A few weeks back, I spoke to the Memphis PRSA Chapter mostly about using location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla for business. But as an added bonus, I threw in 5 digital marketing and social media predictions for 2011. Here’s what I think will happen over the next year.
1. Everyone becomes a media company
Wow, Bob that’s pretty broad. So, here’s where I’m coming from. Consumers are adapting to the way businesses are using social media. When they feel like they’re being sold or that the information is no longer relevant or valuable to them, they move on.
Companies are falling back into their old media ways of business. The companies that evolve and ultimately win are those that will be able to create original, non-salesy and valuable content that speaks directly to that individual and not a mass market. Status updates, videos, email, tweets, etc will all need to be on target.
Content is king may be cliche, but it will be ever so true in 2011 as companies show greater focus on the what rather than the where.
As a side note, watch the “social media gurus” of 2008 become the “content gurus” of 2011.
Facebook had some small issues in 2010 about user privacy, but I think you’ll see larger groups exposed in 2011. I see this as a blow-up from a major social site that could expose lots of user personal data. The technology is evolving too fast and users are naive and overly trustworthy.
You may even see the government step in ala the “Do Not Track” regulation to help protect consumers. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo data.
3. Question and answer sites will be the break out stars
People are making real/major decisions based upon what their real/virtual friends think. The sites you’ll be talking about this time next year are question and answer sites like Quora and Facebook Questions.
4. Group buying gets better
Groupon hit mainstream in 2010, but they still have a lot of opportunity to grow. I think you’ll see better personalization in Groupon deals such that they won’t be necessarily city-wide offers but rather deals that appeal to the demographics and psychographics of their audience. For example, a man living in downtown Memphis who likes football won’t necessarily see the same deal as a man living in East Memphis who enjoys baking.
5. Hot sites to watch
Sort of miscellaneous hodgepodge of predictions at #5.
- I think VYou.com has lots of potential in the social space and fits nicely with prediction #3 above. VYou is a mix of twitter, youtube and a dash of chatroulette (the good part).
- Watch for big developments from Google in 2011 and maybe in Q1. In 2008, I wrote that I thought Google had the biggest opportunity and the best pieces in place to really blow the doors off of social. Even though some of their latest ventures have fizzled out, I still think they are better positioned than the likes of Facebook, Twitter and maybe even Apple. Rumors of their +1 project have been swirling in the recent months.
- Niche and personal sites like Path and Instagram will flourish.