The forecast for 2011 for SEO and SMM

2011 will be a crucial year for social media and SEO. Here’s my thoughts on what’s going to be hot or not split down into individual, companies and industry.

For Individuals
Personal Brand Online – people buy from people therefore more business individuals and leaders will grow their presence online to boost their business profile

Social Recruitment – Gone will be the days of heading off to see a recruitment company – recruiting will be done more online through sites such as LinkedIn

Digital Darwinism  – those individuals who build their networks in LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites will create more opportunities and strengthen their own credibility and authority in their markets – creating a competitive advantage for themselves and their companies

Watershed on Twitter –   Those who share meaningless information will be left behind, as those who engage in conversation and share knowledge will build more influence

For Companies

Companies will start measuring the ROI on their SMM and feel that they are getting true returns on engaging with their customers and community

With the rise in social search optimisation - more companies will have an integrated approach to social media, blending and cross populating content across channels

Social media will become a core part of SME’s marketing mix.

Social media for large organisations will be key to managing their stakeholders, engaging with the customers, and influencing the communities they serve

LinkedIn will continue to be a key tool for SMEs to raise profile, network online and attract new business opportunities

Video- More companies will start using video as a means of differentiating themselves online and promoting their services

It will become clearer for companies - how to tender for social media services and evaluate suppliers performance, credibility and authenticity – after all it’s all going to be online!

Blogs – more companies will use blogs as a key tool for engaging with their customers and community. Being real, authentic and genuine will be  key.

Digital Darwinism – those companies that truly adopt social media, groundswell and engagement with their customers and community will create a competitive advantage which will put them in good stead when we start coming out of recession

In the Industry
Social media will continue to merge with search engine optimisation, with the level of engagement and sentiments of brand online having a direct impact on rankings in Google

Social Search Optimisation
will starting to replace SEO as all elements of a brand presence online will need to be optimised so they appear in Google web searches – website, twitter, facebook, blog etc

YouTube and Twitter will continue to grow as ‘search engines’ in their own rights, putting pressure on Google to further integrate these results in their web searches

Yahoo will diminish in the search arena as more of their services are pulled offline

FourSquare will grow in popularity and more location base companies will start to offer more promotions.

Facebook Places will grow in popularity and will pinch market share from Google places and FourSquare

Growth in Social Media Experts and Charlatans – there is a low barrier to entry in the social media and search world.  Anyone can read a book over a weekend and start up a company. With the growth in companies using social media – reputation and credibility will be everything.

Twitter will have to adopt a revenue model – is cannot sustain growth through investment.  Whether that is paid for ads or freedom model still unclear

Twitter functionality will increase – ideally with functionality such as being able to send tweets to specific list that you own

Bit.ly and all .ly domains will need to sort out their threat from Libya on the domain name issues

What do you think will be big in 2011 and what will be the main changes?

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