Social networking is the #1 activity online. Even though Google gets the most visitors, Facebook is where most of us are spending our time. And it’s not just about Facebook anymore. We are spending a lot of time on LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter. While there are some clear major players in the social space, the social media universe continues to expand and 2011 was a banner year for the idea of an “Interest Graph.”
2011, we saw Google launching Google+ and Pinterest grewing at an astounding rate. Facebook launched “Timeline” and “frictionless sharing” with partners like the much anticipated Spotify. Facebook also acquired design companies and the team behind Gowalla, showing the company’s intent to provide a consistent experience across devices and becoming a more prominent player in the mobile space.
2011 was also a big year for social IPOs: From LinkedIn to Groupon and Zynga, small tech startups are becoming public companies. There is much speculation around the existence of a bubble, and some say growth cannot continue because social networks are running out of users. However, Facebook is not yet public and we still don’t see a clear exit for Twitter.
There might be saturation, but social media has changed the way we live. And this means social media is no longer a question for marketers. Companies of all sizes have accepted and even embraced the importance of social media. Investments are starting to increase and companies are now building teams to tackle the new risks and opportunities that social media has created. While Facebook and Twitter ad spending is expected to grow only at a decreasing rate, advanced brands are leveraging more digital dollars for their social media marketing strategies and tactics. “Social” has been an afterthought for many years, but marketing campaigns and programs are finally starting to feel inherently social. This presentation is about the state of social media and social media marketing on January 1st, 2012: