By Marina Shapiro

‘Out with the old, and in with the new.’  The industry of Social Media Marketing is maturing and we are predicting a new dawn for the Social Media revolution. So, what will it mean to be ‘social’ in 2011?  What aspects of Social Media will be integral to the way businesses develop and grow?  How will this impact the technology? Who will ‘win’ at Social Media this year?






We’ve compiled the top 11 predictions for the world of ‘social’ in 2011.


1. ‘…next year is really going to be about paring down to the essentials based on proven successes and strong metrics.’


2. Outsourcing social media such as blogs, writing e-mails, answering customer service inquiries, writing web copy, social media, ghostwritten blogs, tweets. People don’t always have the availability to write, tweet, research and post their own content.’


3. ‘All signs are pointing toward a multicultural Web. By 2015, a billion people in BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India and China] will be using PCs. Thus, 2011 will mark the year that businesses either adapt to these changes or get left woefully behind.’


4. ‘If you don’t have a mobile version of your site today, you are already behind.’


5. ‘B2B companies will catch up to B2C companies in using social media.’


6. ’The Rise of the Marketing Technologist– Marketers for the last few years have been closet techno geeks and it’s time for them to rise up – companies need digitally fluent marketers who can apply technologies to help make marketing more measurable and scientific. Then we can really change the dynamic from marketing as a cost center to marketing as a profit center!’


7. Marketing and sales alignment continues to be the #1 issue impeding marketing’s ability to be perceived as a major driver of B2B business value.’


8. ‘Consumers’ increasing concerns over noise and privacy will decrease the relatively open access marketers have enjoyed in social channels. The easiest tactics will be the least effective, forcing marketers to bring the same kind of creativity, audience differentiation, and strategy that they bring in other channels.


9. ‘Social media measurement will mature rapidly now that there is real money being spent by marketers in the social realm.


10. ’Commerce happens in communities of interest — not social networks. First, I’d like to distinguish between a social network and a community of interest, though the terms are often used interchangeably. Social networks or, more aptly, social networking is how we connect with people.’


11. ‘In 2011, those brands that truly embrace ‘social content generation’ will build themselves a kingdom. The connections between brand, art or skill and visual communications in a socially connected world can create powerfully authentic appeal for brands.’


So there you have it- the 11 ‘social’ pointers set to make big news in 2011.  All of which tell us that the future of Social Media is changing and evolving into a force that no business large or small can afford to ignore.   The future is bright. The future is Social (albeit a new hybrid of ‘social’). Are you ready for it?