2009, social media and predictions in a crystal ball

by Laurent François

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, but hey! guess what! I feel like sharing some nice thoughts I’ve read this week!

And you know what? It’s all about predictions. I mean, educated guesses, bets for 2009 in social media and business.

The Kbuzz team gives its #1 trick:

1) Offline WOM – Okay, so it isn’t technically a “social media” tool.. but nothing beats good, old fashioned, face-to-face word of mouth! Regardless of what new innovations and improvements are made in the world of social media in the future, none will have the same impact as a personal testimonial or demonstration from a trusted friend.

It’s a pretty good statement, when you remember that social networks like MySpace or Skyblog first expanded their members’pool through address books’ propagation. If you consider that an email to a friend is the very first border between offline and online world, it definitely makes sense to reaffirm that word-of-mouth is first a guy talking to another guy.

Colleen explains some other thoughts:

Pare back your strategies. Business does not have to be complicated. You don’t have to have a complicated strategy in order to reach your customers.

Increase your purpose. What is the point of your business? Can you, or better yet, your employees explain accurately what it is you do and why others should join your company or purchase your product or service? Why do you exist?

Come back to your core values. What were the values you upheld when you began your business? Are you still true to them today or have you let them slide in the face of striving to succeed?

Increase your social media interaction, or – god forbid – if you’re not involved in social media yet, get there, and get there now. The advertising industry has changed dramatically. The PR industry isn’t the same, and media is in a constant state of flux and change. Your competition will leave you in a cloud of honesty, transparency, and brilliant, yet subtle, salesmanship.

A come-back to simplicity, core assets and authenticity. You remove the wasted stuff, and you show the best of yourself. Good idea!

Brandstrategy comforts this same trend:

7. Retail will rebound. People will lessen their dependence on internet purchasing just to get out for entertainment value of shopping.

I don’t exactly agree. I really believe that people will more precisely improve their internet or social-media know-how / usage to optimize their decision-making processes. The other point is that in Europe, going out has a cost, and sometimes a big cost if you live in Paris or London. So if you buy online your products, it can be for many reasons, but certainly very often because you want to get the best prices for the goods you buy. To be debated ?

Tom Raftery probably wrote the funniest (thus relevant) post:

In 2004 – blogs started to really take off
In 2005 – audio podcasts started to take off
In 2006 – video podcasts started to take off
In 2007 – microblogging (Twitter in particular) started to take off
In 2008 – ???

We are in November now of 2008 and I still don’t see any big transformative Social Media technology which has occurred this year.

So to say, this Sunday was very Social media-oriented!

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