The year 2011 was a big year for the Social Media industry. Besides the sharp rise in the number of registered users on social networks, the time spent on these networks as well as the quality of engagement also increased tremendously. In other words, 2011 was the year in which Social Media rocked the online world more than anything. Here is a quick look at some of the highlights.
Facebook Became Stronger & Smarter:
It’s not only in India but most of the world, where Facebook maintained its top position as the number one social network. This was a result of the increase in the number of registered users as well as integration of some features like timeline, location, sponsored stories, new chat, video chatting, etc. In India, Facebook grew from a mere 15 million in 2010 to a strong 40 million a counting by the year-end with a growth rate of more than 150%. Besides the number of registered users, the time spent and no. of interactions also grew on Facebook.
Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin:
As the top video site, microblogging site and professional networking site- youtube, twitter & linkedin respectively had their own set of target audience and growth. Besides the core functionality of the networks, they had their own changes where youtube became the whole new youtube and twitter changed its design as well as user interface. In terms of numbers also the number of views, tweets & connections increased compared to previous year.
“Social” Media Worked:
The best example of what a social campaign can do on Social Media is of Mr. Anna Hazare. The overnight star that Anna Hazare and his Lokpal Bill campaign was, created a lot of hype & interest amongst the social networks as well. In his support there were specific pages made on social media and people were indulged to share their own views on it as well. Result was simple where the social networking population supported Anna for his cause online as well.
Content is King:
This is a no brainer when it comes to Social Media where the whole idea is to have a two-way communication with the target audience. It is all about consumption of the content and sharing the same with other people. One brilliant example of this is the song Kolaveri Di that apparently was loved by the masses due to its catchy tunes and wider reach. Content was definitely the king and there is no doubt about the fact that this will continue in the future as well.
- No. of Facebook users are growing more than any other social network. This means that Facebook here to stay for a long time
- Niche social networks are here to stay as well for their offerings and dedicated target audience
- E-commerce is growing and as a result the same is getting more integrated in terms of referral programes
- Mobile social networking is again increasing as people are finding it as a more convenient way to stay in touch with friends on the go
- Advertising is now getting more social as the giants like Google & Facebook are getting the maximum results with a very niche target audience as well
- The number of users on social networking sites in India is on the rise and the percentage of social network users from the total Internet users is also increasing drastically
Brands on Social:
Brands have come a long way on Social Media this year compared to the previous one. Everything is now considered to be “Social” and not just one way advertising. Social Networking features are utilized at its best as a result of which brands are leveraging from the whole space. From interactive applications to ad spends, brands are doing a brilliant job integrating social media in their offline communication as well. But again the focus for brands is on people to grab “Likes” & “Followers” rather than giving more importance to the quality interactions and user experience.
Crystal Ball Gazing:
The following are the trends that I believe this year will bring in for Social Media:
- Facebook will grow beyond its limits
- Content will hold the highest importance
- Mobile Social Networking will top the growth charts
- Brands will become smarter in their social media efforts
- Two way communication will be very important
- Audio Visual consumption will increase gradually
- Bollywood, Cricket & Recent News will continue to sell the most
Going by the trends of how the year 2011 was and what are the things to look out for in 2012, it is going to be a very interesting & insightful year for Social Media in India. Brands will become more social and interactive while communication will be more specific and targeted. As of now I see the Social Media angle growing in a big industry by itself where it will be via mobile or computer.What are your thoughts on Social Media. Do let us know in the comments section below.
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