Some of the social media industry's top minds are making some interesting predictions for 2012.
In this blog post from Social Media Examiner detailing 30 social media predictions for 2012, a few themes emerge: The rise of video and photo-focused social networks, quality over quantity when it comes to unique content, and the rise of YouTube.
But one theme in particular takes center stage: focus.
Instead of spreading themselves too thinly across many social networks, businesses will begin choosing only a select few — maybe even just one — to focus on with special intensity.
We really hope this prediction comes true.
Understandably, any business just entering the social media realm can quickly grow overwhelmed by the number of choices available for connecting with customers. We're going to be optimistic here, and assume they try to spread themselves across many networks in an attempt to make sure they please every current and potential customer.
But only choosing a few social networks to focus on doesn't mean a business doesn't care about its customers. Quite the contrary.
Consolidating social networking efforts shows a business sincerely wants to help its customers.
These businesses are constantly listening to their customers, and know where they hang out most. So, they concentrate on these networks in an effort to be useful and interesting to their customers. That rapport-building leads to the establishment of a loyal online community that grows organically and steadily.
A laundry list of social network icons on your company website doesn't mean you're well-connected or cutting edge. When you think about it, doesn't that just look like you're trying too hard? Or worse — that all you care about is exposure?
If your customers use a laundry list of social networks, by all means, use them! But be sure you're willing to invest the time needed to use them well. And if you find that you can't do them all, take it from the pros and downsize.