5 Social Media Predictions for 2013

Last year was a whirlwind year for social media, both for the networks themselves and the small businesses and organizations relying on them to reach their audiences.

While it’s hard to tell exactly where everything is going in 2013, we thought we’d take a crack at it and make some predictions for the world of social media.

What’s going to change? What’s going to stay the same?

More importantly, will we still be so concerned with “likes,” tweets, pins, and follows at this time in 2014?

Here are our five social media predictions for 2013:

1. Social media marketing becomes a business-critical activity

Over the past five years, we have witnessed small business attitudes toward social media evolve from dismissive passivity to cautious curiosity.

Despite larger brands’ excitable embrace of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, most small businesses have been slow to include  social in their marketing mix.

In 2013, that’s going to change. We think small businesses will approach social media marketing as a business-critical, daily activity and, consequently, start seeing the value these channels bring to their businesses.

 2. Images become even more important for engagement

Instagram took a bold move when the social network thought about licensing users’ photos for commercial use to different companies.

Since then, the company has back-pedaled. But the message was clear: images, especially social images, are going to be big.

For example, a recent study showed:

  • Facebook posts with photos are “Liked” twice as much as text-only posts
  • Videos posted on Facebook are shared 12 times more than links and text-only posts
  • Photo & video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Pinterest users are following more brands than on Facebook and Twitter

In 2013, we’ll see this trend continue.

There’s a big appetite for visual stories and brands that combine images with content in innovative ways will see user engagement spike.

3. LinkedIn keeps getting bigger

According to our Social Media Manager Erica Ayotte, another trend is going to be LinkedIn’s increasing relevance in the social space.

“A year ago, LinkedIn was definitely a laggard in the social media world,” she says, “but they made some great improvements this past year—with updated profiles, new company pages, the influencer following program, and the endorsements feature—the network has become a valuable resource.”

Erica adds that LinkedIn is going to become the destination for your entire professional life, not just the place you go when you’re looking for a job.

“Folks are treating LinkedIn much more like Facebook’s Newsfeed than ever before: posting more regularly and engaging within the feed. I’m curious to see what else LinkedIn has up their sleeve.”

4. Google & Twitter get cozy

Erica’s other hunch is that Google and Twitter will start integrating more in an attempt to put more pressure on Facebook.

“That would be a natural fit for Google, since the majority of Twitter accounts are public and Facebook users all usually have some privacy controls on their accounts,” she explains. “Remember when Google removed the real-time Twitter search function? I have a feeling that will return in some way or form. Social signals are becoming increasingly important in the relevance game as clout and authority become increasingly important.”

5. Content marketing will play an even bigger role in 2013

Content was a driving force for many businesses in 2012, because when you give people something that’s valuable, you help build a relationship that means people will be much more likely to pay attention to your organization in the future.

Information that’s fun or helpful (or both!) is what people share and link to, whether they find that engaging content on a blog, a social media network, or in an email. And that’s important for search, too– Google automatically looks for the best, most useful information on any topic and puts it at the top of search results.

You can expect unique and engaging content to continue as the number one way for small businesses and organizations to build relationships with their audiences and attract new customers or supporters.

What predictions do you have for social media in 2013? Let us know below!


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  1. [...] Contact has made some striking and bold predictions about social media in 2013. I’m going to focus on three of [...]

  2. Our social media and marketing team definitely agree that both content and social media are critical to engagement. Marketing is no longer a one way conversation- and is more about developing the community, brand and value than it is simply advertising.

    I do think many brands (such as with Law) have a harder time developing a community based on social media, but we still think its important to SEO as well as like-ability

    • Blaise Lucey •

      Good point — some brands definitely have it harder than others when it comes to social media.

      The one bonus is that, when you do build a community via social media around a more difficult brand, fans who do interact are more likely to stay engaged with your content – after all, there aren’t quite as many Facebook Pages for lawyers as there are for clothing stores :)

  3. [...] on Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted on January 4, 2013 by [...]

  4. [...] see more predictions read the full article here! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in [...]

  5. saundraallman •

    2013 I am looking forward to doing more of what I know how to do, and learning to improve what I must do!

  6. [...] 5 Social Media Predictions for 2013 [...]

  7. Point 4 about Google and Twitter becoming more ‘cosy’ in an attempt to put pressure on Facebook made me sit up and think… Not entirely sure about linkedin. Content marketing most definetly seems to be the biggie in my opinion – what with the rise of guest blogging and all that as an alternative method of link building.

  8. At the end of 2012, my most conservative client agreed to establish a Twitter account (after several years of showing them how their colleagues and their clients are quite active on the channel). I agree that even the strongest social media hold-outs are going to step into the arena – they have to.

    Re LinkedIn: Personally I think this channel is fantastic for B2B; however, the “endorsements” feature, I predict, will not be taken seriously for very long. The way the feature is set up now makes it too easy to accidentally click and “endorse” someone for a skill. I’ve done it, I’ve talked to other people who have clicked by mistake, AND I’ve been endorsed by people for skills they would have no firsthand (or second-hand, for that matter) knowledge of my ability. Having said that, I take the endorsements I see on a profile page with a grain of salt.

    Thanks for your post, Blaise – have a great week!

  9. Excellent article and I agree with everything except I am not quite sure of the importance of Linked In for us personally when only a very small % of our customers (Brazilian owners of pousadas and small guesthouses/hotels) use it.
    One thing I would add to the list- Social media integration. Making sure that blogs for example are hosted on your site and that all social media communications point people in the direction of your site. When we did this just now (starting by changing from Blogger to Word Press and changing the url to our company url plus the blog name at the end) our page views almost immediately rose by 50%.

  10. Alison, I totally know what you mean but believe it or not, Linked In is starting to become bigger and bigger every day and you will see that you will be finding lots more customers very soon, in the near future.

  11. Mary Elizabeth Trapani •

    I think these 5 predictions are great! The one that truly hit home with me is #2 about images. I think it is true that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Personally I know that I am much more likely to engage when visuals of some sort are included. It may seem childish but the pictures or videos are able to further draw me in to the content. The pictures grab my attention but the content is what draws me further in and keeps me hooked. I think brands that use Instagram and Pinterest are able to create a deeper relationship with their customers.

  12. Killer predictions. Social media and content sharing networks are going to make boom in 2013 and social networking will be first-most important marketing factor for startups, and cloud IaaS, PaaS will hold greater share in fueling new startups #

  13. Wonderful predictions. Yes, I strongly wish and expect for Google+ to come in the forefront this year. Google+ never been so popular like Facebook, Twitter etc.

  14. I completely agree with the Content Marketing reference! Most service providers in my industry do not think that a blog can help with driving leads to their business. Well, this year, I plan on shattering that trend and driving a ton of traffic from my SEO efforts through my blogging and community/web outreach to help build my brand awareness.

    I’m also going to try my hand at infographics as well.

    • Dave Charest •

      Keep us posted on how it goes. Would love to hear what you find or how we can help!

  15. LinkedIn is useless and I’m stunned that made your list. It can be of some help when you’re networking for a job but if you have a job or you own a business, it’s useless. Very few people on LinkedIn seem to pay any attention to it.


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