Kansas City Social Media Marketing Company Shares Top Five Predictions for 2013 Including Pinterest, Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Google+

By: Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech

These are my top five social media marketing predictions for 2013. This list may not encompass the trends in the next months ahead, but it’s a fairly adequate outline of what the future looks like.

1) Pinterest continues to monetize social media. However, without an open API platform, it’s a little too soon to see its full potential.  Overall, I don’t see any reason why all brands across all industries wouldn’t take advantage of this monetization platform. While social media isn’t just about sales, Pinterest offers brands real value via their pinners by building content that they love, feel inspired by and may feel inclined to purchase. It could be the next best e-commerce platform in the social media marketplace.  It’s already one of the top social networks for referring website traffic.  I would highly recommend it to all brands.

2) Foursquare will continue to offer monetization opportunities for brands via the check in feature. Foursquare’s recent modifications to allow franchise pages to have one brand a page is a nice addition to tracking data analysis, engagement and ROI. If Foursquare can monetize differently, other than rewards via their check in system, allowing for a more integrated social media campaign which effects all other social networks, it would open up the doors for a more targeted location based campaign. This would trigger insights in geographical markets where consumers engage more heavily via Foursquare. This would also allow the brand to have more confidence in a social media presence with a heavier emphasis on Foursquare where insights prove substantial engagement throughout a local zip code. While Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook synchronize, there is still room for improvement to determine a way in which the location-based model integrates more heavily with Twitter including viral tweets in targeted areas where Foursquare is performing very well for a brand.  However, this could improve campaign functionality, engagement, monetization and ROI. Foursquare continues to be one of the best location-based tracking platforms in the social media industry for brands.

3) While Facebook continues to be the top social network for businesses, large and small, there are some challenges ahead for this platform. The first issue is that Facebook is trying to be all things to all people and brands, diluting its social network impact across engagement. This is attributed to the fact that the edge rank scoring model has been changed substantially, affecting a brand’s ability to engage with its fans. Even though brands have the option to engage more readily via the promoted posts, sponsored stories and ads, this is still a paid investment versus the natural model of displaying a brand post to those who have liked the page. Lately, we have noticed a distinct decline in the viral nature of organic posts without utilizing one of Facebook’s paid models across all pages, all industries and sizes from publicly traded to small businesses. If Facebook continues to push brands into the paid model to increase its edge rank score, then this is not a pure social channel. Facebook continues to impress my colleagues and myself, and we know that Facebook will evolve over time to improve its algorithm for brands to purely reach, engage and monetize with its user base. Social networks ads are one of the greatest opportunities to reach a new targeted influential and action-oriented audience. We utilize Facebook ads across all clients, industries and brands, both large and small. There is still great value in tapping into Facebook’s resources. We just hope that Facebook continues to recognize the importance of collaborating with its businesses.

4) Twitter will continue to improve its customer service support while maximizing its reach across industries and large and small brands. We see the best value coming from the customer service elements in which it is very easy to track and measure performance on Twitter while engaging with customers. Complaints on Twitter about brands continue to be the best opportunity for businesses to improve its customer relationship with its audience. While Twitter still doesn’t have the full functionality of Facebook for tracking, analysis, engagement and ROI, its short messages break through the clutter with custom hashtags, SMO and engaging with key online influencers. Key online influencers continue to drive engagement for brands, monetization and ROI. Twitter contests are still extremely valuable for large brands that need to improve engagement and rapport with consumers and influencers. However, smaller businesses are still suffering from too much fragmentation across social networks and will need to rely on Twitter for organic SEO, engagement with influencers and maximizing headline news. ROI is still important on Twitter, although it’s been transformed into more of an influencer metric versus an engagement monetization tool.

5) Google+ is here to stay. If we don’t engage on the platform in the near future, Google will probably erase us off the search map.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments about the 2013 predictions, please reach out to Valerie Jennings via email [email protected] or via Twitter @ValerieJennings. As always, feel free to leave a comment.