It’s the start of a new year and the start of plenty of new, competing ideas and speculation about which social media sites will prevail and how customers and businesses will continue to embrace them.
There’ve already been plenty of predictions about which social media sites will prevail this year, what Facebook is going to be pressured to do, and how businesses are busy working on ways to include social feedback.
In my opinion, one of the industries that need to reevaluate the way they do business online is the travel industry. Some leaders have begun to realize that they need to listen to customers, engage with them, offer exotic deals that no one else can and give customers a unique experience as well as find a way to create loyalty and relationships. All travel agents and travel groups should be embracing all social media channels and updating the way they do business, because people aren’t interested in paying someone to just plan their trip. They want more, and know they can find it if they really want to. They want personalized and interactive trips, and the best way to show them is through youtube channels, Facebook pages for the hotels they’re interested in and Twittering with the hotels they’re interested. Travel agencies need to change the way they’re doing business, before they become obsolete.
The next big prediction/game-changer has to do with Facebook. Since Facebook introduced their Location Based Services- do you think it’s going to be a Foursquare killer, or work in parallel with it? It’s hard to tell which will prevail, or if either would find a way to integrate further with companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial.
I think either Facebook or brands with Facebook designers that decide to take it upon themselves need to find a way to exchange more information and recommendations on Facebook. Obviously, there are plenty of successful brands on Facebook who allow fans to comment and like various posts, as well as post their own opinion. But this can be cluttered and doesn’t always allow other customers to gather an opinion about a product… There needs to be a better way to do this.
What are your thoughts on social media in 2011? What is going to be the game-changers or next big thing?