2011 brought many memorable moments for Social Media, including the launch of Google +, the Facebook timeline, the sad death of Steve Jobs and of course, Charlie Sheen taking 25 hours and 17 minutes to break the Guinness world record of “Fastest Time to Reach One Million Followers” on Twitter.

Some amazing numbers have emerged in 2011 too:

  • Facebook reached 800 million global active users
  • Twitter now has over 300 million users
  • LinkedIn recently surpassed 135 million
  • Google+ has quickly climbed to 150 million active users
  • 50% of social network users are connected to brands

So, with the last point in mind, what is 4Ps Marketing’s outlook for social media marketing for brands in the coming year? We believe that 2012 is going to be the year of integration. Social media will be integrated in to brands’ traditional marketing, into strategy, PR and budgets more than ever.

Social analytics and Return on Investment

With brands spending more on social media marketing, they will be expecting more evidence of ROI with ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ no longer being enough to satisfy. This has already become evident with the addition of new Facebook insights, LinkedIn insights, analytics from tracking on URL shortening tools and many more.

We predict that social metrics via tracking activity on social media platforms will be much more in demand as companies invest more. Tracking this data will allow companies to determine profitable patterns, get a more accurate view of their audience and what material affects onsite traffic and sales.

Integrated Advertising

We have already started seeing how brands are using print adverts to drive customers to their Twitter and Facebook pages. This shows how important brands consider them to be. Hashtags have been appearing during TV shows encouraging you to join in the conversation. Brands have been driving customers off their website onto their Facebook page to get a discount or offer. Digital ads off and on social media platforms will provide links to the pages and related offers. We believe that we will be seeing increasingly more of this type of cross marketing integration.

Development of social advertising

Advertising on social media sites will continue to grow in 2012. Nielsen’s Global Online Consumer Survey revealed that 90% of consumers on-line trust recommendations from people that they know, with 70% trusting the opinions posted online by unknown users. With these sorts of facts emerging, the platforms themselves will continue to make their advertising more targeted, varied and therefore more effective to suit all budgets.

In all, it is clear that this is going to be an eventful year for social media and 4Ps are really looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how social media and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and search behaviour, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and technology across all inbound channels. What could a performance marketing agency do for your brand?