Social Media Predictions for 2009. Oh Dear.

Ok so there’s been tons of Social Media predictions, and many of them very good and most likely right. So as my agency hangs around in this space, I figured I might as well jump into the fray. Here for Peter Kim and here from Max are some good predictions and discussions.

I stepped back and decided to look at “people” from a “social” perspective and did some digging through some of the research we did for clients over the past year in the U.S., EU and Canada.
So I wanted to look at 2009 from a behavioural/societal perspective, rather than a business model, technology platform or marketing communications point of view;
More Hiding: As consumers/people become more aware of marketers and companies paying attention to what is being said, people will start to put less personal information online. More and more comments will become “anonymous” and we’ll begin to see the rise of the Avatar. So people will create more and more, their “online persona.”
More Activism: As people begin to understand the ability to “organize” into groups they will begin to rally more and more to “causes” sometimes for a day or a few hours and sometimes over the longer term. Online petitions will come into their own.
Governments Will Engage: Local, State/Provincial and national governments will begin to communicate in Social Media channels. There will be some wonderful flops and some amazing feats of engaging with citizens in a whole new way. But they will start to delve a little deeper in 2009.
More Local: As mobile apps take off with Smart Phones and WiFi availability, mobile Social Media apps will result in a more local feel of the Web. SMS and GPS will marry with mobile apps and the primary victims will be restaurants with poor service who will lose business faster than ever before. Word about local businesses will spread fast, creating a whole new set of issues for the small business operator.
Boomers Will Bloom: Baby boomers and current retirees will begin to be more engaged with the Web and Social Media tools and they will have two priorities; 1) Check the daily obits in towns they lived in before and 2) Share photo’s and videos with the kids and grandkids. They will become active and Boomers are likely to find their activist 60’s era spirits kindled again and may just hold Virtual Protest Rallies…not sure how, but someone will figure that out. Maybe using SMS services with their in-car GPS devices…
So in summary, people will figure out more how they want to use the tools for social and civil benefit, to enact societal change. Marketers and PR pro’s will be running to catch up and we’ll be trying to figure out, still, at the end of 2009 how to monetize those changes…OK, I jest a little…what’s your social predictions?

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Thursday, Jan 15