So this month we’ve all read the slew of social media experts at advertising and marketing agencies blog, tweet and publish their 2012 predictions — and last year saw its share of both the perceptive (the embrace of mobile) and the preposterous (Google+ immediately dethroning Facebook).
To keep my comments in the first camp, let me present my single Media Declaration of 2012. Video is going to be this year’s social marketing game changer. Just as the posting of photos has become second nature to users, so is video now in a position to drive social interaction.
Of course, the 800 pound gorilla — and getting bigger — is YouTube, which is now the world’s 2nd largest search engine and reports 4 billion views a day. Google has been gradually changing the site from passive video viewing to a full social experience, and is moving online marketing forward by tightly integrating YouTube with Google+. In fact, YouTube’s new website design launched last month features a central column that integrates other social networks and displays video channels. It gives the site a much more structured appearance and better positions it for business branding.
Smartphone video cameras are now as good or better than many mainstream video cameras, and especially my now virtually useless (OK, and defunct) Flip. Social networks are moving in lock step, with videos being added to Facebook pages and dedicated sites like Viddy, Tout, Blip and Keek that facilitate social video sharing and social marketing.
These sites also facilitate the disturbing success of Daniel Tosh, who brings no real talent to his TV show Tosh.0 beyond introducing a laundry list of video clips of the so‑bad‑they’re‑good variety. While the show validates my point, it kills me that its ratings are rising with no end in sight to its lame user-submitted content.
So what now? Should you plunge right in and create a YouTube channel for your brand? If it’s relevant to your business, absolutely, but only if you can do it well. The 2012 social media marketing landscape will continually present advertisers with new choices, and you can’t be everywhere — so focus on the sites likely to provide the best results for your company (and if you’d like some insight into my next blog, start spending more time on LinkedIn.)