It’s an interesting question that nobody can really answer. But even still, we are all invested in the outcome.
Businesses big and small continue to push forward with social media tools and there are no signs to show that those efforts will slow in the next year. In fact, many large businesses have set themselves goals to increase their presence and engagement in 2012. And, to me, that’s the key. It has taken some properties longer than expected to realize that engagement is the important indicator. Large numbers of Likes and Followers don’t mean nearly as much if people aren’t interested in the content. It’s the reason that I’m not a fan of buying numbers.
Personally I would like to see more conversation taking place in the social media sphere. I would like to see companies, both large and small, starting the conversation rather than reacting to it. There are still a lot of opportunities for businesses to publish traditional print and online ads. Social Media doesn’t need to be used as the primary sales and marketing tool. Engage with fans, followers and watch as your customer base rises.
The current numbers and growth projections show that Facebook should reach 1 billion users in 2012 – that’s billion, with a B. The current numbers have Facebook at more than 800 million active users. They also show more than 350 million users actively engaging on a mobile device. I would not be surprised to learn that by the end of 2012 Facebook has surpassed the 1 billion user mark with over 500 million users engaged using mobile devices.
Twitter should also continue to see substantial growth in 2012. In September 2011 it was announced that the site had surpassed 100 million active users. At the same time they mentioned mobile user numbers of approximately 55% with 40 percent quarter on quarter growth over the last 3 to 4 quarters. While many people argue over the validity of any Twitter numbers because of the large percentage of spam accounts, there is no denying that the micro-blogging space is only getting more popular and becoming more mainstream.
Point: Mobile is only going to become bigger and more impact-full. Users are going to expect and demand more access to information from their mobile device. They are going to want more real-time experiences on the go rather than when they are sitting down with a coffee and their laptop. Businesses both large and small are going to have to accommodate those desires or risk alienating clientele that are looking for instant answers when making decisions.
Now, there is a chance that something very spectacular will be released and change the way we interact online. Maybe there will be a new comer to the social media world in 2012 and we will all receive invites to join a network that offers us the chance to connect and share in an new and exciting way. Or perhaps Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linkedin will bring us new options that we haven’t even dreamt of.
Either way, we have to be ready to move forward. Whether we continue on with the same tools that we have today, or we are given a drawer full of awesome tools to work with, social media is not going away – and I’m happy for that!
What do you expect from 2012? What do you want to see? And what is your plan?
Let us know and get yourself ready, 2012 is just around the corner!