2 “Meta” Social Media Predictions

It’s that time of the year again – the time when all the pundits come out and share their predictions for what’s in store this coming year. While I’m going to play right into that trend, I feel more than just one year smarter than the last. A year of learning and execution at Mass Relevance is more akin to dog years! In the last 12 months we’ve grown 5X and powered innovative social experiences for over 100 clients across news, sports, TV and brands.

With that densely packed experience in mind, I feel more than confident in sharing a couple high level observations about where media and brand clients are moving. It’s a simple and straightforward point of view on what we can expect from the year ahead in social media.

To get right to it, we’ll see two key trends that are inextricably linked: This will be the year that social media fades into the background, and it will also be the year that social media takes center stage.

Allow me to explain.

Social media will fade into the background as it becomes even more ubiquitous and cements itself as a given for nearly any media experience. Claiming to have some social dimension will be seen as less of a differentiator and more of a must-have. That shift in mindset is already happening – if a global consumer brand were to roll out a $50M ad campaign tomorrow, who among us wouldn’t be shocked if it didn’t have its own Facebook page or Twitter account?

At the same time, we'll see brands and media companies become even more prolific in integrating social-powered experiences outside social networks. Whether part of a second screen experience during a breaking news broadcast or an integrated element of a brand campaign, consumers will increasingly expect social interaction to be an inextricable part of any media or marketing experience. This means what goes into a brand page should go into the web page, broadcast, or mobile experience.

In addition to the everyday trappings of Facebook pages and branded Tweets, we'll see big brands, broadcasters and publishers create a bevy of new, innovative applications of social media that inherit the spotlight from traditional programming and advertising - demonstrating that social is more than just an obligatory sideshow.

One year ago, Altimeter reported that “Social Integration” was CMO’s #1 priority. Yet, just last week CMO Council released a study that suggested only 17% of CMOs believe social is integrated. Forrester just reported a new trend is “multi-screen experiences.” My assertion is while social media becomes even more ubiquitous and commonplace inside the networks, this year we will start to see progress integrating it elsewhere. Thus, the pendulum swing has begun where all the spending in other functions will stay in those functions, but point towards integrating social into sites, advertising, email, production, etc.

From where we sit, there’s little doubt in our mind as to whether the above predictions will come true – it’s only a matter of how soon. Based on the work we’re doing and the respective agendas of our customers, I believe the train has already left the station.

From all of us at Mass Relevance, enjoy all that’s in store for the year ahead and we wish you a happy, safe and fulfilling holiday season.

Photo credit: Flickr

Sam Decker's picture

Sam Decker

Sam Decker is a current member of the Spredfast board. Sam most recently served as the CEO and co-founder of Mass Relevance (now Spredfast). Prior to Mass Relevance, Sam was founding Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice, a provider of SaaS social commerce technologies serving over 1,000 brands, where he was responsible for building the company’s brand, products and platform.