Everyone is putting their predictions out. Mine are always partially based on my work as well as the trends.
1. Companies will expect ROI from their Social Media efforts.
Social Media will shift from being experimental to mainstream. Larger organizations can’t justify embracing it without having it meeting their business objectives. It has to increase their bottom line. I have been working on an ROI series and that will kick off in January. It is possible to establish metrics around your efforts and measure progress! Can you afford not to? How will you grow your program and justify the resources if you’re not showing the progress & return? Olivier Blanchard has a great slide deck on Social Media ROI!
2. The Social Media Specialist (Community Manager) position will become mainstream.
Companies are going to quickly find that they need someone to guide their efforts externally and internally. Social efforts should be extended across the board.Jeremiah Owyang had a great post on how companies should plan a holistic approach and use social beyond marketing. My series will address that and it’s the foundation for my work at Alterian. My list of Responsibilities and Goals for a Community Manager continues to be my most read post.
3. Cultural shift inside of companies.
This is going to be a challenge for many companies. In order to be successful in connecting with customers, organizations are going to have to have communications channels in place and the openness to utilize the information. I shared a diagram of how a community manager can increase sales & the many departments affected. Management is going to need to have a level of trust for their employees interacting online and understand that the risk can be mitigated by education & training.
4. Social Media Monitoring will be a necessary component
My colleague, John Tonini, made the prediction earlier this year that the market would shift from brands wondering if they should be monitoring social media to ‘What tool should we be using?’. 2010 will see a huge shift in the adoption rate of social media monitoring. January of 2009 kicked off a wave and I foresee that growth in the industry continuing. The tools are going to evolve quickly too. Our customers are driving that process.
5. Agencies and companies will hire data analysts
A new position is emerging. My favorite title is Social Media Metrician. Social Media monitoring tools don’t drive themselves. They need more than a human touch. They require people who enjoy digging into the analytics aspect, looking for patterns and trends. Web analytics people will be able to expand on their roles. Brands and agencies are going to need this new specialized position to drive their marketing intelligence. Marshall Sponder lists many predictions in regard to the role of the data analyst in 2010.
6. Integration of platforms and processes will be critical.
My job as Community Strategist at Alterian has me cognizant that marketing is going to be radically changing. My CEO listed our top 10 predictions at Alterian. One of them is:
There is a proliferation of things to monitor, measure and manage, making it very difficult and time consuming for marketers to pull together the overall picture for integrated campaigns. There will therefore be a move towards single integrated software platforms so that campaign planning and management are integrated with web and email.
Forrester is also looking towards the integration of platfroms too.
7. I will be meeting more of YOU in the new year!
The first six were very serious so I needed to lighten this up! The amount I traveled in the second half of 2009 made me quite aware that I no longer work with a startup! One of the exciting things about 2010 is that my calendar has me on the move! I love the TripIt feature in LinkedIn. It reminds me of who in my network live near my destination. And even more amazing, it shows the trips that coincide. I came close to meeting a friend from Spain when we were both in NYC! So if you use TripIt connect with me and I look forward to meeting you next year!
What would you add to my list?