Social media has continued to become an integral part of a company’s online marketing strategy and 2013 will continue to see social media marketing become a major component that businesses will use to get their messages across and drive more visitors to their business. As search engine optimisation continues to be affected by continued algorithm changes, businesses can no longer rely just on search engines as their major source of traffic. It is true to say many companies have become too dependent on Google for traffic. Algorithm updates that took place during 2012 such as the penguin update saw things change overnight and suddenly a company’s rankings had disappeared along with their traffic. Relying just on search engine traffic will never be a sustainable strategy for any business looking to succeed online.
Businesses can no longer ignore the importance of social Media as platform for reaching and engaging with their audiences. In fact social media should be a primary part of any online marketing strategy.
For 2012, 73% of the top 500 fortune companies were using Twitter to engage with their audiences. Large corporations now see social media as a major tool for increasing sales. The big buzz word for 2013 will be return on engagement or ROE as corporations see social media continue to deliver measurable ROI. Social media continues to move so fast as does user behaviour. Recent statistics provided at the engage 2012 conference held at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City stated that an average user was now a fan of 40 facebook pages compared to 5 in 2010. Let’s look at some of the key social media statistics for 2012.
Social Media Statistics for 2012
- 54% of the UK population are members of facebook
- The average face book user has 130 friends
- Twitter would be the 12th largest country in the world based on it users
- There are 750 tweets every second on twitter
- The average user spends 15 minutes a day on you tube
- Pinterest drives more referral traffic than you tube, Google and LinkedIn combined
- The Google + 1 button is used 5 billion times a day
Predicted Social Media Trends for 2013
1) Social media will see rapid growth as a serious business productivity tool.
Many professionals including healthcare specialists and doctors are using social media platforms for online posting and sharing of information as part of their daily routines. Rather than traditional communication techniques such as faxes, professionals can now communicate in real time on all social media platforms through channels such as Ipads and Iphones. Social media improves the speed and efficiency with which businesses and professionals can communicate with each other. Social-media technologies are now major platforms for mainstream online relationship-building with customers, suppliers, prospects, work colleagues, companies and other associates. We are constantly engaging in all kinds of social-networking activities in our private lives. Companies now see how social media can be major tool for engaging and communicating within the workplace. Social media will play an even bigger and more far-reaching role for businesses in 2013 than ever before.
2) Content marketing will be more important than ever for social media
Businesses now realize more than ever that creating fresh and relevant content is the key to helping them engage and connect with their audience. Big brands continue to highlight the success of engagement when aligning the creation of optimal content with their social media strategies. Some of the most viral videos of 2012 were from big brands. See 10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2012.
3) Video marketing will continue to grow in 2013
More people have Iphones or tablets than ever before. Developer revenues from Apple’s app store recently passed $6.5 billion, with more than 35 billion downloads of 700,000 available apps. This means the number of videos being posted to the Internet will continue to increase rapidly. Big brands continue to leverage video channels such as you tube to get messages across with reach and impact being viral. Such is the ease of now taking high-quality video via your phone, or tablet and posting it across all the available social media channels, the impact of a well crafted video can be viral and allow you to stand out amongst the crowd.
4) Visual content will drive social media campaigns for 2013
Econsultancy recently published the 10 greatest social media campaigns for 2012. There is no doubt that content that has a visual impact can be a major success. The use of video marketing and powerful images can be major components of a viral social media campaign. Content marketing continues to be visual as it captures and engages with audiences. Content that is visual can be seen rather than read and definitely creates a better impact. Visual content directly taps into our human emotions and feelings which create a better impact that is much better than words. We can be saddened, inspired, shocked, angered and educated by visual content. Such is the power of visual content and when shared through social media channels, the impact can be viral.
5) Businesses will need to follow social media compliance
As social media platforms are transparent and your every tweet or comment is a potential lawsuit, businesses will realise the need to become completely compliant with their communication through social media platforms. The increase of business-grade social media management systems that feature built-in archiving will allow companies and corporations to archive there social media communications for compliance purposes. Major industry sectors need to see its communications regulated and compliant, from food, healthcare, pharmaceuticals to the government.
6) New social media channels will grow in stature
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ continue to be major platforms for businesses and corporations. This last year has seen new platforms grow in stature as visual content sharing explodes. Instagram has seen its share of social media traffic grow by 17,319 percent. Pinterest is now the 3rd fastest growing social media platform with its share up by 5,124 percent. Next year could is likely to see new brands emerge as major players as they leverage their sales through these new and growing social media channels. The continued growth of these social media channels with a lower technical barrier could see new leaders in the social media empire.
7) International social networking will see dramatic growth in 2013
Next year will see projections for new users in Asia-Pacific grow by 21.1% including China, India and Indonesia). The Middle East and Africa is projected to grow by 23.3 percent and Latin America by 12.6 percent.
Face book Growth for new users
Last 2 weeks (2nd – 16th December 2012)
- Indonesia up by 6 658 900 users
- Brazil up by 5 269 520 users
- Japan up by 1 959 440 users
The expanding social media eco system is growing at an unbelievable rate and Brands and companies leveraging social media in 2013 will have to monitor and engage in a growing array of social networks.
8) Mobile user growth to continue
Mobile Internet users are predicted to supersede wired computer use by 2015. More businesses will integrate mobile technologies into their web presence as the use of mobile technology soars. Communication via major social media channels continues to take place on mobile technology such as phones and Ipads. Businesses can not afford to miss out on communicating with their customers whilst they are on the go.
How do businesses feel about social media?
The Harvard Business Review surveyed 2,100 companies and their results revealed 79 percent use or plan to use social media. Only 12 percent of those firms felt they were using social media effectively.
2013 will see social media become the lynchpin of company online marketing strategies with new analytical tools being introduced to measure return on engagement and businesses and organisations make the use of social media practices institutional.