In the last year Social Media has gone from a Buzz to a Roar as niche applications like Twitter have gone mainstream. But will it burn out as fast?  Or will it continue to change as new users join the conversations, taking the applications in new directions?

Writing for the Harvard Business, David Armano has identified several trends he believes will shape social media in the coming year.  He says:

  • Social media begins to look less social – With groups, lists and niche networks becoming more popular, networks could begin to feel more “exclusive.  I love the new lists features in Twitter.   It has allowed me to bring some order to my stream, and I may even begin to add more people to follow because I can manage when and where I see their content.
  • Corporations look to scale – There are relatively few big companies that have scaled social initiatives beyond one-off marketing or communications initiatives.
  • Social business becomes serious play – Relatively new networks such as Foursquare are touted for the focus on making networked activity local and mobile.  I just started using Foursquare, and like it.  I am not sure I am taking full advantage yet.
  • Your company will have a social media policy (and it might actually be enforced) – If the company you work for doesn’t already have a social media policy in place with specific rules of engagement across multiple networks, it just might in the next year.
  • Mobile becomes a social media lifeline – With approximately 70 percent of organizations banning social networks and, simultaneously, sales of smartphones on the rise, it’s likely that employees will seek to feed their social media addictions on their mobile devices
  • Sharing no longer means e-mail – The New York Times iPhone application recently added sharing functionality which allows a user to easily broadcast an article across networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  I think this is true, but David is a little late to the party on this one.  I have been sharing actively for over a year using Google Reader.  I rely on quite a few of my friends, to screen content and share their favorites as well.

What do you think?   Has he identified the real game changers for next year?    I am sure we will see much debate about this in the months to come; and a year from now, we can look back and see if he was on target.


Event – Social Media Lunch and Learn – December 2.

Join me, Colin Clark, Michael Reynolds and Dave Anderson as we discuss these and other emerging social media trends at an informal session from 11:30 – 1 at the Fox and Hound on 82nd. The event is hosted by Pinpoint Multimedia. It is free to attend, but RSVP’s are requested.