing ground.
  2. The rise of data science as a strategic social media marketing discipline. My personal favorite! Investments in big data will continue to give brands access to real-time analytics and further encourage more advanced actionable insights through the rest of this year and beyond.
  3. A corresponding scarcity of data scientists. A very hot topic this year. A client of mine spent nearly a year trying to gather applicants, nevermind choosing a candidate.
  4. Although marketers will use analytics and measurement in their social media efforts more than ever before, they will struggle to determine the right metrics to use. This has always been a hot-button issue and will be one until organizations deeply understand WHAT to measure and HOW to define ROI. As Dachis  points out, there is no universal social currency and channel fragmentation is still a big problem. Clearer examinations of attribution models will help alleviate some of this pain.
  5. The emerging glocalism trend will be amplified by social media. Many companies won’t be adequately prepared. A timely example of this– Miss Representation helped pull a naughty leopard costume for little girls from Walmart’s shelves after the group shared a user-generated photo on Facebook. A local affiliate originally reported the costume.
  6. Customer communities turn into a strategic marketing asset as turnkey services for managing them get better. Simply put, there still aren’t enough brands out there directly dealing with customer service even though social channels offer an efficient and cost-effective solution.Top Digital Marketing Activities 2013
  7. Brand advocacy becomes mechanized for scale as companies acquire capabilities for orchestrating advocates like never before. Community managers finally have a seat at the table as they are engaging more with advocates and spearheading loyalty programs. Chats like #CmgrChat allow these managers to discuss trends, collaborate, and share case studies.
  8. Social media comes in the cold, gets added as an equal partner to the cross-channel mix. Companies then find their social capabilities aren’t as mature as they need. It’s about time. Social media are out of the infancy stage and C-suites are on board with the benefits of social channels, but realizing there is more to be done as they collect and analyze more data.
  9. Content strategies will continue to be the leading method of triggering social engagement, yet new methods pique marketer’s interest. Yes, yes, yes. In my experience, my clients run the gamut of how deep they stand in their current content strategies. One trend is a common thread– Content is top priority. However, the process with startups is still very much manual. Not enough data-driven targeting and personalization is happening yet this year at this level. Big brands are the ones with the budgets to fund tools to make this a reality.
  10. Marketing strategies will get better at connecting engagement from their social presence to their sales funnel, but many will fall short as they learn the cross-channel ropes. Yep. Unfortunately, it still feels a bit like the Wild West out there. Progress. And all good learnings for 2014.
  11. Brand management will be transformed by social media more than any other year prior. Improved data science will be the top reason. I’ve always been a huge proponent for this one… Two way conversations are a fantastic catalyst for brand efficiency and product innovation.
  12. The long overdue shift to engagement marketing will begin. Ahhh… It feels good to be home! If you aren’t there yet, take cues from these brands brilliantly engaging with one another.

In your experience this year, are you seeing similar trends? Is there anything you didn’t expect to pop up within the landscape? Do you think these trends will continue into the next year? Feel free to share your experience below.

For more information, view the original Dachis Group predictions: Part 1 & Part 2.

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Posted in: social media