Amber Mac has rounded up three of the biggest trends in social media for 2013 in an article she wrote for Fast Company, which you can see here. Take a look at the gist of it below; we think she’s right on the money.
1. Google+ Is a Must (So Stop Fighting It). A recent Wall Street Journal post says it all, “There’s No Avoiding Google+.” Whether you like it or not, the search engine giant is making it difficult for you to keep ignoring its growing social network. Why does this tool make sense for your brand? For starters, Google+ integration now extends to many Google properties, such as YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, and Search. While it might be difficult to fit Google+ into your daily routine, it’s a good idea to start doing so in 2013.
“There are three reasons to get on Google+,” Guy Kawasaki explained to Mac. (Stay tuned for the Guy Kawasaki interview I did with him last year at eTail…) “First, your activity on Google+ increases the likelihood of people finding your business via search. Second, Hangouts on Air is an excellent way to economically reach large audiences via video. Third, the recent addition of Communities enables you to easily organize groups of people based on shared passions.”
2. You Need to Do Your Privacy Homework. Personal data is an irresistible way to attract advertisers. Whether it’s Instagram toying with the legal ownership of your images or Foursquare forcing you to display your full name, it’s getting harder to manage your own online privacy without doing your homework. There are two takeaways here. If you’re an end user, there are tools out there to check up on your privacy settings on a regular basis. For business, privacy blunders are not tolerated well online, (e.g., one area where companies tend to falter is when they’re launching apps and dip into address books and other places where they shouldn’t be). There is no better way to get in hot water in the digital space than to lose the trust of your audience.
3. Near Round-the-Clock Monitoring is a Reality. It’s becoming increasingly important to know what your community is saying during most hours of the day. For years now there have been examples of big brands ducking out of the digital world for days at a time, which is often detrimental to their reputation when a customer’s complaint goes viral. Most recently, a number of retail businesses promoted flash sales during Hurricane Sandy. If any one of these businesses were closely watching conversations in the digital space, they would have quickly pulled these specials, recognizing that their potential customers were deeply offended at such questionable timing, and sharing their disappointment with the online world.