6 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2013

By Ike Brooker 2012 has been a big year for social media but there is still more to come. As the year comes to end, we begin to think about what the future holds for our industry. Luckily marketers aren't kept too much in the dark and we can deduce what trends will likely grow in 2013. Here are 6 social media trends we predict to hit it big in 2013:

Mobile comes to the forefront for Social In 2012, 54% of Facebook members have used the network via their mobile device. An astounding 33% of Facebook's members only use their mobile device to access the network. This is even more shocking considering what a mediocre experience the Facebook Mobile App is. Facebook Is now making a huge push into the mobile space and improved the mobile app in 2013. Arguably, Facebook is at the back of the pack in terms of their mobile innovation. So if the network that is near the rear of mobile has 33% of it's members accessing only on their mobile device, you can only imagine what the stats for the innovators look like.

Enterprise business finally begins to "get" social Of course enterprise isn't using social to make friends; GE isn't checking on the relationships status of Exxon Mobil. Enterprise and B2B are using social to gauge customer sentiment. They are also using it to see what their customers want and are requesting on social media channels. A little data mining can return surprising results across the board and help inform businesses next steps. Think of it like one of the largest focus groups ever created.

Myspace and Google+ get their last shot The old behemoth and the King of Search's foray into Social in 2013: will they still be around in 2013, or will 2013 be more of a wake. Without a large sea change in sentiment, a tough break doesn't seem probable. Will Myspace be able to take on the likes of Soundcloud and Rdio? Seems unlikely, even with star power behind it. There has been a fundamental shift in how we interact with our music and it will be tough for Myspace to break back into this space. As for G+, it has always been the little engine that could, but the phased launch and initial version killed the momentum before it really began. I'd like to be wrong, because i really like G+, but it seems like a Chinese Ghost City. It is gorgeous but there is no one living there.

Hyper local social on mobile The trend of hyper local driving real sales for small business continues. As it moves even further from it's browser based roots to the mobile device, users become customers much faster. Yelp and their ilk continue. Apple has joined the fray with their Apple Store App to drive in-store purchases. Foursquare has gotten in on hyper local as well, rolling out exploration suggestions. This should prove to be a powerful force, as more people become comfortable with having push notifications sent to their mobile devices about their interests.

Branded entertainment replaces advertising Disruptive advertising will continue to fade into the background. Much like the DVR for your TV, most digital advertising is being blocked either by choice or by visual clutter. Ads that break into the natural flow of page content tend to drive users away and leave them with a poor brand perception. Oddly advertising has come full circle, and it seems that we are looking at branded entertainment and sponsored content replacing disruption.

Gamification drives customer engagement There are gameified applications for saving energy, for chores around the house, and for payment. Wait, paying for goods is now a game? With an app like LevelUp, it becomes one. It also becomes a method to discover new businesses around you and unlock rewards and discounts at businesses. Rewarding loyalty to the business and the app plus exploration, we should be seeing a lot more of these type of apps for all types of businesses. Things will get even more targeted as larger businesses begin to transfer their loyalty programs to programs such as these.

Do you agree with these trends? What trends do you think will dominate in 2013?