20 social media predictions for 2010 that might actually happen

I’ve been asked a number of times already to provide some predictions for 2010 in the social media space. What I find interesting is that oftentimes we haven’t followed through on the predictions from the last 3-5 years, so I thought, “let’s put a list together in which the predictions have a better than 50% chance of happening”. So here goes.

1) Facebook will change their privacy settings again. This would appear to be a lock.

2) A large public company will misstep in its usage of social media and the social media community will use it as an example along with Motrin and Dominos and nothing else.  Again, another lock.

3) Google will create a social app that creates a lot of buzz on Twitter and then it will slowly fade away. Think Side-Wiki and Google Wave.

4) Seth Godin will piss someone off with something he wrote or did that goes completely against the grain. There will be viral tweets about it, Seth will explain, tweak, and everyone moves on.

5) Someone will create a customer complaint video that will go viral-again. The company either reacts quickly and they’re applauded for their swift action or they don’t and they’re hung out to dry by a social media flash mob.

6) A large social media darling start-up will be acquired, and dozens more will fail and dozens more will be created.

7) Twitter will continue to evolve into a self-promotional vehicle. In the beginning it was all about the convo, then it morphed into echo, and now it’s all about the promo.

8. Another 5000 apps will be created for the i-phone. No Brainer here right?

9) Brands will continue to say that they are social, but it will be in name only.  Why? Because they still don’t know what they’re doing and are afraid to admit it.

10) 40 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube every 30 seconds.

11) Chris Brogan will be attacked again on someone’s blog for essentially doing absolutely nothing-again

12) You will see the consolidation of some large agencies into the mega-digital agency.

13) UGC will more and more be the driving force in online advertising since it costs nothing. Somewhere a light bulb will go on.

14) The FTC will continue to focus on paid bloggers and recommendation engines. This is not over.

15)  On Twitter, authority will continue to be defined by influence which will be inversely proportional to popularity

16) A Twitter business model will emerge and it may just be the model we all love to hate-advertising.

17) The argument around the ROI of social media will not end-nor will the incessant amount of blog posts surrounding it either.

18) Large scale social media aggregation projects will continue to pop up, with the thinking that “that” is what the people really want, it’s not.

19) Social media case studies will start to appear that are less accidental in their success, and more purposeful in strategy, implementation and measurement.

20) Taking umbrage with those that call themselves social media experts will continue.

21) What do you think is possible in 2010?

Hopefully you’ll see that some of these were created purely for fun and others I truly believe have a realistic chance of occurring. Only the next 12 months will tell. Happy Holidays everyone.

Share this Post

Discontinuous change in social media marketing and marketing for 2009

In 2009 you have a choice  you can either do what you did in 2008 or you can look at 2009 as a chance to get it right. Everything is upside down, including the way we used to market to consumers and the way consumers used to listen to marketers.

If you’re relying on the way you “used to do things” then stop. If you think you have a robust social media marketing presence, because you have a lot of “friends” and “followers” then stop. Seth Godin likes to quote that this is the “imitation of turbulent activity” .You are in the echo chamber and your clients (if you have any) aren’t in there and chances are they not listening to you anyway. But you wouldn’t know that because of your personal social media involvement-and the fact you might have your self important blinders on.

You’re “moving for the sake of motion” as my friend Jason Breed over at Neighborhood America would say. And that will get you nowhere. We need you to change. You need to change and  you need to adapt now to even newer rules of marketing  that are evolving before our very eyes. Realize the current situation for what it is.

5 posts not about you and your social MEdia self

I’m so sick of reading about the bad.  Actually I blame it on Shel Israel and his morning Twitter report on the sorry state of things. But Shel is just reporting it, it’s not his fault. So I’ve got 5 items for you to do some thinking on.  See if you can figure out the theme here.

Scott Monty drives a point home that all social media people on the inside looking out need to know, It’s not about you!

David Armano explains why giving begets giving prompted by Chris Anderson

Seth Godin explains why spreading yourself too thin aint’ a good thing.

The Kolbe A™ Index/Instinct Test: IQ tests tell you what you can do. Personality tests tell you what you want to do… the Kolbe A™ Index measures what you WILL or WON’T do. Check it out.

The rise of social media has made us all influencers and with that responsibility comes the notion that you can make a difference as long as you continue to give and not take.

See what the theme is? Social media and conversations are really not about you and what your needs are, they are about the other person or the community as a whole that you are a part of. Do what you do with the other person in mind for a day and see what happens. or better yet instead of trying to be some person everywhere, try concentrating on being some one in one place.

7 sites to visit today.


I’m going to make it easy on you. Here are 7 things that were interesting to me and maybe you should read them in your spare time today or tomorrow.

Chris Kieff says that Seth Godin screwed up, I know it’s shocking isn’t it?

Adam Cohen thinks that there is a danger of communities becoming too diluted I think what he means is that social networks are becoming too water downed, too many choices perhaps? You decide.

Kami Huyse espouses that a course in basic human etiquette might be better than one in blogger relations, which I think we could all use since manners and etiquette have gone away quicker than you can text BRB.

Discover the real you here at Signal Patterns

Rohit Bhargava, freshly back from China, posts on an Insiders guide to marketing on Flickr, in detail.

Brian Solis with the second part of his three part series the socialization of your personal brand

Here is a rockin post by Geoff Livingston that you have to read, titled The Naturals

The trust factor in social media marketing

I don’t know how much I reference Seth Godin but I guess it’s for good reason. I like what he says about marketing, because he uses a ton of analogies and for me, thats a good thing. I need examples, real world or not, but I need colorful descriptive analogous ways for me to wrap my arms around complex ideas and simple ethereal notions.

With that being said, I was reading something over the weekend and was re-reading an old post by him in which he says the following:

 Worry about people with passion and people with lots of friends. You need both for ideas to spread.

I’ve been writing alot lately about social media experts and last week actually compiled a list of what social media is not and subsequently received a tremendous amount of answers, but essentially the underlying theme is this: if you were to couple the question of what social media is not with the experts that are the in the social media marketing space, what you and i are looking for is TRUST. Trust that what I’m hearing is legit. Trust that what I’m reading is applicable.  Trust that I can utilize social media to connect with my audience, my customers, and my users.  Trust that social media is not just a buzzword.  Trust that social media and it’s experts are not just caught up in the jetstream.

One of the other underlying themes of social media marketing, as a marketer, as someone dipping their toes in the proverbial waters of soaicl media, is how do you segment  what you are hearing, what you are reading and what who you are listening to?, How do you separate fact from fiction, How do you know? How do you know what you know,? How do you know they know? I know it sounds sort of like a comedy routine but…

I know that there are some companies out there that do it right but Im going to guess that for every company that does it right, there are 5 who say they can and never have, in their efforts to capitolize on the trend. But trust in any setting business or otherwise, determines the outcome of any engagement, it requires a tremndous leap of faith. Just like marriage. or any type of relationship for that matter.

So going forward, as you venture in, who do you trust/ and why should you trust them?  Does someone who has expert status warrant your trust?  It reminds me of the time where our company needed a Cisco engineer to come out and do some work for us. At the time, his rate might have been $150 an hour. The company said, they were sending out the very best they had, their heavy hitter… So we waited, and about an hour after he was supposed to show, in walks this guy- a bit disheveled, sunglasses on, mumbles that he’s from Cisco. He comes with nothing, no laptop, no pen, paper, nothing, knapsack. I repeate…nothing! Oh and he wreaks of alcohol… First impression? Not so good… But it gets better.

So the guy asks about 5 or 6 questions sits down at a terminal, works for under an hour, gets up and says,”You’re all set”, and leaves. WTF? Blink blink.. ala South Park. We’re screwed.

Bottom Line?  It was done perfectly. He was a heavy hitter, he did his thing and he did it well. Though outward impressions notwithstanding, this guy rocked the house.

The morals of the story are many.  Do you go with your gut, let them do their thing, and sit back and see what they produce? Perception is not always reality? Go with what people tell you and trust them?. Word of mouth, in this case was correct? Company hype was dead on? It’s ok to trust the disheveled engineer whos breath wreaks of alcohol? Cisco engineers rock?

Ok so you’re asking “So what are the parallels to social media marketing you ask?  Well, per Seths point, when deciding what to believe and not believe, in regards to social media you can go 2 ways. You can listen to the person who has a huge following and is passionate or you can listen to the person who talks the talk on their website but does not have much more than tha,t that can be substantiated.

Case in point, when reading about social media marketing on blog sites i would want to read someones blog who has been around no less than a year or longer and or someone who has a pretty solid base of followers and is passionate and or someone who might be on the agency side who ‘does” or “is” the social media marketing person at that agency and has chosen to blog about it.

Who would you trust?   Who would I trust?  That will be in part II

Your 4th of July Seth Godin, Jackie Huba, eating a meatball sundae marketing video

I love Jackie Huba’s blog, Church of the customer it’s always relevant and so…customer-centric. With that being said, you might enjoy the light fare that I’m throwing your way. have a good 4th of July.

Social media and customer service; a no brainer

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. I’ve read iterations from other notable bloggers and marketers but my questions are these. Where does social media make the best sense in say, a B2B setting? Or. for that matter, a B2C setting? Could it be customer service?  It’s funny to think that in 2008 that a novel concept could be communicating with the customer! Reaching out to the customer. Talking with the customer, listening to the customer  before, during and after the purchase.

Now don’t get me wrong there are plenty of companies out there that do a good job in maintaining a relationship with the customer but… But the problem is, the model that they are operating from is cut from the “old school” of marketing and customer service. It consists of 2-3 major direct mail campaigns per year, a decent if not underperforming customer service call center in which most customer issues are resolved amicably, and a website that takes orders and ships them on time etc. etc. You get the point. I’m sure you can think of at least a half a dozen companies like that. You see them everyday. You interact with them EVERY day. They do just enough to satisfy your expectation of customer service.

However, when a company reaches out to you or goes above and beyond your expectations, you raise an eyebrow. You’re surprised. Why? Because your expectations are so low that you expect NOTHING! and when you do get a friendly note, someone that speaks with you instead of at you, or the least bit of CSR love, you a) are surprised and b) become a customer for life and c) you tell your friends.

Lets do  a quick test. Think of 5 companies that suck. And perhaps they suck because you have heard that they do, which in an of itself is not good. Why? Because maybe they don’t, though chances are they do, but the viral reputation dictates that they must suck because so many have said so. Ok so quick, think of 5.

Most of the ones that come to mind for me are airlines. How about you? If you talk to Joseph Jaffe, he’ll go off on Delta But I would guess that most of you, if you fly with an frequency, will volunteer an airline. Ironically, I’m thinking that because our expectations are so lowered when we fly now, that when we do have a good experience, we think of that as a WIN.

But here’s what happened. If you’re fed bread and water for so long, you expect it. When they add an apple, you consider it a treat. But the reality is that you SHOULD be getting a balanced meal, but your expectations have been lowered so much, an APPLE is considered a score by the customer. How pathetic is that?  What’s worse is that customer service representatives throw us bones and we snap them up and thank them up and down and then we tell everyone about the great customer service we just received. Again, I say to you, how pathetic is that? I mean look at Seth Godin, he’s amazed at this small act of customer service.

Becky Carroll, who has a blog called Customers Rock wrote a post called Social Media Empowering Customer Service: Guest Blogger Brian Solis in which Brian Solis and Becky blog about social media empowering customerservice. That’s my point, it makes perfect sense for social media to be an extension of what customer service does FOR the customer. As new media marketers and observers, it’s up to us to explain to large companies and even small ones, that, here is a way to find out more about your customers instead of the usual demographic info.

Social media does empower customer service, if it’s used for that. But how many get that? How many examples can you, me and everyone else out there, think of? I think what’s more of a viable statment is: “Social media will eventually empower customer service and social media should empower customer service”. 

Social Media and Web Metrics Dinner Party Conversation

Ok class it’s time to throw out bits and pieces of useless information to astound the people you’re talking to this weekend at the dinner party that you have to go to. Usually when you go to these things, you try to seek out the tech-y guy or person. But ultimately what happens is they try to impress you with what they know and think YOU don’t know nothing. It’s at this point you drop of this on them.


Social Media

So some how, things shift to talking about social networks, you went to get a drink and bam, somehow they’re talking about how America’s youth is effed up because of Myspace and Facebook and is populated by amped up testosterone laced males. At which point you chime in and say:

Actually Facebook has more female users than male. In fact, of the 57 million users on Facebook, 56% of them are female.  It’s at this point that you now have their attention and they all start looking at you. Which is when I silently thank Marty Fahncke for throwing that tidbit of his up on an article in Electronic Retailer

So now they are wanting more.  So thanks to Marty I throw this one out: DID YOU KNOW…that Linkedin has 17 million members with every Fortune 500 company represented? Or that the average age of the LInkedin user is 41?   Hopefully none of them ask what Linkedin is, but invariably there WILL be someone within the group who asks.

So while they’re chewing on that someone will of course ask, How many members use MySpace? And with total confidence you answer 200 million members, 110 million of which are “active”. Whew. You have them eating out of your hand right now.

Time to drop some good stuff on them now.

Web Metrics

Did they know that the average American spends 30 hours per month online with October being the heaviest month for usage? Thanks comScore Or that Ann Arbor had the highest internet penetration in the U.S.? According to The Media Audit

Think the majority of users are the 18-31 user? Think again. Leading the way for tops in internet usage are the 44-62 year olds. In 3rd place are the 32-43 year olds and behind them are the 63+ demo followed by the 12-17 year olds according to emarketer

The audience around you will grow and the questions will now vary. But they will all have a tech feel and flavor. Someone will no doubt ask, what site they should go to in order to get a good feel for the pulse of say the blogosphere. I’ll mention that shel israel has a really interesting and observant blog that should at least warrant a stop by as does Seth Godin who always has some great points about all things marketing related.

But maybe that’s too deep for you and you need  some sites that are light on the copy and heavy on engagaing you for awhile. Where can you go you ask? Go here and check out what streams from Kevin Kelly’s consciousness.

I grab another drink while I see some grabbing napkins to write on. I blurt out that I always enjoyed this blog just because it’s put together well, and its always got something that helps me learn and understand and yet is not so technical. Jaffe Juice fills that need.

From the Jaffe Juice site: How many social media experts does it take to change a lightbulb?

Uh oh, I think you’re starting to glaze over, too much info. It happens to everyone who doesn’t live and breath and digest this stuff on a daily basis. Thats cool though. For that I will throw Matt Creamer at you, he always has some interesting links to pass on as does Nathan Gilliatt but it may be a little to techy for you. But then again, when this conversation started you thought you knew your stuff anyways. You do Twitter don’t you?


The dumbing down of America

Last week on HBO, they reran  CostasNow, a “sort of” sports oriented talk show hosted by Bob Costas, one of this nations most gifted sports authorities, scribes, oracle and overall mouth pieces for all things related to sport.  One of the segments featured  concerned the Internet and the impact of bloggers, as it pertains to sports. The guests were, Deadspin.com editor Will Leitch,  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger, and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

First, let me say that Buzz Bizzinger was so caustic, so adamant, and frankly so foul mouthed in his opinion that the current state of blogging, Deadspin in particular, was taking writing, sports writing in particular, in a direction that demeans everything that he ever stood for, that I had a hard time really agreeing with anything he said regardless of his pulitzer prize winning credentials.

At least I think that’s what he was saying, when he wasn’t yelling and cursing. I was ready for him to blame the demise of sports writing on that “damn rock and roll”! But alas, he didn’t. I’m guessing he’s just a completely jaded sports writer that’s mad that athletes make more than him.

So I sat and watched this exchange and started to think about what has the blogging community, and social media, and really the internet, created? Or what has it taken away? It’s pretty simple to see what is has created. It has created this:

Lots of talking, lots of conversations and lot’s of communication.

But what has happened is that the users expectations are starting to be raised. The user wants to be engaged, entertained and dazzled by the latest technological advance when it comes to communications and media. The days of relying on a newspaper and Time magazine are slowly being replaced by the rise of the blogosphere, the kindle and podcasts.

So are the users expectations rising? Or better yet, are we raising expectations while lowering the barrier to understand and comprehend? Or, dare I say it, are we simplifying the way we want users to get their info? Are we compartmentalizing their intake of information in such a way that it now can be treated as fast food. Information that is gathered at the take-out window. To be digested before you get home.

Funny thing though, the more we as technologists try to simplify things, the more time we demand of others to use the things that will “simplify” our lives. Email streamlines our lives so that we can communicate with our frinds and family. Text messaging so that we can give or receive an immediate response. Our phone allows us to not only call or text but also allows us to go online and do research and or check email! If you’re worn out already and wondering how one folds this time into one’s busy schedule, keep in mind that currently the average American spends 30 hours per month onliine according to emarketer.

If you take into account all of the current activities that a U.S. adult uses the internet for: Email, Local search, IM, blog reading, watching video, and podcasting to name a few-The average internet user needs their info quick and dirty (pun intended), easy to read, to digest and ultimately easy to discard. It can’t be complicated, they don’t have the time nor the patience to wait. If it is any of the former, expect the bounce.

The internet is taking away our patience. We expect our results, our information, to be delivered to us now. What this breeds are expectations in other social settings that might not necessarily be realistic. We wait longer at traffic lights or so it seems, so we run lights that are more red than they are yellow, and for what? Because we don’t want to be late. We grow impatient in a line when trying to check out at a store because the sales person is having trouble with the RFID scanner. We want product now and are unwilling to wait. We expect service now because it’s the way it’s delivered to us online. Fast with no bullshit. If any exists, we are OUT OF THERE.



When they do not meet those expectations, we complain. Why are our experiences online so unrealistic? Because the online world has eliminated the human element. It delivers what we need and want instantly. That is not reality.  Online, the old adage “Good things come to those who wait”, never meant less that ever before.

In turn, if we can get what we want without having to deal with a human, that suits some of us just fine. Some desire as little human interaction as possible. Coupled with our desire to speed up things, is the desire to simplify. These 2 elements have prompted companies and developers to try and speed things up by over simplifying the processes involved in creating the speed. In essence THEY ARE DUMBING THINGS DOWN

Thus the more a developer can dumb down the learning curve by not sacrificing the performance of the app, the higher the chance that it will be embraced by not only the casual user, but also the development comunity as well as investors. Investors love something that is sexy and easy to understand or can be pitched in the elevator. If it can, and it’s fast and solves a problem, and speeds up a process, it’s a winner.

Tim Ferris comes right out and states that he receives 500 to 1000 emails a day…

To contend with this, I have virtual assistants in Canada and sub-assistants in Bangalore who filter my inboxes using processing rules in Google Docs. Connected via Skype and compensated via PayPal, this team translates a 10-hour task into a 20-minute phone call.

Simplification? Hardly. E-mail has dramatically increased the number of coping mechanisms required to handle communication, the net complexity as compared with previous alternatives.

“If the promise of technology is to simplify our lives, it is failing.” The wording of this proposition is tricky. To quote Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what the definition of is is.”

Ironically,  Tim is the author of the 4 hour work week and thus may or may not be a good proponent of encouraging more humanistic encounters with a hint of challenging the intellect of the masses. With that being said, Seth Godin puts it pretty bluntly when he says, “When you dumb stuff down, you get dumb customers.”


Seth Godin must see video

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin  awhile back, spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. And early adopters, not the mainstream’s bell curve, are the new sweet spot of the market.