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Next year’s big trends in social media


December 5, 2012

Improved technologies, new ad models and more users around the world are among the big social media trends that Ryan Holmes foresees in 2013. Writing for FastCompany.com, Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, a service for managing multiple social media accounts, says that as the use of mobile social media continues to soar, finding ways to squeeze ads onto tiny screens will be more critical than ever.

On social networks, traditional banner and interruption ads will be replaced by promoted tweets and sponsored stories — which, apart from small disclaimers, read like user-generated content. Some people resent the intrusion into their home streams, but these so-called “native” ads let brands reach clients on their own turf and on their own terms, Holmes says.

Brands and businesses will need to keep pace with an expanding array of social networks in North America and abroad. At the same time, social media tools will move beyond the marketing department and increasingly be used to improve office productivity, Holmes predicts. For companies a continuing challenge will involve how to profit from the unprecedented volumes of information about clients and buying trends that social media have provided. Expect to see more university courses on social media, and even social media MBA programs. — Greg Beaubien



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