7 Social Media Predictions for 2009

1. Social Media Continues its Rapid Growth
Social media will be propelled by the ease in which phones and netbooks are able to access them. Mobile devices will be the primary way people access these networks and tools.

2. Business Networks Surge as Economic Crisis Continues
Job seekers will look for every edge and contact available, and online business networks will be their primary resource. Integration points between sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will continue to be enhanced to make transitions for the user as seamless as possible.

3. Many Free Services Will Become Defunct
Sites and companies will learn it’s difficult to make a profit, especially as banner revenue declines, and it will take some transition to figure out a better ad revenue model for the Web than banners.

4. More Traditional Broadcast Television Moves Online
Just as we’ve seen many people live without a landline telephone — using only a cell phone — we’ll see households stop paying for cable and view what the Web has to offer via their Internet connection and hook up their computers to their high definition televisions.

5. Social Media Changes Offline Behavior
The openness of social media can often have drastic consequences in relation to jobs, relationships, etc.

6. More Social Media Searches for Products and Services

People don’t care what Google thinks as much as they do about referrals from friends. The technology is already available to track purchases online. Seeing what your friends purchased, as well as their opinions, is invaluable.

7. Marketing Budgets will Continue Shrinking
The financial downturn will encourage more marketing executives to turn to organic social media initiatives to drive awareness and interest.

All in all, 2009 looks to be a year of significant growth for social media. So if you haven’t yet figured out how to incorporate a social media marketing plan into your business model, make it a New Year’s resolution to do so.

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