Social media has already grown by leaps and bounds. At last count, Facebook had 350 million users. Twitter has grown by more than 1,444 percent year-over-year by June 2009.
If 2009 was any indication of social media’s success, 2010 is going to bring about some new changes and the way things are done. Social media growth won’t happen by your parents joining Facebook (if they haven’t already). It will happen because the business world is starting to see the light, and companies will start flocking to it in droves.
These are our social media predictions for 2010.
- Business blogging will grow. (Oh sure, way to go out on a limb there, Nostradamus.) While this may seem obvious to some, it’s not as obvious to the corporations themselves. Blogging has become more accepted as a part of a marketer’s toolbox. But it’s not just limited to the entrepreneur or small businessperson. Corporations are starting to use blogging as a form of corporate communication. Ford Motor Company already uses a blog for their media center, the CDC uses a blog as a way to communicate public health issues to the media and general public. This is only going to grow more as time goes by.
- Social media will lose its virginity next year. More and more people will begin to make money through social media, despite the protestations and gnashing of teeth by the social media purists. We’re seeing it already, as spammers and MLMers are using Twitter to sell their ebooks, nutritional supplements, and online marketing plans. However, people like Kyle Lacy, Jason Falls, and Chris Brogan are helping companies figure out how to actually make money with social media. And as more people adopt a “meh” attitude about the whole “selling on social media” controversy, and it becomes more seamless and less interruptive, the trend will only grow.
- Social media will become more accepted in big corporations. This one will be a harder sell in the halls of large corporations, but some of the more forward-thinking corporations are going to jump on the social media bandwagon sooner rather than later. I’ve spoken with a banker who’s looking into Twitter, and there are several lawyers who are looking at the micro-blogging platform as a way to increase their name recognition in their chosen area of specialty. And when a cable giant like Comcast can find success on Twitter with @ComcastCares, you know the other corporations can’t be far behind.
- Android will eat iPhone’s lunch. We’ve been discussing this one around the office quite a bit. Rumors are swirling that the iPhone may come to Verizon in Q3 2010. This may be too little, too late, since a lot of people are buying the Android because it’s available on their favorite network. But even if people hold off buying a new iPhone until it’s available in the fall, the Android will still see their enemy crushed before them, and hear the lamentations of the women.
The same thing will happen like it did in the ’80s when the IBM PC and PC clones swamped Apple and took the high-end business market away from them. Or when Windows overpowered Apple’s Macintosh in the business world in the ’90s. Apple has the manufacturing capacity to fulfill AT&T users’ needs now, but if they offer the iPhone to Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and any of the international carriers, they’re going to have problems filling orders. On the other hand, LG, Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HTC, and Hunwai (China) are all the licensed Android manufacturers. Their combined manufacturing might is more than enough to meet the demands of the Android users.
- Mobile will become more important. David Armano of Harvard Business Publishing talked about his Six Social Media Trends for 2010, and said that mobile will become especially important as more corporations start enforcing social media policies at work. The social media break will become more prevalent, as people totter off to the bathroom with their iPhones and Droids to send a quick note to their Twitter followers or update their Facebook status. The ramifications for bloggers is that your posts should be shorter, easier to read, and your blog software should have a mobile version plugin. (Hat tip to my good friend Lorraine Ball for this one.)
- SMS will become obsolete. As users continue to buy smart phones and phones that have email, Twitter, chatting, and other communication features, the desirability to pay your cell phone carrier $.04 to send a message will become less attractive. Since Twitter is free, how long will it be before restaurants, movies, sports teams, and other entertainment venues start offering DM clubs to members? They’re already doing it with text services, so can Twitter and other micro-blogging programs be far behind?
So what do you think? What are your predictions for 2010? Leave a comment and let’s see what others are thinking.