Where Social Goes in 2013

Here’s my prediction: Social will get the ‘third degree’ in 2013. I’m starting to see some backlash in the press about social media marketing. The avalanche of startups in the social space over the last couple years are causing VCs to hold their wallets. And Facebook’s stock recovery isn’t happening fast enough.

And so it goes. Nothing to fear. The evolution is almost predictable. Think back to the industry ‘movements’ in the 90s - such as ASP, CRM, Web 2.0, Web/TV convergence.  All of them followed a similar path, and yet, have become ‘mainstream’. ASP = Cloud. CRM = Social CRM. Web 2.0 is just the way things work on the web. And the Web/TV convergence is happening in Social TV. We had the right ideas...just a lot of creative destruction to figure things out, including the nomenclature.

Now Social is mainstream. If it wasn’t for the growth of Twitter, Pinterest and 1B users on Facebook, Microsoft’s launch of their own social network should be signal enough! This all means the hype starts to settle. Some elements of the movement come under attack. And  social just becomes a layer into our personal and corporate lives. I think 2013 will mark this transition.

For brands and marketers the goals of engagement and participation are as real as ever. In fact, they will continue to grow. It’s not like your audience is suddenly ‘snapping out of it’ saying, “I’ve had enough of real-time, mobile, social experience...I’m ready for passivity! Bring on the 30 second spots and IAB ads, again.” If anything, as real-time fragments of real-time content and consumer eyes rally across the explosion of digital screens, these experiences will *have* to be real-time, relevant and socially connected.

At Mass Relevance, we’ve made the bet that this normalization of social is leading to “Integrated Social Engagement”. We’ve built our company to support our clients in adapting to these key trends to power participation, engagement and relevant brand experiences.

We’ve made the bet that social is mainstream enough that functional leaders -- not just the two social PR folks in the company -- need to figure out how to leverage the social layer into their initiatives in ways that drive the same measures they have today.

We’ve also made the bet that brands and media will need a platform to manage this evolution with speed, assurance, and innovation. The ability to aggregate, discover, filter, moderate, visualize, integrate and report from one platform will become a must have. And I’m pleased it already has with many of our progressive clients.

Nothing is slowing down. In 2013 - it’s time to move with agility to create engagement, participation and relevance to your explosion of digital experiences. Maybe you just don’t call it social? We call it Mass Relevance.

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.