Looking Forward to 2010

Welcome to 2010 and our first blog post of the new year. I hope you had a great festive season and that you are raring to go in 2010.

2010 Predictions

I thought this would be a good opportunity to review our social media predictions for 2009 (to see how on the ball I was) and to make some new ones for 2010. (Clips in red are from last year’s predictions).

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Social Media

2009 was the year when social media really took off, Oprah helped take Twitter to the masses and everyone and their dog started using social media tools. However, there is some disillusionment now as folks realize, after spinning their wheels for a while that, to be effective using social media, you have to have a strategy. 2010 will be the year that social media becomes an integral part of organisations’ marketing and business development strategies and not simply a stand alone tool.

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According to Compete.com visitor counts to both Twitter and Friendfeed peaked in late summer (Friendfeed seing a rather drastic decline after announcing their acquisition by Facebook in August interestingly enough). I hope that 2010 brings added functionality to Twitter (that top layer I have been dreaming about that puts all that great content to better use and makes it more accessible). Brightkite never really reached the heights I predicted but competitor Foursquare did (arriving in Vancouver in the summer).

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Geo Based Networks

In 2010 geo based social networks like Foursquare will continue to grow in popularity but more importantly, these offerings will become more sophisticated allowing both business and users to benefit more from their use.

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Also on the mobile front, watch out for more digital advertising. In November I blogged about The Future Of Advertising, introducing offerings like ScanLife and Kooaba. In 2010 we will see these being put to use more and the promotions will become more interactive.Capture5

Whilst smart phone sales continued to grow in 2009, I expect that the iPhone will be less dominant as the Android really takes off in 2010. I got one last month (HTC) and LOVE it!

Apps

For 2009, I didn’t predict the growth of the smart phone app: the number of iPhone apps doubled in the first six months of the year. With Android’s growth and open nature, this phenomenon will continue in 2010 and beyond. So start thinking about using apps that can help you in business, or developing apps that can help you reach your audience.

Newsletter Renaissance

In 2010 I predict we will see a newsletter renaissance as marketers realize that: a) email is still one of the best ways to reach their audience (you have their permission after all) and b) blogs don’t replace e-newsletters and are often aimed at completely different audiences. I also think that we will continue to see blogs being used in ways other than for posting articles i.e. blog outreach, blog comments and community building.

Be More Social and Less “Me” Centric

Which leads me to one wish I have for 2010 with regard to social media. So many companies and entrepreneurs are still using social media to push out information that is completely me centric ( i.e. links to their own websites and not others). Wake up and smell the roses peeps! This is not the 20th century when pushing out information was all you could do. It is time for you to realise that the key to social media is in the name itself – being social.

In 2010 please interact with others more, build networks and relationships, reach out to new peeps, but most important of all, rather than taking a me centric view, change your focus to hone in on those you want to do business with: interact with these people, find ways to connect, to answer their questions and add value. Then you will see the true benefit of using social media as part of your marketing or business development strategy.

Here’s to growth, prosperity and being social in 2010. All the very best.

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