At the turn of the year you couldn’t turn to a social media marketing website or blog without there being a post along the lines of “Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2012”.

It may appear on first glance that we’re a month too later on jumping on he bandwagon, but we can assure you, we’re not. For what we’ve done is let that particular wagon ride straight on past and now, we’re looking at the news which has already broke over the last seven and a bit weeks, to see how this will influence social media marketing up until the clock strikes midnight on December 31st 2012.

The areas which come under the microscope today may not be new to social media marketing, but over the last few weeks they’ve certainly grown in what they can offer marketers looking to improve their social media stature, which is why they’ve been included.

F-Commerce:

Before we look into how F-Commerce will alter social media marketing throughout the year, we need to look at what it actually is.

Surprisingly, F-Commerce isn’t new to 2012, believe it or not it has been around since 2009, when the very first transaction of a bouquet of flowers was completed on the social networking site, Facebook. (Yes, F-Commerce stands for Facebook Commerce).

Since the purchase of those flowers two and a half years ago, F-Commerce has significantly improved, with a number of global brands creating Facebook shops last year, which enabled them to sell directly to their customers via the networking site.

This year alone, it has gained further momentum with a leading Pizza delivery chain trialling F-Commerce for a new product launch; whilst a leading cleaning product has launched using the platform. BANG – there is no doubt that F-Commerce will continue to grow and if you’re looking to sell a product, you shouldn’t discount this avenue.

Social Networking:

Leading on from F-Commerce, it’s only right that we look at other changes in social networking, which will alter social media marketing this year. After all, this area has given us so much to talk about from Facebook’s impending IPO through to Twitter’s censorship – and we’re going to look how each of these factors will alter the way social networking is carried out during 2012.

Facebook: There isn’t much doubt that you haven’t already heard about Facebook’s IPO which is set to take place in the next couple of months.

You may think that the IPO doesn’t influence the way that the networking site is used within social media marketing; but you couldn’t be more wrong.

The impending IPO will bring with it a cash-injection, which will help develop the site further, which in turn will see users and brands improving the way they engage, communicate and connect with others; not forgetting the possibility of new platforms within the network for promotion being created and enhanced via the API function.

Twitter: Whilst Twitter haven’t announced any plans for an IPO this year, they have already hit the headlines and none more so than there decision to censor tweets in countries where Twitter is currently prohibited.

Whilst there has been some uproar that this is bad for Twitter and its users because it’s limiting the freedom of speech the site offers, Twitter have argued that it actually has the opposite affect and will be good for users, as instead of blocking tweets on a global basis – as had been done before when requested; it now has the option to censor them on a country-by-country basis.

It isn’t just the censorship of tweets which has seen Twitter feature in the news over the last few weeks; at the time of writing, it has been announced that they’ve entered into a new partnership which will give their subscribers access to Twitter SMS, the original text-based Twitter service.

As Twitter announced in a statement, this means: “Now, even if phone lines and the Internet are inaccessible — for example, in a war zone or after a natural disaster — people will be able to share news and stay informed via Twitter.” – Put simply, wherever users are, there is a way for them to communicate via Twitter.

Whilst these two changes don’t have a direct link to the way social media marketing will alter throughout the year, they do have an indirect link. Firstly, the censoring of tweets will influence how people tweet and what they tweet.

The Twitter Satellite Partnership will see Twitter continue to grow, making it more accessible to a wider audience and therefore increasing the audience you can target via the platform.

Mobile Marketing:

As smartphones become more common, it’s important to make sure that your marketing campaign is able to provide information which can be shared via the devices.

It’s therefore important to make sure that your website loads on the devices without the formatting being out – and that it’s also quick to load.

Another aspect of mobile marketing which will help your social media marketing campaign to grow is the ability of your audience to gain access to your online marketing campaign any time of day or night, wherever they are. It also allows you to interact with your clients in real-time, helping to boost your engagement.

Content Marketing:

Finally content marketing, also known as the company blog, press release and news articles within a business’ website.

For some this played a part in the original launch of social media marketing, whilst for others it has been ignored, with social networks taking the front seat. Here at JE Consulting, we like to see social media marketing as a tandem bike, where each element helps the other progress.

It’s for this reason that we think over the next few months, content marketing will begin to grow and help improve social media marketing.

The opportunities for content marketing are so varied that there is really no reason why it should be ignored. In previous posts in our own company blog, we’ve discussed the power of blogging and the importance of including keywords within your blog where relevant to improve your SEO campaign.

But content marketing offers so much more than that, it lets you share with your audience, your passion for your company, its services and products, whilst also sharing your opinions, tips and advice on various industry aspects – and if you want to make sure your social media marketing campaign grows between now and December 31st 2012, you really should start a company blog today.

Incorporating content marketing and mobile marketing into your social media campaign; whilst also staying abreast of the latest social network changes and improvements, will help you stay on-top of your social media marketing, which in-turn will help it build up an audience and therefore boosting your business’ ROI.

Categories: Blog