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Photo Credit: Dave Young

Entrepreneurs Help Us Stay Ahead of the Wave By Predicting the Next Big Thing in Social Media

First we had MySpace. It was the one social media platform to rule all the rest. School kids found ways to get past their school’s security settings just to take a peek at their MySpace page. Then there was Facebook and still the Book holds supreme in the landscape of social media. Adding to the mix have been sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. So what exactly lies ahead for social media? What kinds of new sites will pop up in the next few years to change how business owners and entrepreneurs use social media?

Rescue a CEO and CEO Blog Nation asked entrepreneurs about what the next big thing in social media will be.

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Photo Credit: Dave Young

Photo Credit: Dave Young

Being able to write and speak from a position of authority

CEOs, Business Owners and other Subject Matter Experts will finally embrace content creation as something that should not be outsourced, delegated, ghostwritten or otherwise manufactured in their name. They will speak and write from a position of authority, sincerity and engagement. Some are already good at this. Others hide behind their busy schedules, their poor writing skills or even conditions such as dyslexia. We built a company that helps them put their own unique words into their content without having to type, spend hours with ghostwriters or overly worry about finding topics. Our topic generation tool is mind-blowing and we offer it for free. Content Extraction (yes, we pull content out through their mouths) is done using professional radio broadcasters via Skype in a painless monthly recording session. The extracted words are cleaned up for grammar, lightly polished by expert copy-editors and ready to post on a blog. Those same radio folk will clean up the audio for a podcast if desired. Basically, we’ve made a light task out of a heavy burden for Subject Matter Experts. No matter what the next “big thing” in social media is, you can be it will include authentic content.

Thanks to Dave Young, Shortcut Blogging

Related Post: Ways to Use Email Marketing

 

Photo Credit: Bonnie J. Dewkett

Photo Credit: Bonnie J. Dewkett

Vine is the next big thing

I think the next big thing in social media will be Vine. The videos are easy to make, fun to watch and only take six seconds. People can use them for entertainment and businesses can use them to highlight products and services. Everyone has a camera on their phone now so you can capture a Vine video anywhere and share it with ease.

Thanks to Bonnie Joy Dewkett, The Joyful Organizer

 

Photo Credit: Craig Griffiths

Photo Credit: Craig Griffiths

Social media aggregators on the rise

Due to the number of social media sites coming and going. Social media aggregators and other tools that let you monitor multiple sites from a single interface will become very important. Even for non-business users the ability to become familiar with all the different interfaces is virtually impossible. The first person to crack this nut successfully will become the de facto standard and social media will have to work with it to survive.

Thanks to Craig Griffiths, Griffiths Creative

 

Photo Credit: James Wright

Photo Credit: James Wright

Forcing leaders to be more socially responsible

Social media and a digitally empowered consumer is forcing businesses, politicians and leaders to be more socially responsible and to take a more transparent approach to their practices. Many businesses have had their dirty washing dramatically amplified through social media in recent years from the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster to Dior’s dropping of John Galliano after his anti-Semitic outburst to the Vodafail.com campaign in Australia. Politicians and personalities have also succumbed to social media crises as well, from Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to DJ Alan Jones. Social media also has also played a key role in helping people to collaborate and organise the mass social uprisings we have seen a cross the Arab world and in South America. The price of doing business today is to also do good, and social media will reward that are and remove those that aren’t. It is narrowing the gap between image and internal reality.

Thanks to James Wright, Red Agency

 

Photo Credit: Stephenie Rodriguez

Photo Credit: Stephenie Rodriguez

Aligning activities with a purpose

In the same way that MS Word does not make it’s user F. Scott Fitzgerald, Facebook, Pinterest or the new and improved MySpace won’t make a brand more profitable or successful. The future of social media will move from creating a presence to aligning activities with a purpose. More and more, CEOs will require their marketing teams and advertising agencies to demonstrate how these activities are delivering on innovation, improved customer experience, brand health, and revenue. The experimental stage is officially over. This demand will separate the men from the boys, as those with a sound strategy, infrastructure and a one-line approach will break away from the noise and move conversations into commerce.

Thanks to Stephenie Rodriguez, Sticki Digital Media

Related Post: Using Google+ the Right Way

 

Photo Credit: LaKesha S. Womack

Photo Credit: LaKesha S. Womack

Buying directly from an image

I believe the next big thing in social media will be the ability to buy directly from an image. As sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are gaining in popularity, businesses will find a way to monetize these sites by allowing advertisers to directly link to products that are featured to make a purchase. Currently, there’s a product called Stripple that is being developed that allows computers to recognize images being posted so that they can be linked to the actual product.

Thanks to LaKesha S. Womack

 

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Moore

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Moore

Keeping an eye on Vine and Flicker

First there was MySpace, then there was Facebook, then Twitter, then Pinterest and now there is Instagram. And just when we thought that we were going to catch a break, that we were finally beginning to understand the social media that was out there…now there’s Vine. Vine, which is a platform unto itself, can be integrated into the other platforms (with the exception of Instagram) and is designed to be a short, looping video of one small snippet of your life. Seriously, that’s it. A looping video, like all those “cats getting scared and jumping really high” GIFs you see roaming around the internet. But don’t get too comfortable, “Snapchat”; also records short videos, the only difference being that the videos only last a few seconds and then disappear completely (and hopefully forever). Instagram’s new rival “Flicker” is on the up-and-up and “Over” now allows you lay fun, creative text over any photo (Instagram users….stay calm, I know you’re excited). Some of these apps (Snapchat and Over) are simply apps meant to enhance the experience of other platforms, but networks like Vine and Flicker should be watched by those seeking to be early adopters of social media technologies.

Thanks to Elizabeth Moore, Walls Need Love

 

Photo Credit: Mike Johansson

Photo Credit: Mike Johansson

Mobile video is the next big thing

Mobile video is the big thing this year because applications such as Twitter’s Vine (8 second video messages) are forcing the bigger players such as YouTube and Vimeo to work to make the user experience even better on mobile,” he says. “While ‘everything mobile’ was already an ongoing trend in social, the emergence of Vine is a game changer. Businesses would be wise to find ways to leverage the high consumer interest in mobile video (contests and rewards) as a way to greatly increase engagement with consumers and potential consumers.

Thanks to Mike Johansson

 

Photo Credit: Jayme Pretzloff

Photo Credit: Jayme Pretzloff

Having social sharing buttons on sites

Social media has forever changed the way that users interact with websites in every way– from how they surf the page, how they purchase and the engagement points they interact with. Your website now needs to have social sharing buttons on pages of dire importance because it prompts the user to share the page with their social networks. Some users will do this to show their friends, some may use it as a reminder to read an article and other use it as a way to collect items that they would like to purchase. You should also use your social media to promote your website because it will drive qualified traffic to your website. Using this two way approach will help you leverage the power of both of these platforms to their highest advantage. When integrating social and web, there are extreme metric lifts in most marketing metrics.

Thanks to Jayme Pretzloff, Blue Line Defense

Related Post: Why Social Media is a Big Factor for the Growth of Your Business

 

Photo Credit: Scott Sobel

Photo Credit: Scott Sobel

Reputation management

Reputation Management in relation to Consumer Generated Content (CGC) for search engine reviews is definitely the next big thing for business social media. Our crisis management PR firm is getting an increasing number of clients that need help with reputation attacks showing up on the first page of search engines. Media & Communications Strategies is fighting these attacks understanding how the new search engine algorithms work and how news media and positive narratives work to help our clients’ social media, business and legal reputation.

Thanks to Scott Sobel, Media & Communications Strategies, Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Betsy Flanagan

Photo Credit: Betsy Flanagan

Tying tactics to fundamental business goals

he next big thing in social media is tying tactics to fundamental business goals and KPIs. Social media is not about the number of likes, fans, or friends anymore. Rather, what is important, is how businesses can use social media to achieve business goals like increasing revenue, improving the customer experience, building the brand, or reducing risk. As a result, tracking and measurement have become much more critical because this is required to calculate ROI and understand the full customer journey from awareness -> consideration -> purchase -> retention -> advocacy.

Thanks to Betsy Flanagan, Altius Education

 

Photo Credit: Kelli Davis

Photo Credit: Kelli Davis

Upping the ante with blogger challenges

Move Over Blogger Giveaways…Challenges Have Arrived. Blogger giveaways were big in 2012 with brands catching onto how influential bloggers can be and offering giveaways. While these giveaways will continue in 2013, some bloggers have taken this concept to the next level with challenges. While giveaways drive a burst of traffic to the bloggers site, they are short-lived and don’t allow for continued engagement over a week or even a month. Why a challenge is better than a giveaway: The challenge typically runs 2-4 weeks leading to continued engagement from the readers who enter, rather than just a one-time post. The sponsor is mentioned on the challenge page (often with a link back to their site & Facebook “Like” button) and in social media and blog posts throughout that time. You can see an example of the type of challenge I’m talking about here.

Thanks to Kelli Davis, IDEA Health & Fitness Association

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Profile photo of Gresham Harkless Jr.
Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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