6 Social Media Trends You Should Not Ignore in 2013

We survived the predicted but misguided myopian Mayan catastrophe, the impending fiscal cliff and fluorescent running shoes.6 Social Media Trends You Should Not Ignore in 2013

Going to the gym now is like watching an outbreak of mad highlighter pens as the fluoro epidemic becomes mainstream. Is it a trend or a fad? Only time will tell.

The world embraced the Arab spring facilitated by the transparency of a social web which was both a Facebook and Twitter energized phenomenon. The London Olympics was a raging success and Lance Armstrong’s claim on his multiple Tour de France victories was pulled from his grasp.

Apple announced its iPad mini and iPhone 5, while battling its supplier and competitor, Samsung in the courts over intellectual property rights.

The mobile social web continued to evolve and mature as a trend among many fads and is still transforming our popular culture and media consumption habits. So watch that space.

Change is ever present and accelerating and the multi-media rich world wide web keeps us in touch no matter where you are. All you need is a smartphone and an internet wireless signal.

What significant social media events happened?

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion and then went public. The question is, will Instagram survive the embrace of its owner and benefactor or will it be its demise. That question is yet to be answered but removing part of its access to Twitter and also announcing new terms of use that was a PR disaster are maybe signs that Facebook could stuff it up.

Pinterest became the darling of the social media set, especially the ladies and fashionistas. Twitter continued to grow after being welcomed into the Apple fold with its inclusion in the mobile operating system on its iPhones.

Google+ continued to grow and with 5 billion “+1” buttons being clicked on every day and with over 400 million users its success makes Google’s investment of over half a billion dollars in the social network platform look like a good decision.

LinkedIn decided its user interface needed a makeover and re-designed its website to increase its social attractiveness.

So what social media trends will we need to keep an eye on as we move through 2013 to ensure our marketing and communication is effective?

#1. Social content is the “new” king

Content has become mainstream as the foundation and cornerstone of social media marketing effort. Google has significantly changed the game by adding the social signals of the “+1” button with its Google+ platform as an important part of determining what content to serve up and how it is indexed so it appears higher in search results.

Expect to see more content marketing tools, tactics and strategies that accept the fact that social, search and content are increasingly integrated and intertwined.

Content is still king but the shiny social media toys distracted us for a while from the importance of building content rich multi-media digital assets.

SEO Content and Social

This image was originally featured in a gshift labs article by Krista LaRiviere. If you want read more about the importance of content in the SEO landscape go and check out  the article.

#2. Social at scale

Most people started to realize that despite the social networks being free to use, the resources required to play in the social media sandpit are substantial and can be expensive. Sourcing and creating content, publishing it and managing it are time consuming and require skills beyond finding interns who will work for free.

The big players are emerging such as Adobe Social, Exact Target and Salesforce.com (with its Radian 6 and Buddy Media acquisitions) realized doing social media at scale requires enterprise class platforms. They are providing the tools and platforms to this within the enterprise.

Some start-ups such as Sprinklr have highlighted what is required to do social at scale.

Best Practices for Enterprise Social Media Management by the Social Media Dream Team from Sprinklr

Expect to see this space rapidly evolve this year 

#3. 140 characters will become cooler

Twitter has captured the imagination of the younger generation and is no longer the enigma. It is indeed the new black and brands will be building focused Twitter tribes that extend and amplify their reach.

Twitter doesn’t filter its stream and as Facebook continues to censor your visible content to their “pages” fans, Twitter is starting to look more attractive.

So expect brands to add to the social media toolkit a more vibrant and focused attention on Twitter.

You cannot ignore Twitter anymore in 2013.

#4. The “social dominatrix” continues its grip

Facebook will continue to strengthen its grip as the dominating and the de facto social network of choice as it builds mobile advertising and allows integration with apps and other platforms. Instagram will evolve to provide a means to mobile advertising for Facebook.

Despite the looming Google+ juggernaut, Facebook will continue to thrive.  The platforms in one sense do not compete but complement.

You will need to get smarter at integrating Facebook commerce, build fans and grow your email list via custom tabs that offer exclusive content when liked.

So continue to keep an eye on developments with Facebook this year so that your marketing doesn’t become stale

#5. Visual as a social media weapon of mass destruction

Pinterest went from just being a fun way to share images to a serious traffic source and sales referer for online stores. Pinterest in some cases surpasses Facebook as a social media platform that creates real revenue and hard cash.

The visual social web is still rapidly evolving and is impacting web design interfaces and platforms. Sites such as Airbnb are offering Pinterest inspired platforms with compelling imagery that bypass traditional accomodation sites and also taps into the power of the social networks. Renting that spare room, bunglaow or cottage has never been easier!

Airbnb and  the visual social web

Designing your website, blog and online stores now needs to include strong, large and high definition photos and images that are easy to share.

Don’t ignore the use of images and visuals in your content creation and design.

#6. Social and Mobile

Designing and creating content for a social mobile web is becoming important as people find and consume information on tablets and smart phones. Responsive web technology that re-sizes text and images to fit any screen is becoming the norm with new websites.

As tablets are replacing magazines on your coffee table make sure that a TV inspired thought can ensure that if they visit your site that your design and content is able to be viewed on mobile and also easily shared and maybe even bought.

What About You?

Are any of these trends on your marketing event horizon? Is your current website, blog or online store able to be viewed on mobile platforms?

Have you secured your Pinterest name and account?

Are you still ignoring Twitter and hope it will go away?

What trend intrigues you and how can you tap into that in 2013 that grows your business?

Look  forward to reading your stories in the comments below.




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  • http://twitter.com/insidemyrocket Inside my Rocket

    Great post – Thanks Jeff.

    What is your take on Google+ for 2013? You seem to be a huge Twitter fan but don’t you think we should start taking Google+ very seriously.

    Especially within the IM, SEO, content marketing niche I feel that G+ is becoming a player.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the question. Google+ is important and I mentioned it both in the introduction and in the first trend as a vital part of the closer integration of content, search and social.

      Social signals are now a vital part of what Google uses to serve up relevant content as part of the evolution of its search engine and ecosystem. Google+ provides the social signals that alert its search algorithms to what humans want and not just machines.

      The diagram in that section is all about Google and Google+ as integrated platforms.
      So the short answer is “yes” create a Google+ page for your business and brand.

      • http://malharbarai.com/ Malhar Barai

        Also, how about getting involved in Communities?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessicathomaslewis Jessica Thomas Lewis

    I have been ignoring twitter and hoping it will go away. I completely “get” facebook, but twitter is maddening for me. Concerning pinterest, I have a personal account and one board dedicated to my biz… what do you think about that? Should I create a separate account? And I’ve just added a pinterest tab on the biz page, with it directing to that specific board. Is that enough, or should I make it more personal by opening all of my boards? If it makes a difference, my questions are for a community website with no product to sell.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Open it up to all the world. No time to be precious! :)

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Peter Kelly

    This really is a great post – thank you very much for writing it Jeff. I have to agree with all of these predictions and social media trends for 2013. I really liked the point where you said: “Despite the looming Google+ juggernaut, Facebook will continue to thrive. The platforms in one sense do not compete but complement.” This is so much true. People are always talking about Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn as of competing social network when in reality, they are complementing each other, because each and every one of them is different and has something special to offer it’s users.

    Just a quick note in the #5 in the last sentence before the image you have there” bunglaow” instead of bungalow. You may want to correct it.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Peter for your very positive comment! Bungalow is due for a quick rebuild :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/standbymind Amandeep Singh

    Great article Jeff.
    What do you think about Google+ providing better support and platform for Developers to create applications?

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      I think this is also part of the difference between Facebook and Google+ and it will be interesting to see how this evolves over the 1-2 years

  • http://twitter.com/TrendSetting Audrey Rochas

    Great article! Probably one big trend will be the growth and ultra-specialization of social media managing tools such as Hootsuite. Handling numerous accounts is effectively time-demanding and the simpler it gets to update all accounts at once, the better.

  • http://twitter.com/gemma_duran Gemma Duran

    Nothing new….

  • http://twitter.com/brandpendulum Hugo Amorim

    Just throwing it out there, not sure if there’s any validity into it but;

    Facebook wants to be more like google, in the sense that would they benefit if people searched based on their social sphere. Reference based advertising has alot of impact.

    Oppose to google who wants to be more like facebook, Integrate social into searching by ranking them higher on the search.

    Is this a valid assumption?

  • Rachael Moss

    Interesting. Haven’t used Pinterest yet in a professional/ corporate capacity. Do you know of any good boards used for employer branding?

  • http://twitter.com/JeffxNelson Jeff Nelson

    Accommodation has 2 m’s

  • http://twitter.com/JenMcGahan Jen McGahan

    One of the first things I’m going to do in 2013 is get an app for my business! Second, lean into Google+ and video.

  • Nicolas Scheidtweiler

    Pinterest, Pinterest… I can’t see the advantage yet. I use it, but there is noc clear way. Probably I’m wrong. Let’s see what happens.

  • Nicolas Scheidtweiler

    Pinterest, Pinterest… I can’t see the advantage yet. I use it, but there is noc clear way. Probably I’m wrong. Let’s see what happens.

  • deandeguara

    Use Google+ more effectively, mobile app…

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancyadkins67 Nancy Danielson Adkins

    Great post. My favorite is #5. Glad I found your blog. Later I will need to read more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancyadkins67 Nancy Danielson Adkins

    Great post. My favorite is #5. Glad I found your blog. Later I will need to read more.

  • disqus_G8ubwmZEOK

    social networking sites are using advanced technologies to spread the information by likes and share

  • Courtney G.

    Don’t forget social media going global. It’s easier than ever these days to interact and engage with friends and customers on social networks in other countries. This is likely to grow. Just one aspect of it is customer service on a global-social scale. Here is a good article on that: http://www.sajan.com/blog/monitoring-customer-service-quality-through-global-social-media/

  • Teresa Rommel

    A valuable resource needed for social networking is time. How are the current social networking platforms making a user’s time have value? I don’t think they are, but a new social networking platform is, ChatChing and can be found at http://www.chatching.com.