Before I get into what I think will be worth watching this year, let’s see how well I fared with the results from the predictions I made for 2009. Those included:
Okay, so where does that leave us for 2010? What new trends or changes from last year can we expect?
There’s Power in (Smaller) Numbers
All Social Media is Local
This next trend is one that is relative to the above. The former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously said “All politics is local,” meaning that ultimately, people care most about what’s going on in communities around them. Social media is no different.
When you follow the recent rise of location-based services like Foursquare or Tripit, it’s clear that people want to connect with others by location, as well as share experiences and seek recommendations by those who are well informed. And whether that means connecting in the communities in which they live or those to which they travel, people will begin to use more of these kinds of services. As an adjunct to location-based social networks, expect location-based search to blossom as well.
Related: see Matt Singley’s post on Why Foursquare is the next Social Network.
If you’re of a certain generation in America, you may recall The Adventures of Letterman, a varsity-sweater wearing superhero who rescued victims of alphabet assault-and-battery by the Spellbinder. As Letterman appeared, the voice-over noted that he was “Stronger that a silent E…”
In this case, the E is for email. Yes, email, that seemingly forgotten poor stepchild of social media, that gateway to the online space, that workhorse of digital media. Email is alive and well and living in everyone’s inbox. According to ShareThis, 46% of people share content by email – larger than any other social platform. And StrongMail’s Social Influence Benchmark Report shows nearly 37% share by email, with 21% sharing by embedded badges.
When you add to this the fact that many in the mainstream still don’t know what an RSS feed is or how to use an RSS reader (or that they simply don’t use one), it’s clear that email subscriptions still rule the roost. Not to mention that email is ubiquitous. It’s just generally accepted that everyone has an email address. Despite the hype of social media and social networks as the latest way to connect, every single platform has a common denominator: you need an email address to register.
Expect to see a renewed effort on email marketing, with a nod toward integrating with social media applications and campaigns. With a good content strategy, email is simply the vehicle best suited to share the content.
While I won’t go into as much detail in these, keep your eyes on the mobile space, on fuller integration of PR and marketing, and more focus on quality content in 2010. Overall, the space will begin to show some signs of maturation, and will begin a future trend of being integrated as a part of day-to-day business in many organizations.
Photo credit: Stefan
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