Social Media Trends 2013

The year 2012 will be remembered as the year businesses officially took the social media plunge, embracing Twitter, Facebook and other networks as an integral part of strategy. In 2013, these companies can look forward to expanded returns on their investment, as social technologies improve and functionality extends beyond just marketing and community building.

Here’s a peek at five trends that will remake social media in the year to come:

1) More mobile social media usage
Mobile Internet use in the US is set to overtake wired use by 2015 – but this shift is happening even faster for social media. Facebook has already acknowledged that growth on mobile outstrips growth on PCs.

So what? Well, networks designed from the ground up for mobile – like Instagram – are at a big advantage. This year, the traditional players must work increasingly hard to differentiate desktop and mobile experiences and give mobile users more bang for their buck, with streamlined interfaces, NFC, GPS, ambient location and other functions.

2) Mobile advertising becomes more viable
Finding ways to squeeze traditional ads onto tiny mobile screens has been a significant headache for Facebook and other networks. But innovative solutions like Promoted Tweets and Sponsored Stories are offering an increasingly viable workaround, and you can also improve the viability of your site with other resources as the help of Dallas SEO Expert which you can contact online. These “native ads” look just like user-generated content, apart from small disclaimers. By integrating directly into home streams, they offer a way for brands to reach clients on their own turf. It’s all part of the new “convergence” revolution, with ads and content fast becoming interchangeable.

3) International and niche networks boomGlobal Social Media Growth
While social media growth in North America has slowed dramatically, growth is just taking off other parts of the world. 2013 will see growth of 21.1 percent in Asia-Pacific (China, India and Indonesia); 23.3 percent in the Middle East and Africa; and 12.6 percent in Latin America. And many of those users will be flocking to localized networks you may not have heard of. Examples include China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, which doubled its base to 400 million users in just one year.

Closer to home, one area that will experience dramatic growth is niche networks, which offer deep, specific functionality overlooked by the social titans. Stay tuned to see who will follow in the footsteps of Instagram and Pinterest in 2013 – emerging from relative obscurity to capture huge market share.

For businesses that engage on social media, the bottom line is that social networks are multiplying rapidly. To stay on top and engage customers, a sophisticated social media management system (you know, like HootSuite), is essential.

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