5 Totally SWAG Social Media Predictions for 2012

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2012 PredictionsI enjoy this time of the year because most blogs pull out the stops to prepare excellent “The Best” of the year posts.  This year, however, I’m more interested in what 2012 will hold.

So I’ll make a 5 predictions based on hours of study, (sometimes) friendly debates and countless hours preparing business owners “for what’s next”.

One note though, I won’t pretend that my predictions are anything more than SWAG (Super Wild Ass Guess).  Although I like predictions, I value the ability to adapt to change above all.  That said, I’m planning for this:

1. Mobile Becomes Essential

After changing my blog theme I received an email from a reader.

Expecting to see a complaint about the new style, I quickly skimmed the note.  Surprisingly, the reader loved the new theme but was concerned with how the theme showed up on his iPad.

Curious, I reviewed my traffic stats and learned that 20% of my audience visited my blog using a mobile device.  I also discovered that my blog wasn’t optimized for these readers!

I suspect many bloggers are seeing similar stats for their own sites. As tablets and smartphones become more powerful and inexpensive expect readers to prefer content that looks great on small screens and works with touchpad keyboard.

2. WordPress Gets Competition

WordPress alternatives like Tumblr and Posterous are gaining popularity as users discover how easy it is to start publishing with a few clicks.  Jux, a beautiful WordPress competitor combines one-click set-up with amazing layout options.

Although these options lack the full-feature set of WordPress, they do offer unique designs that stand out from the standard right-sidebar schemes of most blogs.

As competition for readers is heating up and social publishers are turning to these WordPress alternatives to make their blogs stand out from the crowd.

3. Google+ Disappoints

The Social Media elite loves Google+ but the majority of users still rely on Twitter and Facebook to engage with their audiences. For many, Google+ requires the user to migrate their audiences from other platforms.  Since many have worked years to grow their audience they don’t look forward to repeating the process.

This challenge will delay Google+ from crossing the chasm to mass usage, perhaps outliving its usefulness to the Google leadership.

4. B2B Joins the Social Party – Fashionably Late

Business to consumer companies are a natural match for social media.  B2B companies, however, have struggled to realize the benefits of dialogue and content marketing  on social platforms.

Slideshare, Scribd and the evolution of content marketing tactics will open new possibilities for B2B companies to promote their products via innovative storytelling, branded content publishing, and customer generated content.

5. Social Media Becomes JAN (Just Another Channel)

The struggle to convince C-Level management to adopt social media will continue.  The majority of Chief Marketing Officers will check off the social media box by purchase Facebook Ads and set-up Twitter branded pages. Stubborn “community managers” will spend 2012 searching for the link between engagement and profit.  The good news is that 2013 they will find it.

6. Klout Disappears

Klout needs two ingredients to function: 1) People with registered connected profiles and 2) Trust in the scoring methodology.  Klout while attempting to solidify it’s methodology offended the early adopters experimenting with the scoring system.  Now these critical opinion-makers are disconnecting their profiles in droves jeopardizing the usefulness of entire system.  While some advertisers may use Klout to reach micro-communities, Klout’s place in the social monitoring ecosystem will disappear.

What are your predictions for 2011?  Disagree with any of the SWAG Predictions here?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

7 thoughts on “5 Totally SWAG Social Media Predictions for 2012

  1. Pingback: Online Marketing Trends, Tips, Predictions & Resolutions for 2012 « Simon Phillips, Designer, SEO, Webguy | All things from the internet relating to design, SEO and the cosmos at large.

  2. Pingback: 2012 Marketing Trends, Predictions & Insights for online marketers.

  3. aleshabishop

    I thought the same thing about Klout but I think they are turning it around. I was disappointed at them for awhile(and I can hold a grudge) I don’t think they will be the superstar that they looked liked they would become. They shook up trust in the Brand. Big no no.

    I am most curious about Pinterest and what they will do/become in 2012.

  4. marketingxprtis

    You’re dead on with everything:

    I would argue that for many web or email marketing dependent businesses, Mobile Marketing is already a necessity.

    While WordPress many receive more competition, but they haven’t even fully hit their stride yet – I see more and more non-blog, purely business websites built on WordPress platform everyday. I can’t say the same for Tumblr, and I doubt that will change much in the next year.

    Google+ is not going to take off like Twitter and Facebook – it will to remain limited to a specific audience.

    Social Media Marketing is EVERYWHERE! And people who barely touched a computer even as recently as five years ago are all over Facebook and Twitter – BOOM!

    Isn’t Social Media already JAN? It may be a more akin to E! or Comedy Central (at this point in time) than NBC, CBS or ABC, but does that even matter anymore?

    Klout is stupid. Presenters at the November LA Blog World Expo were openly mocking Klout, i.e. it’s already played out!


    Here’s a shout out to Monroe – I’m an Ann Arbor native!

  5. Ricardo Bueno

    I haven’t check how much traffic I’m getting from mobile devices, but nice reminder to do so. We’re running on the same theme and I”m totally lovin’ that it’s optimized for mobile!

  6. PushingSocial

    @AprilLynneScott Hey there April.

    Google+ isn’t stumbling (as much) on the privacy side but it doesn’t have a prayer of stealing 200 million+ users from Facebook. Think about it, ask 10 everyday (non-social media) people who use Facebook would they shift to Google+ to attract their friends there. I doubt you would get 2 who would agree. Google has some smart people but they have to create a better value proposition for the masses not just a 50 million early-adopters, experimenters, and SOCMED faithful.

    As for Social Media as a channel. I share your hope, just not your optimism. Oh well… This is one that I hope is dead wrong…

  7. AprilLynneScott

    I agree with a lot of this, but I don’t think Google+ will disappoint. As Facebook and other platforms continue to misstep I think Google will grow during 2012 and figure out what it takes to move their platform forward. i also disagree that social media will become another just another channel. There are too many organizations who still have not embraced social media for it to become just another channel. I think – I hope – “community managers” and more importantly those strategist, directors and VPs (C-levels) ultimately responsible for social are smarter than that and will figure out the value of cross-channel campaigns and integration to keep social media moving forward through 2012 into 2013 where perhaps you’re right and they will link those relationships with a profit… if they don’t stumble upon it sooner. A nice read in any case…

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