We’ve seen a lot of changes over the last twelve months. Some were easy to predict, others, well…not so much. I’ve spent a lot of time researching what the experts have to say, and I’ve decided to weigh in with my thoughts. So here’s my personal list of Social Media Predictions for 2013.
1. It’s a continuation of the year of the mobile. Last year was touted as the year of the mobile device. This includes smart phones, tablets and eReaders. I think this year it will be even more so. The prediction mid-year was that by January 2013 forty-nine percent of all online viewing would be done on a mobile device. Right now, that number is at sixty-nine percent. If your site doesn’t look good on a mobile device—ALL mobile devices—you’re loosing viewers.
2. Pinterest is now much more than the new kid on the block. A lot of folks thought Pinterest would be another flash-in-the-pan network. Those folks are eating their words. Pinterest works well for individuals and now, with the new roll-out of business pages, with groups as well. It’s quickly becoming another one of those must-have tools in my arsenal. Haven't tried it yet? Here's my post on Pinterest Basics.
3. This will be a make or break it year for Google Plus. This network giant has a lot going for it, but the masses just haven’t caught on yet. My prediction is that it will either take off or die off. I’m hoping for 2013 to be the year it takes hold, but we’ll have to wait and see. Here's my Thursday Review on Google Plus.
4. Twitter will fight with Pinterest to stay the number one network. I think Twitter will win out fairly easily, but Pinterest will come in a close second. Keep your Twitter skills sharp to stay on top of the social media game. Twitter is still king of the hill, and anyone who wants major social media impact will need to come up to speed. This post will get you started on Twitter Basics.
5. I’ve said over and over that social media isn’t about mass marketing. This year will continue to bear that out. The general social media users have become much more savvy about who’s for real. Those who cheat and build networks artificially (by buying names or other shady practices) will be penalized by their followers even more than by the social media police. Building a strong network happens organically and generally takes time. There are exceptions to the time frame, but not to the method.
6. Graphics will trump everything. We are becoming more and more visually motivated. This translates to social media and is one of the reasons Pinterest is taking off. Think about the things you share on social media. So many of them are graphics, info graphics, and pictures. We’re all going to have to bone up on our graphic design skills, or at least find places to buy them.
7. Facebook will continue to limp along. It’s been the apex network for some time and will dwindle into oblivion slowly and painfully. But dwindle it will. But even with that, there are still so many on Facebook we’ll all need to continue to stay active.
8. I predict we’ll see more community blogs. Writers have seen the value of regular blogging, but they also see the hard work in building a following. The answer to this is a group blog. There are quite a few who do it and do it well. I predict we’ll see more of the same.
9. YouTube will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate. It’s already the second largest search engine on the web. In 2013 I predict it will continue to become more user friendly and we’ll see more and more folks monetizing through YouTube. There’s still time to be ahead of the curve by building a strong YouTube channel, but this is probably your last year before it becomes so main stream those not involved will have to run to catch up. Here's how YouTube can become an important part of your social media plan.
10. In publishing I see Indie and Self-Publishing to become even more accepted. I think this is the year we’ll see even more breakout works through these channels.
11. I also think the small, independent bookstores will solidify their places in the market. A lot of the giants may have toppled, or at least wobbled. But there are some amazing entrepreneurs who are making sure today’s paradigm includes brick and mortar stores. I applaud their ingenuity and willingness to not give up.
12. Of course I predict that eBooks are here to stay. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make that prediction. But I do believe we’ll continue to see some poorly published books in eBook form, but the consumer is much wiser. Those interested in taking shortcuts with less than excellent offerings will be penalized in the marketplace.
13. Finally, I predict the eBooks will cause a HUGE resurgence in short stories and poetry. I’m already excited by some of the books I’ve read in 2012 and I think 2013 will be the year these almost dying genres gain a sizeable foothold.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but these are the things I believe are on the horizon. I’m excited about what’s ahead and I believe there is no better time than right now to be a writer.
I’d love to know your thoughts and your predictions!
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