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Social Media Trends — View from the World!

November 30, 2009

As I have traveled around the world, I am seeing the following top Social Media Trends. I’d love your thoughts on these as core topics! I call them my crazy 8’s!

1) Mobility and social networking are biggest (most influential and highly visible) emerging trends related to Internet usage. The bar is now set as basic communications like voice or internet access and other than voice growing faster outside the US as far as I can see. The US runs the risk of being left behind in this core market since growth of mobility and user expectations are being set outside of the US!!! Safety and security are large reasons why the up-and-coming Tweens users are increasingly accessing mobile devices since their view security and privacy issues in social media environments.

I predict that key to mobile, social networking, and cloud will be security, and location based services like I saw in Japan. As walking downtown Tokyo, my cell lit up with coupons and offers based on stores I passed. Location awareness will increase in importance with the rise of mobile Internet and mobile social networking applications.

2) Social media is on the rise especially outside the US. Some of the most rapidly growing countries are South Korea, Brazil and the Philippines. In fact, when the power went out in Brazil, I used Twitter to find out what happened and if my hotel had a generator. In general, there is a youth movement driving much of the initial mobile Internet and social networking usage (particular in mature markets).

3) Mobile-friendly websites are required to leverage the power of the mobile Internet. Pictures are worth a 1000 words and therefore online video has a meaningful impact on purchase decisions. I believe the future of video is on mobile devices.   Most of the world is ahead of the US in mobile.  (P.S. I’d love some social mobile case studies!)

4) Continuation of a focus on relationship.   The best in class companies will not place the focus of social media on the bottom line revenue but focus instead on building relationship and continuous improvement. One of the biggest influences on purchases will continue to be colleague word of mouth — which as we know, grows exponentially with social media.  I see countries like India and China will a focus on this relationship element vs just ROI. 

5) WorldWide,  I continue to hear the biggest fear from all size companies on how to protect their company’s brand. Reputation management is an increasingly important trend.  Social media drives concerns related to brand management as well as implications for personal information.

6) Resume 2.0. And speaking of personal information, I think that the majority of resumes will be links to facebook, linkedin, podcasts, youtube, etc. The U.S. is leading this trend right now but I see other countries following.

7) Keep up the pace with search engine optimization. I predict that search engine optimization will continue to evolve. For instance, twitter will be searchable and will impact the search ratings and more changes will be coming WW.  I see this impact changing the way companies in multiple countries do business.

8) Cross pollination will accelerate in the future starting in the US first. In the future, there will be more linkage between social media tools. Using Twitter to drive reads of blogs, LinkedIn to facebook, for example… add the blog link application so your posts are prominently displayed on your LinkedIn profile.

So this is my view from visiting about 58 countries.  What did I miss?

2 comments

  1. hey Sandy, great post. Interesting to see someone’s take on social media as they travel the world. Here are some of my comments on the ‘crazy 8’s':

    While security still leaves open many concerns for mobile users, Geotagging will continue to become a larger part of our social media experiences. Ads popping up based on your location is only the beginning, when you start seeing specific ads based on your buying patterns and personal preferences…

    I have also seen huge advances with social media in South America and Mexico. It seems that the Asia-Pac region is always ahead of the states with technology and bandwidth, just not the communities. Also, it is interesting to hear stories like to 50cent Army in China, where people are paid to help sway sentiment on topics with false information. Each region has their own challenges with regards to this, as we have seen with the new Disclaimer laws for the states.

    I also envision video becoming a huge part of social media very soon. All we need now is for the iPhone to flip the camera around so you can video chat on your phone. Video blogging I also see as starting to pick up more, with video responses growing on YouTube.

    For larger brands, who owns the content is the biggest concern. It may be user generated, but once they upload it to YouTube or post on Twitter, they lose it (basically). It is interesting to hear how larger corporation work with the larger communities (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) to arrange their own agreements on information that is posted relevant to their brand. As more and more companies become engaged with social media, and encourage or try to stop employees from be active and posting, we will see more and more uproar over the TOS.


  2. Like your blog, Sandy! You’re right about the future augmented reality applications. And of course, video is becoming more and more important in social networks. An executive civil servant recently told me that a growing number of new colleagues enter the Dutch ministries via social networks and short video introductions.
    What you missed is the introduction of a new extension. I’m convinced this will be successful in 2010 already. With .tel domains all kinds of digital communication will be integrated in the best way possibe i.e. directly via DNS. Enom, the 2nd largest registrar worldwide, started to offer .tel domains registration last week. Curious? You might go to http://about-tel.edje.tel.
    By the way, visiting 58 countries is an impressive job! Hope you travelled with green seats :-)



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