A round up of predictions for 2011 from across the blogosphere

11Jan11

An interesting article from Becca Caddy, posted on Reputation Online: HERE

Visit their site for links to the source of each prediction Becca has kindly summarised.

5th January 2011

1. Social search

Bing and Google have been experimenting with the potential of social search and this will only continue into 2011. However, in 33 Digital’s Trend Paper For 2011, Managing Director Drew Benvie says that it’s not just about search engines, and that people are increasingly turning to their own networks to seek out important information.

This certainly doesn’t mean that people are turning their backs on search engines, but that new platforms such as Quora suggest that an individual’s network can often provide a more specific and appropriate answer to virtually any question.

Benvie goes on to write that, “for the brand to understand how to engage and make it through the noise, they need to think past the listing on TripAdvisor, and think how they could become the one recommended when a group is asked live online to recommend one thing.”

2. Location-based services

Location-based networks and services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places have increased in popularity over the past 12 months. However, 2010 was primarily about brands experimenting with how location can be leveraged into existing communications.

In his Social Media Trends For 2011 series of blog posts, Jeremy Woolf, SVP at Text 100 in Hong Kong, suggests the next 12 months could see location based services be used in more innovative ways. He says that in particular, there’s a huge opportunity for B2B companies to find practical ways of using location beyond treasure hunts at trade shows.

3. Integration

The importance of integration for brands internally and externally is something we often talk about here at Reputation Online, as a joined-up approach always seems to be the most successful.

In his presentation at our recent Live event, What’s Coming Up For Digital PR in 2011?, Eb Adeyeri of Lewis PR spoke about the increasing importance of closer collaboration between the disciplines that have control over online reputation, most notably the struggle between those in digital, PR and SEO functions. Bigmouthmedia’s 2011 The Year Ahead in Digital Marketing also predicts a less siloed approach and a more integrated communications strategy between online functions.

In his Six Social Media Trends for 2011 post on Harvard Business Review, David Armano, SVP at Edelman Digital predicts that there will be much more integration of social media into different functions. He suggests that brands which used social media early, such as Ford, Dell and Starbucks will further integrate social media into all facets of business, from crisis comms to customer service.

4. Game Mechanics

From Foursquare badges to Reuters’ comment functionality, using gaming mentality to encourage the growth of stronger communities has become increasingly popular of late. JWT Intelligence’s 10 Trends For 2011 in 2 Minutes video predicts that in 2011 many more brands will using this concept in a range of ways, adding a sense of play to everyday activities that increase brand loyalty and engagement.

Woolf also predicts that game mechanics will be used more internally, “we should see more and more businesses getting into gaming as a way of rewarding and inspiring customers as well as employees.”

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