I had a recent encounter that affirmed what I already knew: While social media is not a replacement for other forms of engagement, it can be an excellent door-opener for relationship building. I was tweeting @jlevans about a social outing, and I referenced a possible adventure in Houston’s incredible Museum District. I received a response from the brand-new Editor of the Houston Business Journal, Candace Beeke (@candacebeeke). Candace, also a Mom, asked me for a parent review after my visit. Did I know there was a new Editor at HBJ? Of course, I make it my business to be aware of the comings and goings in the journalism world in my market. Had I thought to search on Twitter yet for this new Houstonian? Nope, mea culpa. Thanks to her outreach, I made a new Twitter friend and learned a bit more about the “social” side of an individual whom I had only previously thought of in terms of business.
So, what might change in 2011 in the field of social media? Now that we’ve all seen The Social Network and witness constant change within social media resources, what do we think the future holds? Last week at the PR Consultants Group annual conference, social media engagement played a large part in the discussions and presentations. Well-known social media expert, Olivier Blanchard, Founder of The Brand Builder Marketing Co., (@thebrandbuilder), challenged us to imagine a new leadership paradigm whereby the most senior communications leader in a corporation would be a “Social Communications” Veep with oversight for public relations, marketing, sales, etc. Jason Kinzler, CEO and Founder of Pitch Engine, (@pitchengine), urged practitioners to stop thinking about how we make press releases “social” and start looking at on-line reputation as an absolute for our employers and clients. And, Amy Smith of Write Ideas, @writeideasPR and The MomTini Lounge, @momtinilounge, encouraged the strategic use of captive URLs.
Some social media predictions in 2011 from the conference and through recent outside reports include:
- Influence/clout (see @klout) sources gain prominence and vanity metrics lose credibility
- Mashable offers 4 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2011
- Blogging remains flat as a tool for engagement
- Quora will be the Google Wave of 2011
- B2B capabilities improve – see 11 Predictions for B2B Social Media in 2011
- Rise of effective options for revenue-generating location-based programs
- Facebook continues to grow and evolve for individuals and businesses
- On-line reputation will become a key deliverable for practitioners
What are YOUR predictions for this year, and how will you incorporate them into your business? We would appreciate your comments.
Jennifer L Evans, PRCG lead for Houston/Galveston, serves as Principal of JL Evans Communications and can be found @jlevans trying to figure it all out.