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In Part 1 of our Social Media Trends post, we talked about some things happening with social media in 2013. In this post, we will expand on that and talk about a few more broad trends that are taking place.

Tracking Success

Social engagement metricsIn HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing report for 2013, it was highlighted again and again how marketers this year are working to figure out an ROI for their efforts. I see this happening a lot with social media, as well. As more businesses want to get involved because of all the hype surrounding social media, many are asking, “how will this help my business?” They often want that answered using empirical data and not fuzzy logic.

As a result, agencies and in-house marketers are focusing on the analytics provided by social platforms as well as third-party tools for measuring how their content is impacting the bottom line of their clients or their companies. HubSpot’s tracking platform is one such tool that allows you to track social interactions right back to the moment someone made a purchase. Tools like Viral Content Buzz help marketers spread and track the success of their content across the web.

Being More Active

According to a survey done by Social Media Examiner, 67% of marketers plan to increase their Twitter activities this year. This isn’t just limited to Twitter. Business owners, marketers, individuals and any other person or entity leveraging social media realizes that just having an account and posting content is not enough to be successful and grow a network. You have to be present.

This reminds me of being in school when there would be someone in class sleeping and the teacher would mark that person absent. When the person protested saying that they were in the room, the teacher would say, “your body is here, but your mind is absent.” The same principle applies on social media. Newcomers and even some veterans to the technology of social media realize that they need to have an active participation or it is just a waste of time and resources.

Getting Serious About an Online Brand

Building an Online BrandI still see it happening today, but it occurred more so a few years back: businesses leaving their social-media presence to inexperienced people. It happens less often today because businesses are starting to realize the power that social media has, as well as seeing the missteps of other companies in relation to an online presence. Job listings for these sorts of jobs are starting to require college degrees in Public Relations or Journalism. If a business can’t get that, they are looking for people with years of experience and a portfolio to prove it.

It’s probably safe to say that in the near future, interaction on these networks will become prolific enough that a business wouldn’t dare leave ownership of it in the hands of an intern or someone who has no idea what they are doing. We might even see entire degree programs reshaped to accommodate teaching people how to build a brand on these networks.

Mob Mentality

CrowdThere is nothing new about people receiving their news on social media. I first learned of the Boston Bombing via Twitter, and frequently see news stories repeated on my local evening channels that I’ve already read about on Facebook earlier in the day.

Along with this is a disturbing trend where people are being social media vigilantes or creating a mob mentality via social networks. A prime example is all the misinformation floating around after the bombing that happened in Boston. The combination of a world full of smartphones with high-quality cameras and the ability to disseminate content to thousands or even millions of people with the click of a button has made it easy for misinformation to spread like wildfire.

As it relates to business, it can be very damaging if and when there are inaccurate perceptions about a brand being perpetuated on social media. Half-truths or untruths can become real stories in no time at all, and there doesn’t really seem to be a mechanism in place to stop things like this from happening other than our own rationale, thoughts and common sense.

What trends do you see in social media for the rest of 2013? How will you be taking advantage of them for your business or your clients? Join in the conversation by commenting below.

About Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher has written 384 post in this blog.


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