Well, it is 2013 and I am excited to see what new things will happen. It’s been amazing to watch how fast the internet changes with social media, search trends, and mobile sites. Before we move forward, let’s take a look at last year’s biggest changes.
Social Advertising Growth
2012 was a banner year for social media. In fact, over 250,000 global companies utilized social media networks. Over $4.6 billion was spent on social media advertising this past year and according to industry monitors, this is expected to double over the next 4 years.
With social media marketing, a number of new businesses used the services to establish brand validity and awareness. In addition, they generated a lasting buzz, which secured greater leads and revenue across the board. Existing companies also saw unsurpassed growth, while native ads edged out display ads 3 to 1. From Facebook’s Sponsored Stories to Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, social media advertising is slated to reach record breaking numbers in 2013.
Facebook Timeline was put into action back in September 2011. The new page design radically revamped Facebook’s profile templates.
The object of the new design was to allow users to tell their life stories via several media tools. This included photos, personal milestones, friendships, and especially travel. Users could also centralize their information, while showcasing a more streamlined profile page.
Facebook wants all of its 800 million users to adopt and implement the timeline feature this year. It may even be mandated as a rule for new and existing users. This is despite the 42% of users that want to revert back to the old Facebook. Many users also believe Facebook will be better if both the old and new options remain available. Even with the ongoing debate, expect Facebook Timeline to attract first time users this year.
Google + Moves Local
Google continues to be the premier marketplace for business listings. In 2012, countless businesses tapped into the growing trend of regional, national, and even international advertising.
As a social media machine, Google enabled businesses to build brand pages. In 2012, Google took the same approach to help promote local businesses across the nation. This, of course, is based on the location of the business, along with its target audience and prime vicinity.
While the goal of these businesses is to appear on local search results, there are several other aspects of Google + moving local. This includes precise business profiles with maps, along with industry reviews and market ratings. Businesses can also display favorable client testimonials, which help them secure higher visibility and greater patronage from local customers.
Pinterest credited its growth to simple grassroots marketing in 2012. Pinterest relied on both traditional and internet marketing to establish its base. With just 3,000 users back in 2010, the popular virtual pin-board has secured over 11 million users in the last two years.
Its compatibility with Facebook Timeline saw a 17% growth in usage early last year too. Pinterest, of course, is a popular social media service that allows users to create and manage themed based image collections. This can range from wedding photos to their favorite interests and hobbies. Users also have the ability to browse other pin-boards on the network, while “liking” photos or “re-pinning” images to their own boards or collections. With the 10 million user milestone passed, Pinterest is slated to grow even more in 2013.
Facebook Jumps into Local Search
The world’s most popular social media site has jumped into the local search sector. This is courtesy of its “Nearby” feature, which is available as part of the company’s IOS and Android applications. The local search feature has propelled Facebook to even greater heights.
Now, users can discover places that their friends like while on the go. The feature also displays local venues that their friends “like” or have highly recommended. With all the recent emphasis on localization, Facebook offers the perfect portal for users to review local restaurants and businesses.
The information they share can be helpful resources for all those in their friendship networks or business circles. These businesses can then secure higher ratings via favorable recommendations from their customers. This not only increases their leads and revenue, it also moves them up in the search results as well.
Websites Go Mobile
Mobile websites seems to be the current trend in websites. Since last year, countless businesses have invested in mobile websites to attract mobile customers. This is partly due to the high numbers of transactions and sales across wireless networks. In fact, mobile websites procure a 75% higher rate of engagement than regular sites. Mobile-friendly websites will continue to grow in the commercial spectrum in 2013. In fact, 1 in 5 mobile website visit results in an immediate call to the business. This has energized both the mobile consumer market and its patrons. According to industry experts, the rapid growth will result in more Americans accessing the web via mobile than desktop.