5 Social Media Trends for 2012

It’s 2012, and social is no longer just an emerging trend in marketing. It’s a marketing staple. This means that doing it right is about more than simply being “present” in the right places. Social media is a conversation: if you want your voice heard, you better know how to listen. Listening tells us what people are saying about us and where they are saying it. It allows us to develop smart social campaigns that target the right people with the right messages.

The social media landscape is changing as fast as it’s growing. In order to stay on top of the conversation, we need to pay attention to the direction in which it’s going. So, in the spirit of listening, here are five social media trends and social apps to help keep you in the loop.


An obvious trend, but definitely one worth talking about. The line between social and mobile has all but disappeared. Social users are increasingly on-the-go, and mobile users are increasingly social. They are checking-in at bars and restaurants, tweeting about their adventures, and documenting their experiences as they happen with Instagram.


The use of location-based services to influence social conversation is becoming increasingly valuable to marketers. Many new companies are experimenting with technology that allows for targeted advertising and engagement based on user location.


This is a fun one. Gamification is the application of game mechanics into business strategy. Popular gamification techniques motivate consumers by encouraging them to work towards earning badges or securing a position on a leaderboard. The market for gamification is expected to see significant growth in coming years as it becomes increasingly integrated with social media.


A social influencer is someone with a far-reaching and well-regarded presence on social media. They have the capacity to drive thought leadership in a particular subject, and they have influence over the behavior of others. New companies like PostRank (recently acquired by Google), specialize in measuring social influence. Marketers can now access PostRank’s capabilities through Google Analytics.

Marketing Consulting

A final trend worth discussing is marketing consulting. With so many new developments in social media, many businesses are hiring external help in order to keep up. Social marketing campaigns require knowledge of a diverse set of functions, from content creation and publishing expertise to measurement analytics and management proficiency.

Readers, which of these trends are relevant to your business? What do you think the future social media landscape is going to look like? Let us know in the comments below!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jake says:

    Great trends. In addition, I think this year we’ll see brands really consolidating their social media/digital strategies. Even last year, brands were allowing single agencies to take on more work instead of diluting it between tons of different agencies. Because they realized the importance of integrating messaging, strategies, and cross-checking data and results between various channels, personally, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of that.

    • Great point, Jake. I’d have to agree. The integration of marketing strategies between channels makes sense because we’re seeing the channels themselves beginning to overlap in significant ways. We’re moving towards a united state of digital, social, and mobile. As such, the carving out of separate line items in budgets reserved for these areas is becoming increasingly arbitrary. Our efforts directed towards one area will inevitably reach users of another. Marketing success today is contingent upon looking at the bigger picture and planning accordingly.

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