Happy New Year!

I just wanted to take a moment and say Happy New Year to everyone.  I am looking forward to seeing big new things this year.

I was thinking about what I think will happen this year that will be big news in the social media world, as I thought you might want to know what to prepare for (as we know the times they are a constantly changin’ when it comes to social media stuff).

Google Plus will be a big deal.  You can read my thoughts on why GPlus is something you need to pay attention to in this previous post over on my personal blog.  I think that there is a sense that GPlus “failed” because it isn’t immediately as big as Facebook, but I don’t subscribe to that theory (and think that it’s nonsense, it will take time for a new social network to be adopted, nothing is going to change overnight, just like FB didn’t destroy MySpace in a day).  More and more brands will use GPlus, and will find that it suits there needs more than FB or Twitter.  It’s easier to use, looks better, is simple, and has great answers for the privacy control questions that more and more people are asking.  I think 2012 will be the year of Google Plus.  So we’ll see how that prediction plays out!

Businesses will burn out on using social media and begin cutting back on the resources they allocate to using them.  Particularly the businesses that are not using the tools effectively (i.e. no strategy, using them for sales blasts, not seeking to build lasting relationships but seeking rather to advertise, blasting posts across all platforms at once, automating their social media presences, etc.).  I can see why those people would want to cut back, as that stuff doesn’t work.  I think that 2011 was the year that everyone finally decided that they “needed” Facebook and Twitter accounts and began using them only to exhaustingly promote themselves (rather than seeking to integrate into those communities and actually bring something to the table).  Everyone is now using social media –  simply using them no longer sets you apart as a “fresh” or “modern” or “social” business.  So 2012 will be the year that people who are, for a lack of a better term, “doing it wrong” burn out.  That creates an opportunity – for the people that are using social media to transform how they are doing business (think: customer service, research and development, audience feedback, integration into new communities, sharing helpful information with people that need it, building new relationships) and are actually “doing it right.”  So this will be the year that the wheat gets separated from the chaff.  I expect to see many articles this year about the “social media bust” and how “everyone is cutting back on their budgets” for social stuff.  That’s just the cyclical nature of the news cycle.  It also won’t be true for everyone, and it shouldn’t be true for you, if you want your business to stay nimble, agile, and thriving in 2012.

So what do you think the big stories of 2012 will be?