My predictions for Social Business in 2011:
1. Virtual gifting will become mainstream. The research shows that people value virtual gifts as much as real gifts (now why did I spend all that money on Christmas?) Social dating sites already make lots of money on virtual roses and IBM did the virtual “hex” necklace for our great developers. What will 2011 bring!
2. Crowdsourcing will be used by the crowds. Crowds of successful companies that is. The most competitive and successful companies in 2011 will use crowdsourcing for new products and services. Enough said.
3. Social media and gaming will interconnect and gaming will become “the” currency in 2011. Games like Farmville will become the norm due to the popularity of gaming with all ages and the fun, teachable moments that encompass it. Aren’t Foursquare and Gowalla just gaming platforms? Will everything become a gaming platform? I think so!!
4. Everything is Mobile. I am now on my iPhone more than my computer. In 2011, your cell phone will grow in its usage from wallet, ticket broker, concierge, bank, shopping buddy and more.
5. Cyberwarfare has just begun. With the Wikileaks publicity , cyberwarfare has just begun. It’s power is great and its numbers more than we can imagine.
6. Talent will select companies who embrace social media. Talented resources will want to work for the uberconnected company. Beware — those of you out there who still restrict your employees.
7. Put a ring on it. Engagement is Queen! Customer engagement is the winning strategy in 2011. Purchases are often the result of emotions, maximizing a customer’s hands-on experience within the environment
8. Crystal balls are required. Social Analytics that not only tell you what’s been done but predict based on that information will be the wave of the future.
9. Friends matter most. In the next five years, consumers will increasingly rely on themselves – and the opinions of each other – to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from companies. 2011 is the time to get yourself a group of Brand Advocates to assist your brand!
10. PR is 2.0. The potential for PR 2.0 is immense, and I don’t think anyone realizes that PR 2.0 will educate citizens and influence so many in ways corporations and governments have not realized … yet!
11. Social business not Social Media. Today, companies are using social media to talk to clients, to do sentiment analysis…all important. But 2011 will be the Social Business year. Social business is about being able to leverage social tools to have sell side analysts communicate to institutional traders, reinvented CRM systems, social learning, and process changes to incorporate social.