Social media trends in business

In January 2013 I made three predictions on emerging trends in social media for business. Would Mystic Meg have done any better? Let’s find out…

1. Social media breaks out of the silo

Knowledge is the key driver that allows social to spread from within the confines of a “digital team”. Over the past year our analysis has addressed the business objectives of Brand, Insight, Marketing, Customer Experience and Communications teams and from discussions with clients it’s apparent that internal structures are evolving to include social media. Some companies have created digital optimisation teams; others welcome and encourage training from social media and digital professionals.

Today, social media has broken out of the silo. Jeremy Goldman, entrepreneur and author of Going-Social, who also anticipated this trend said; “Companies will begin to shift from thinking of “Social Media” as a department, or as a component headed by the same person who heads their E-Commerce operations. Instead, they will begin to shift social media responsibilities into multiple departments. Companies will begin to see social media as something akin to a telephone that can be used in multiple ways by multiple departments.”

2. We move from monitoring to actionable insights

With the spread of social throughout companies, I predicted that 2013 would see brands demanding actionable insights leveraging technology and research expertise. Many brands were struggling to formalise the best way to gain insights out of listening and after investing in different technology, discovered that turning data into useful information and/or insights remained elusive.

If I look at the type of work we are doing now, who it’s for and how it’s used, compared to last year it appears that as a company’s knowledge and use of social media has increased, so too has their requirement for gaining strategic insight.

3. Companies will develop a content marketing strategy

This predication was in many ways a safe bet.  I had spoken to journalists about this topic early last year, many of whom were receiving interest from marketing teams and creative agencies that wanted to hire them to create quality content. This was a sure sign that companies were beginning to take content marketing more seriously.

The Evening Standard’s Antony Hilton, who attended our recent Exchange panel debate on the hot social media trends to watch out for in 2014, recently noted in his business column ; “When it comes to social media, executives are seeking to apply some traditional rules of marketing and communications. First identify your audience; next, decide what you want to say and only once you’ve done this is it  time to work out the best way to get the message across.”

I couldn’t agree more.  So as for 2014, I’m going leave the predictions to Anthony Hilton and the panel at our Exchange event.

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Gaelle Bertrand
Head of Social Media Intelligence

Call me +44 (0)20 7264 6307