Social Media Predictions For 2012

By Carrie Kerpen  

It's that time again-- the time when every social media marketer makes their "predictions" for the upcoming year. Here's Likeable's take on what's next!

1. Mobile optimization becomes a "permission to play". Data will continue to emerge that shows how sites that are optimized for mobile will convert more customers. As we consolidate devices (our phones are more than just cameras-- they're credit cards,blogging platforms, and more!), the reconfiguring of your site to be mobile-friendly will no longer be an option. It's a necessity.

2. QR codes will continue to be the most "misused" hot item in 2012. Marketers will slap a QR code on everything and anything, and wonder why it's not working. A few standout campaigns that fully integrate QR codes well will have outstanding results. The remaining marketers will be left scratching their heads.

3. Facebook Credits will finally matter, and be introduced as a true method of payment. As Facebook Credits become more widely used, so will the concept of purchasing through Facebook-- look for a rise in F-Commerce in 2012.

4. Location-based marketing continues deeper integration with merchant service companies (think Amex's Like Link Love) to make "deals" via checkins much more scaleable. No more explaining foursquare to the confused clerk at the counter-- users will simply have a credit added to their card statements.

5. Retailers finally get it. Retailers begin to add and integrate social into the in-store shopping experience, reminding users to leave reviews, check in, and share their experiences. Look for more tablets at retail locations as retailers begin to take social much more seriously at the store level in 2012.

6. Google+ takes a totally opposite approach from Facebook, in that in 2012 they worry way less about users, and focus more on working with brands. Once they convince brands of the search weighting of Google+, brands will flock, and from search alone, Google+ becomes an immediate customer service and conversion vehicle, despite the fact that users will NOT use this network socially.

7. Likes alone won't be enough to satisfy companies. As social media matures, so does the need for sales results. There's no more "let's just see what happens with this thing". In order to track sales results, brands need data, and Facebook insights will need to get more sophisticated in terms of conversion. They won't do that in 2012 for fear of lack of results. And so, brands will utilize Facebook to drive to more data focused sites-- either through Facebook Connect, applications, or microsites.

What are YOUR social media predictions? Do you agree or disagree with our predictions? Let us know in the comments below!