Marketing software company Optify released their predictions today about the internet marketing and social media trends we can expect to see in 2012. Citing the increasing convergence of social media and search marketing, as well as the dramatic increase of the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for marketing, Optify gave its top five forecasts for next years trends.
First, they expect mainstream adoption of social media-based marketing automation and customer relationship management. The predict that companies that adopt social media techniques for marketing and CRM will more effectively be able to reach and engage with their customers and have a clearer path to positive sales and marketing return on investment.
Second, they foresee an increased presence of social media in the search result algorithms of Google and Bing. In 2011 companies began to experiment with increasing their search rankings through social media use. Optify predicts that this will continue as social media results become more fully integrated into search results pages.
Third, they predict that both customers and employees will take a greater role in marketing. Social media allows consumer reviews to disseminate far more quickly than ever before. The “Twitter Effect,” which has been making news in the movie industry since 2009, is being taken more and more seriously in the marketing efforts of all sorts of companies. Optify predicts that in 2012 companies will be making an increasingly direct effort to influence the social media buzz about their products and services.
Fourth, they expect the continued co-evolution of mobile devices and social media. They noted the fact that roughly one third of American adults use smartphones, a number which is expected to increase. They note that the increase in use of mobile devices for shopping – particularly last-minute shopping – creates an opportunity for marketers to narrow their focus on scenarios they might not have been able to target before.
Finally, they expect Facebook’s planned 2012 IPO to make enormous waves in the market. They note that the massive influx of cash from the IPO will enable Facebook to expand in a variety of new directions. They speculate that Facebook will begin to offer a challenge to retail giant Amazon, and cite the rumors that Facebook has its own mobile phone in the works as further evidence of the company’s planned expansion.
What do you think of Optify’s predictions? Let us know in the comments.