Social Media IQ Gets Respectable, 2013 Prediction


Social Fresh 2013 Social Media Predictions: 3/10

In 2013, the main new trend I see is less about something completely new than the maturing of more familiar matters.

Specifically, the “Social Media IQ” of companies will increase, and spread both more deeply- to smaller companies- and more broadly- to more industries.

Think of this as a trickle down effect.

I see this based on the recognition, adoption, and calls for agency help that I have seen evolve over the last 6-8 years.

First, my definition of Social Media IQ: I believe that we are largely past the need to prove that social media is here to stay.

Years ago the province of hip startups and a handful of forward-thinking established companies, most organizations are now at the very least well into the “awareness” stage.

IQ here means there is a recognition of need along with a working knowledge of the popular basics. While I think a deepening sophistication will continue to set in, I’m more interested in the spread of “functional” implementations.

Deep: Industry Leaders Drive Peers 

By “spreading deeper” I mean that companies see success in the bolder and bigger organizations in their industry, and those choosing to wait and see proof will jump into line more.

This is more than “me too” copycatting, it’s more a firm statement that organizations that are not first-movers can succeed too, as it’s less about claiming social media real estate (whatever that is), and more about making sure you are reaching all your stakeholders: customers, prospects, partners, investors, et al.

Broad: Holdout Industries Fall In Line 

We have heard a lot of talk about industries that seem either ill-suited to social media or afraid to step in due to regulatory issues. I think we’ll see a lot of eroding of these shorelines.

The first group is probably typified by B2B. You can already find a lot of examples of B2B companies succeeding in social media, either because they also have a consumer component (many tech companies can claim that), their services and products exist in the social media world (think Salesforce, SAP, Oracle or Cisco), or they have simply been experimental.

2012 saw a lot more B2B companies expressing the desire to include more social media, but for various reasons may move slower. Some of these are older, more conservative companies; some simply want to be careful about where they allocate these resources. In wither case, some of that inertia will turn into actual motion, I predict, as budget cycles churn and marketing groups are freed to try more.

Social Media, As An Industry, Is Maturing

Those who have the patience to observe and serve the evolution of social media awareness, readiness and – of course – budgeting – will start to see things move more broadly.

And yes, that means we will probably be repeating some cycles of “social media 101” program education, but it also means new applications and new, measurable results.



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