I’ve never been a big believer in “predictions” for the coming year, can’t say that I’ve ever created any (that I remember). But more and more often lately my clients have been asking me about “where all this is going…” so that started me thinking.
While I don’t claim to have a crystal ball, I do talk frequently (online) with my peers and other folks heavily involved in social media / digital marketing, and I read just about everything I can get my hands on. While I don’t know that “predictions” is exactly right, I’d say this is what I think we’ll see over the coming year:
- 2010 is the year local small and mid-size business really “get” social media – and start seeing results
In 2009, we moved beyond “if” to: “when” is the right time for small and mid-size businesses to engage in the conversation online – trouble is, not everyone has noticed yet! We’ve reached critical mass with social media to the point where it’s now much more likely that any business person you meet is connected through at least one social site than not.
Large corporations have had a clue for awhile – In 2010, I expect to see a couple of things – one, the technology will continue to expand, making the connections we’re creating all the more valuable; and two: as a result of the sheer numbers of people participating in social media, small and mid-size business owners will begin to look beyond the big 3 sites (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) and “how to use the technology” and will start to get a handle on how to really build an engaged community.
This engagement will have tremendous impact on their revenues and profits in 2010, and it’s why I’m so passionate about social media – coming out of the economic downturn we’ve experienced, social media gives small and mid-size businesses the tools and the level playing field to lead the charge!
- Small and mid-size businesses are at the intersection of search and social
A lot of people may not know this, but I didn’t become interested in social media originally to build community. I did get really excited about the search engine optimization connection between search and social – geeks like me have known about this for awhile, and 2010 is the year that this connection is going to go mainstream.
A couple of weeks ago, I was reading Mack Collier’s blog, The Viral Garden, where he talks about Google launching Live Search. He mentions a search he performed on “Tiger Woods” where the results showing up were not last week’s news – but conversations happening right that moment – on Twitter. Known as “Real Time Search” – this is changing the game for how you find new customers online.
Incidentally, I tried the search myself and noticed that the search on “Tiger Woods” worked just as he described. That made me wonder if Google had launched Live Search for other search terms – or mere mortals (like me for instance), so I “Googled” myself and low-and-behold, the first results showing up for me were Live Search results for conversations happening on Twitter within minutes of my search. See below for what showed up.
Think search engine optimization is dead? Think social doesn’t matter? Think again! 2010 is the year that this all starts to come together, and small and mid-size business will begin to figure this out and we’ll start to see them using social media strategically – and profitably – as a result!
- Mobile marketing becomes a reality for small and mid-size businesses
If you’ve read my stuff for awhile, you know my background is in wireless marketing. Prior to starting my own company, I worked for AT&T Wireless and Cingular for 16 years. As a result, you’d think I’d be a big advocate of mobile marketing, but up until recently, I’ve said that “mobile marketing is not yet ready for prime time” – at least in terms of small and mid-size businesses getting involved.
In 2010, that changes. With the proliferation of the iPhone and other smartphones like it, and the ability for companies to share their location with potential clients (through sites like FourSquare.com, or Twitter, for instance), 2010 is going to be the year where Mobile Marketing really comes into its own and becomes a viable option for small and mid-size business owners looking to reach their customers when they are ready to purchase.
So those are my predictions. Since it’s my first year of “prognosticating” I’ll stick to just 3 – with just these three, it’s going to be a fantastic year.
But what do you think? Have I missed an important prediction? Call it like you see it below!
Thanks for being such a tremendous blog audience throughout the year – here’s to a terrific 2010!
Happy New Year!