Your online footprint determines your success as a business, entrepreneur and individual. This has been true for years, but now your online footprint involves the use of social media. Some of the 2011 trends for business and organization are:
- Businesses will turn to social media website to find potential candidates. 60-70% of them are already doing it and the rest have committed to use social media versus traditional methods for recruiting new talent.
- More businesses will move from experimentation mode to making social media the focal point of their marketing plans. In 2010, companies started using social media to market their products, but in 2011 it will become part of the fabric that comprises the company’s communication efforts.
- Small businesses will actively engage their customers in conversations online. Many users of social media have been using it to talk about themselves or spread the word about subjects related to their core business. In 2011, users will realize the benefit of having real conversations with the customers and prospective customers via social media tools.
- Geo-location will become a larger part of social media. Foursquare, GoWalla and even Facebook now give businesses the ability to offer special deals to people who “check-in” to their location. This will only grow as businesses discover the value of bringing in customers by offering them specials via geo-location services. This area is definitely open for new innovations since at this point techies and companies have been “playing” with this idea.
- LinkedIn Company profiles and Facebook Business pages will grow in popularity. LinkedIn and Facebook are already very popular and used by businesses, organizations and individuals. In 2011, more apps and features will be added to each which will make it even more attractive to businesses.
- Mobile Apps will continue to grow in popularity. Some pundits said it would not be until 2020 that a mobile devices would become the mainstay of connectivity with the internet. That change is already happening. How many people do you know that don’t have some sort of smartphone. The applications and services which are available for these devices will only grow.
- The use of QR (quick response) codes will increase in the United States. Japan and the European markets have been using QR codes for several years. Occasionally you see them here in the states, but this is beginning to grow as businesses and individuals realize the ease of reading them with a cell phone and the amount of data that can be stored in it. Imagine people walking around with QR codes on their T-shirts or business cards. It is beginning to happen.
- Dare I say it again – companies will rethink their website strategies and determine how to make their websites more interactive or will replace them with a blog or other social media service(s).
I could keep going, but seriously, watch social media, we are in for some really big changes . I am very excited about all the new technologies which will allow us to become even more connected with each other. A word of warning, connecting on-line is fantastic, but do not let it replace your good old-fashion person to person communication at networking events, phone calls, snail mail, etc.
First Published Jan 14, 2011