As we welcome in the New Year, we also usher out the old and get ready for a whole new bag of social excitement. Like every year, as we make the change on our calendars, we naturally phase out certain things we did from the year before and adopt new habits, tools, and information. Similar to how we phased out acid washed jeans and big jewelry, in favor of stone washed jeans and even bigger jewelry. The social media marketing trends this year will set the precedence for the way we do business and how we communicate in our modern digital society. So get your New Year’s horns and glasses out one more time as we explore the trends that we can expect to see this year.

Here are some of the top predicted social media trends of 2012:

1. Facebook expands out instead of up. Zuckerberg uses things like games and interactive elements to encourage current users to us it longer and for more diverse reasons. The over 800 million users means that most people that could have facebook, do already, and expansion isn’t capturing new users anymore, it means keeping the current ones entertained.
2. Google+ becomes a minus. It is widely predicted that Google+ will fail to gain the popularity that Google had hoped for, but it won’t be dropped. Google+ will continue to help integrate Google+ into mainstream through other means, like combining regular search engine results with those from Google+.

3. Twitter shines. With its easy and effective user interface, and business friendly new features, Twitter becomes a staple for Americans seeking news, information, and just about anything else you could need to know. Trending topics become the summarized version of the 6:00 news.

4. Presidential Campaigns=Tweet your Vote! The upcoming Presidential Elections in 2012 will be hugely impacted by social media, and the effect they have will shape the future of social media and how it is used in politics. For the good? Most likely…but only time can tell.

5. The smartphone is king. This has been the trend now for some time, but it has been set in stone with the rise in popularity of tablets and the swift domination of Apple and Google on the smartphone market this past year; which now make up a staggering 75% of the smartphone market share.

Social Media has businesses at consumers’ mercy, constantly causing them to become better, more competitive, and more innovative to increase the customer service experience. This will grow apps and social platforms that are based on getting better deals, customer reviews and recommendations, and online shopping to heighten that experience. This causes businesses to rely on that customer loyalty from the relationships that they nurture through their social presence. Business and individuals alike need to prepare to move swiftly into the mobile friendly future or get left in 2011.

Agree? If you have predictions of your own, questions or comments, please let me know in the comments below. For more from me, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and connect with me over LinkedIn. Have a great New Year!


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