Social Media in the New Year – Key Trends to Embrace and Ignore

Social Media in the New Year - Key Trends to Embrace and IgnoreThe New Year is a time for resolutions and predictions. This is especially true when it comes to social media. As a fast-evolving area of marketing, businesses need to pay attention to social media trends to make sure they’re interacting with customers effectively.

Here are three social media trends to look out for in 2013:

1. Location, location, location

Foursquare and Facebook Places have paved the way for a more local role for social media. In 2013, we’ll see location services and geotagging integrate with other information—like maps, businesses, and images—to give meaning and context to user check-ins. Not only will users post where they are and leave comments and recommendations, eventually they will collaborate with other users in real time.

2. It’s all about the individual

Social networks and apps will make it easier than ever for people to completely customize their online experiences. From shopping to banking or travel, content will be tailored to individual users. For example, if a traveler plans a European getaway, apps like Trippy will show them their social acquaintances’ posts, pictures, and comments about their own trips to Europe. People trust the recommendations of their social connections more than traditional marketing messages.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words

Your customers are experts at capturing, editing, and sharing images through social networks. With countless apps (and surely more to come), the average citizen can suddenly be transformed into a viral photographer. Because your customers love images, it’s important to incorporate an image-centric network like Instagram or Pinterest into your overall marketing strategy this year.

What does this all mean for you? First of all, don’t feel the need to be everywhere new. Take the time to figure out which networks and apps work best for your business before rushing to create a profile. Then, plan your content so that each piece adds value to the conversations taking place on your chosen social networks, and make it shareable.

People are becoming increasingly averse to blatant marketing messages on social media. Create content that connects with prospects on a personal level and watch as your brand awareness and customer base grows.

The hardest part of social media marketing is knowing who’s ready to buy – unless you can spot the Buying Signals that identify interested customers. Learn how by joining Vocus product chief You Mon Tsang for a one-off Buying Signals webinar on Jan 24th. Don’t miss this event: Register here!