Social Media Predictions for 2013

Social Media Predictions for 2013

When trying to predict the future, it’s probably wise to look at the past. This year we saw Pinterest take off, we also saw a major redesign of LinkedIn, and Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 Billion. We also saw Facebook become a public company. Looking forward, 2013 will likely set another record for social media monetization; both on the software products being able to monetize its users and agencies being able to monetize the management and monitoring brands.

LinkedIn becomes a major force in online advertising

LinkedIn has established itself as the Facebook of the business world. It arguably presents a more captive audience. In 2013, look for LinkedIn to model itself after Facebook and Google; after Facebook in terms of target interest-based demographic targeting and after Google in terms of its LinkedIn Audience Network (similar, but much smaller than the Google Display Network). Also look for a big shift in the way companies market themselves on LinkedIn. Right now it’s mainly B2B marketing, but in the coming year look for LinkedIn to enter the B2C advertising sphere (think marketing high-end products to high-income earners). Also look for them to aggressively pursue their LinkedIn Premium membership subscriber base (something that Facebook will never have, because after all “Facebook will always be free”).

Facebook incorporates search and revamps timeline

In 2013, look for Facebook to attempt to capitalize on search-based advertising. Despite all of Facebook’s targeting capabilities, they still have yet target buyers in the exact moment when they’re researching a product or service. Can Facebook ever compete with Google, are they way too late to the search game? Will they just further integrate their user data into Bing? Either way, look for Facebook to monetize its user data and attempt to push its stock price up. Also look for Facebook to enhance Timeline which rolled out for users in late 2011 and for brands early in 2012. 2013 is sure to bring with it enhancements to the platform in terms of speed and usability.

Third-party tools proliferate and get snatched up by the big players

Third-party social media tools give users new abilities not found on their original platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In recent years we’ve seen a number of acquisitions in this space. For example, Radian6 was sold to SalesForce, Google bought advertising platform WildfireApp, and on a smaller scale Followerwonk was purchased by SEOmoz. It makes sense for the big guys to buy up these third-party applications, given that it’s cheaper and faster to integrate an existing product rather than developing it from scratch. Look for more of this to happen in 2013.

2013 will be the year of search + social

The +1 button gave us a glimpse of how social connections could influence search results. To many, the +1 button seemed like a rather crude way of determining whether people liked or disliked a webpage. Do +1’s still matter? Of course they do. Have they achieved the adoption rate Google hoped they would: no, not at all. In 2013, look for search engines to get even smarter by diving deep into social data and knowing how its users are connected outside of the Google network. Look for this data to feed search engines and help them determine what results are relevant to you.

Social networks learn from each other

It seems like when one social network innovates the other do a little R & D: replicate and duplicate. Just think of LinkedIn copying Facebook’s news feed, likes and commenting or the popularity of Instagram-like filters. Watch for lots of innovation as each social network attempts to copy and even outdo one another. Might we see Facebook attempt to compete with Google+’s Communities platform? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure, they’re definitely paying attention.

Social goes mobile and hyper-local

I’d be remiss not to mention mobile. With smartphone adoption soaring every day, look for 2013 to bring an even better social experience to mobile. In 2012 we saw Facebook release its Pages app which allows people to manage their pages from their smartphone. Look for more this and also an improved social/mobile experience to come. Increased functionality and a faster, more local experience are ready to make your life better in 2013. Picture a day when the iPhone’s “Find My Friends” app, Facebook, Instagram, and Siri are all one app. It’s coming, and you should be very excited about it!

Post By Steve Toth (120 Posts)

Steve is an industry recognized SEO expert who has been published in Moz. He is an audiophile and loves all things internet marketing. Steve enjoys working on the conceptual side of SEO.

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18 Comments

  • avatar

    I am pretty sure Facebook is going to install or integrate Instagram with Facebook. If Facebook manage to be able to do that, then it would possibly be the best social media website. Though I do agree with you that the searches are all about how to get likes/tweets/+1 and that is what all the teens are up to these days, trying to get more likes to seem more popular.

  • avatar

    Very interesting information. I am kind of surprised, though, that you did not think to mention how Google + is going to impact everything.

    • avatar

      Fair point Wayne, I intentionally left Google+ out because I feel it will be more of a force that will influence search rather than social. People aren’t exactly flocking from Facebook and Twitter to Google+ 🙂

  • avatar

    Very interesting article, and like your style of writing as well. You had some very interesting topics, and I enjoyed reading this.

  • avatar

    I also heard about Google+ stretching its muscle and deciding to come up with a brand new Dedicated Analytics Tool, with the launch of such a tool page administrators will have access to data such as which users are interacting with their page, the demographics of those users, and information about users’ social activities including +1’s, shares, and comments. This strongly highlights the fact that Google+ is going to play a vital role in the future as a social media. In fact, i just completed my profile in Google+ 🙂

  • avatar

    Hi Dejeesh,
    Sad to say that the initial trend in Instagram shows vice-versa. Instagram Loses 25% of its Daily Active Users Read @ http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33992/Instagram-Loses-25-of-its-Daily-Active-Users-and-Other-Marketing-Stories-of-the-Week.aspx
    It seems that in 2013 Instagram going to face a tough time.
    As you said about Google+, its for sure Google is indirectly making Google+ compulsory for SEO. That’s why I earlier said “Google will make it very hard to do great SEO without using Google+.”
    I believe the future of Internet marketing will be the marketers who will give the accurate proportion of importance to SEO (Not search engine optimization but for users/visitors optimization ), SMM, Paid, CRO & finally Link earning rather than link building.
    Thanks!

  • avatar

    @ Christy, thanks for share the link about Instagram. I believing Instagram will be trending one in 2013. Its good to see your cool predictions here and I agree Google is giving more priorities for +1s. By this way they are planning to exposure Google+ social network over the Facebook and other social networks. Recently the G+ started community, this si an another great move from Google Developers. Only few communities are created there and hope this will beat FB group soon.
    In my opinion,the future of online marketing will be depends in Paid Adverting and Social Media Marketing.
    What you think ?

  • avatar

    I think G+ will move slowly and “win” (whatever that means) in the end. Google is brilliant at building lasting, scalable, maintainable systems and I don’t think G+ will be any different. Social signals are obviously becoming increasingly important to search results just as “social proof” is relevant to visitors. Google has a multi-billion dollar interest in owning as much of that as possible. In my opinion G+’s biggest problem is Facebook, because FB has set in our mind what G+ should be. That limits it for the time being but in time I believe G+ will be more of a system rather than a website. You can see this in Google Now on Android and even in Google serps e.g. weather, stock quotes, movies etc.
    Facebook will be around for a long, long time but to me it feels a like it is losing momentum. I’d guess that FB will follow the Myspace arc, but in a much grander way.
    I agree with the comments on Linkedin and honestly I am shocked at how relevant it has become. Not long ago LI was simply a static place to post an electronic resume and hope a recruiter will find you there. Earlier this year I noticed the new “wall” feature and admittedly I felt like it was a silly copycat move. However, via groups, today I am finding it one of the richest, most rewarding social connections I have.
    Interesting times.

  • avatar

    @Dejesh, Definitely Instagram will stay in market. Facebook bought it for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012. They must be having definite plans to execute. Hopefully by year end(2013) Facebook will integrate Instagram features into FB.
    Read What Facebook will do with Instagram @ http://digital-possibilities.com/blog/what-facebook-will-do-with-instagram/

  • avatar

    Nice prediction steve! here are my list of 5 social media prediction for 2013:
    1) Social media through Mobile device will have more share(more than 60%). Finally publishers & advertisers will concentrate more on mobile device.
    2) Businesses will integrate their social media optimization into a broader strategy with more investment.
    3) Social media profiles will play a big role in creating Author Rank for individual, especially Google plus profiles.
    4) Social Signals will play a important role in ranking.
    5) Google will make it very hard to do great SEO without using Google+.
    On December 2013 Google + will have 1.27 billion active users.

    • avatar

      Great list you’ve compiled Christy! Social will only continue to influence search moving forward, it will be up to us to make content that is worth sharing!

    • avatar
      Vanessa Copeland 

      on 

      @Christy, Those are some hot predictions, hopefully we will see all of these predictions play out this year!

  • avatar

    I agree Steve in 2013 the Search + Social become the most important one. From the starting of 2012, the social communication has been growing up the best source of conversions and traffic. Now the 50% of website traffic depends on Social Media presence of business. The profile of business in each and every social network should be trusted one and need to update regularly. Then only we can make trust to other visitors. First we have to follow the top contributors of the social media and then update the account with latest trends and news. If we are active in social site we will automatically get followers without following back.
    I think at the end of 2013, Linkedin and Google + will be the top social sites. Only the top companies are maintaining its Google+ account properly. By that way they getting huge traffic also. The small companies are giving only the less importance for G+ and they are thinking by the updating G+ is wasting time.
    Lets wait for the changes of Social Media in 2013 🙂
    And I have one question, will instagram have a long life ?

    • avatar
      Vanessa Copeland 

      on 

      @Dejeesh, I agree that Linkedin and Google+ will become more prominent social players this year! And for your question about Instagram, I believe it will stick around for a while. Its popularity is still growing daily and seems that some people like it better than Facebook (for Facebook’s sake, at least it own’s Instagram).

  • avatar

    I agree with this article, especially the part that 2013 ranking/search is going to be all about giving +1 signals/tweets/likes.
    I would love to read more about marketing on LinkedIn, so if you guys have the time or run out of ideas for content, there is one ;). It is an area that I would love to grasp better.

  • avatar

    I have a feeling Google plus will outrank facebook. It is already the most used search engine, and has been integrated into phones, laptops, and tablets. Not to mention gchat.

  • avatar

    Well written and really interesting read!!!

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