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Published on February 28th, 2013 | by John I.

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Social media predictions and trends for 2013

Mobile internet users are more likely to surpass wired users by 2015 since their numbers are growing at an explosive rate. With social media users leading the shift, this can only spell a great future on the go-easy social media platforms that have a great visual platform such as Instagram. On their defense, the popular traditional networks will have to differentiate their desktop and mobile experiences by integrating faster load times, taking full advantage of GPS, ambient functionality performance and even near field communication.

Social Advertising

You should also expect to see an increase in social advertising with new ad models infiltrating social networks. This is because it is rather difficult to fit the most commonly used banner and interruption ads on tiny mobile screens. In their place, you will notice innovative advertising methods such as sponsored stories and promoted tweets. These ads are more likely to catch a mobile social media enthusiast’s attention since they do not look like ads at all but just like any other piece of user generated information except for small disclaimers. New concepts like convergence (interchanging ads with content) in these advertising formats are more likely to spring up in order to access a larger audience.

Overall growth in the number of users

Analysts are forecasting a total growth of social media users up to 4.1% in North America alone while Asia-pacific and Latin America will experience a 21.1% and 12.6% growth respectively. Middle East and Africa are not left out of the map since they will also experience a dramatic growth of up to 23.3%. A more mobile-oriented platform will enable traditional social media networks compete for the market share with new entrants such as WeChat that boasts of 200 million users in its two year stint and China’s Sina Weibo that currently has more than 400 million users.

On the other hand, niche networks that are mostly overlooked despite offering more focused functionalities are also expected to record massive growth internationally. Corporate brands and businesses will therefore have to adapt social media management systems in order to market themselves efficiently across multiple networks. With an eye-opening report published by McKinsey placing the untapped business value of social technologies at $1.3 trillion, you should also expect enterprises to embrace a wide range of social media tools such as wikis and real-time chats.

Huge data volume management

Just to ensure that companies with a large consumer base on social media do not miss out on important consumer sentiments, this year will bring forth new tools and software to handle large data volumes. Social media command centres capable of tracking a variety of social statistics at a go are expected to be the order of the day. They will aid companies to improve customer service, predict future sales patterns, increase productivity and streamline both internal and external communication.

Social media education

According to a recent Harvard Business review survey, out of all companies that use social media only a paltry 12% use it effectively. This means that in order for companies to experience the impact this sites possess on their business, higher learning institutions are expected to come up with related courses just to offer specialized training. While many corporates and businesses will spend the rest of the year trying to figure out ways to create formidable customer bases, this year has also been regarded as one in which companies that had taken an earlier plunge in to social media begin to reap.



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