Last year, Social Media experienced a very strong exponential growth, starting with its widespread acceptance by companies and going through the emergence of Google+ or changes made to Facebook, which we still do not know how they are going to affect this year. The horizon and the predictions in this regard for 2012 are marked by some important trends, however, to draw a very clear line of what will happen can be difficult.
In order to make a slight analysis of what happened, different surveys have been carried out to small companies to analyze and discover what their Social Media Marketing objectives are, divided into three key areas: The growth of brand presence, through an increase of fans, followers and subscriptions. The participation of the audience, with the content generated by the user, the shared and the actions, and finally, the monetization of the fans, are potential customers or sales driven from the social pages.
Before 2011, the maximum measurement that was considered as an indicator of success was that of the growth of fans or followers, while for this 2012 the emphasis will be on own participation, at the same time that strategic business programs will be defined based on reaching different clearly defined objectives.
Last year, the integration between brands and their social campaigns with other activities and marketing and communication channels was very brief, with few initiatives on Facebook, email, TV or radio. However, they have slowly reversed this situation, drawing up new plans and integrating their marketing mix much more with social media, making promotional programs and adapting to full strategies.
Wildfire predicts that for this 2012, the sector will continue its integrated approach to Social Media even with its offline campaigns in TV, print and advertising, indicating that there will be major initiatives that will force to guide the objectives and editorial plans of each channel of marketing to adapt them to the strategy.
This year we will continue to professionalize the use of social networks. In 2011, users matured a lot in how to use these media and how to take advantage of it to be connected with brands. However, among the main reasons why these users stop following the brands, 44% said that they do so when the brands saturated them with information without it being relevant, followed by 43% of those who made it for a use excessive walls or timelines of brands in social networks such as Facebook to publish a large number of advertising messages, to which add 38% of users who do so because “the content became boring and repetitive.”
In 2012, the objective of the brands will be to develop long-term relationships, ensuring that they will offer added value and entertainment with their content. The “I like” will be granted in a more selective and exclusive way and will be granted to those brands or companies that offer interesting things and even really attractive promotions.
The same will happen with social applications, which users will share with their friends when the action they take turns into a dynamic and interactive experience, such as playing, seeing, buying or reading, but always in an entertaining and entertaining format.
Beyond all this, the most important thing for social media will be to become or position themselves as real customer service platforms, something that was seen in 2011 but will be further strengthened in 2012. In fact, 62% of the Consumers claim to use social media to contact or manifest their claims to companies.
The brands in this sense will have to work hard for the real interaction, since 95% of the messages of users in the pages of Facebook brands remain unanswered, but it is something that they will have to do if they do not want to be relegated by competitors that use well social media.
The trends are clear in that sense. Brands will have to be more specific with their goals and strategies of social media marketing, make their campaigns more comprehensive, take into account the growing sophistication and preferences of users and increase the quality of customer service through these platforms.