The year’s fresh off the lot, sparkling and pretty. Time to whip out my soothsaying sledgehammer and put a few dents in it.
1. Businesses’ love affair with social media will swell. Marketers, big and small, who’ve sat on the fence thus far finally take the jump. The result, a huge influx of really, really bad corporate Facebook pages, awkward Tweets, and news-making mistakes. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
2. Consumers will switch their relationship status with social to “It’s Complicated.” We’re ripe for social-burnout. Frictionless sharing, privacy concerns, and a further glut of new channels will have people feeling stretched thinner than ever. As a result, they’ll contract their networks and focus on where they’re most comfortable (Read: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). A version of Dunbar’s number will emerge, this time for the number of social channels one person can reasonably use and maintain. I’m putting the over/under at three majors (like a Facebook or Twitter) and three or four minors (FourSquare, Instagram, etc.) depending on their niche utility.
3. TV will continue its resurgence. Despite the knocks, the fact remains: no medium delivers the volume of eyeballs – day in and day out – like TV does. Much of this will be thanks to the very thing experts predicted would help kill it: social media. More people are tuning in live, with the remote in one hand and an internet connected device in the other – especially for big events. Communal TV-watching will continue to trend upwards, and marketers will find more relevant, immersive ways to take advantage. Mullen’s Edward Boches has a smart take on it here.
4. A lot of people are going to make millions with the Facebook IPO…but it won’t be you. If it goes the way of similar players like Zynga and LinkedIn, what you pay on day one of the IPO is going to be significantly more than what it’s worth at the end of the year…and probably next year too. Start melting your gold down now, people.
5. Mobile advertising will finally get its act together. Industry analysts have been pulling a Harold Camping on this prediction for a while now. But the meteoric rise of tablets and smart phones will finally provide mobile advertising with a platform that lets it flex its muscle beyond tired text message and display ads, thanks in large part to more dynamic location-based, search, and social functionality.