4 social media trends worth tracking
Networks of friends and people of interest are the center of the increasingly personalized Web era. When formulating and revising social media strategy, publishers should ask themselves: How can I personalize the experiences of my audience so as to reinvent the category I serve? Further, what trends are on the horizon?
Here are four social media trends to keep an eye on:
The personal Web
The Web is trending towards a more and more personalized experience. One could argue that the rise of social media platforms is in fact the biggest change in the digital landscape in the last half decade.
Jorge Espinel, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development in News Corp's Digital Media Group, traces the next phase of the evolution of the social Web, coming up with his interesting theory of the "personal Web."
"This perspective envisions a world where one receives information on deals from only merchants that one is interested in, news only on subjects that are of interest to that person, updates on only the hotels that one prefers, reports on only the companies that one is interested in, updates on only the home services that one is interested in," Espinel writes in SpectatorByte. "The vision also entails users accessing these 'personalized' feeds via both optimized applications and multi-purpose data readers (e.g., FB app, reader apps, etc.). The myriad of applications such as Flipboard, Pulse, Tweetdeck suggest consumers are likely to have multiple ways to access their 'personalized' feeds."
What does this mean for your organization? Ask yourself first and foremost: Is your publishing platform flexible enough to take advantage of this growing personalization of the web?
Social shopping has had a very strong April, and it looks as if it will be a major trend for the rest of the year. This week Russia's KupiVIP, which has over 7 million members, raised $55 million in funding. Also, Seattle-based Lockerz, aimed at consumers in their teens and 20s, scored $30 million.
Every day it seems as if social couponing site Groupon, which turned down a $6 billion takeover bid from Google, gives rise to another clone site worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
This week Russia's KupiVIP, which has over 7 million members, raised $55 million in funding. Also, Seattle-based Lockerz, aimed at sonsumers in their teens and 20s, scored $30 million. And this week Russia's KupiVIP, which has over 7 million members, raised $55 million in funding. Also, Seattle-based Lockerz, aimed at sonsumers in their teens and 20s, scored $30Hyperlocal publishers, in particular, should stay on top of the development of localized daily deal sites.
Mobile phones are also changing the way that people shop. A new study titled "Mobile Social Shoppers" by social media intelligence firm ListenLogic found that nearly a quarter of shopping conversations are posted online from people in the store. The study analyzed 16,500 public online and social consumer conversations across the restaurant and retail industries posted during the first quarter of 2011.
Engagement vs. digital ADHD
Publishers are involved in an epic struggle against what can only be construed as a digital attention deficit disorder among readers in the digital age. "In print, news publishers used to engage lots of reader attention, gaining four hours or more per month of attention (reading time) of 40%-plus of the households in their markets," notes Ken Doctor, channeling one of Seth Godin's Six Lessons for News Publishers, in Newsconomics. "Online, most news sites have gotten 10-15 minutes per month of reader engagement, reader attention."
Do you have your audience's attention? And if you do, then what are you doing to keep it?
Social gaming, in its purest form, involves adding game mechanics -- scoring points, prizes, rewards, leaderboards, etc -- to socially collaborative platforms. Have you thought of incorporating some form of social gaming mechanics -- appropriate to your resources -- into your platform?
In 2010, 24% of Internet users played social games like Farmville and World of Warcraft once a month. In 2012, according to eMarketer, there will be 68.7 million social gamers in the U.S., or a 29.5% growth rate from 2010. That's, as they say, only the beginning. Internationally -- in Asia, in particular -- social gaming is big business and growing.
Now Gartner says that by 2015 more than half of organizations managing innovation processes will gamify. Also by that year Parks Associates forecasts that through ad revenues and the sales of virtual goods the social gaming could be a $5 billion industry.
What could this potentially mean to publishers with the resources and the daring? Think of it: a 21st century immersive, time-killing alternative to legacy media's crossword puzzles and Soduku.