Thursday, January 3, 2013

Social Media Lessons from 2012

They say history is the best teacher so, in planning client social media campaigns for the 2013, we're taking a look back at 2012. Perhaps the biggest news of the year was Facebook crossing the one billion user mark (with an older demographic continuing to be the fastest growing). That widely documented  feat was perhaps the year's best symbol of the overall growth and--more importantly--continually evolving nature of social networking. Here, we outline a few of the key things that 2012 taught us about social media for business...

Pinterest climbs up the social media pyramid. Pinterest has experienced more growth than any other form of social media this past year. According to, Pinterest’s mobile visitors increased by an incredible 4,225% in 2012. There are many factors that contribute to the successful growth of this site. Namely: Pinterest is a sizable contributor to ecommerce, allowing brands to easily connect with their target markets by showing--not telling. Pinterest is visually oriented, which is proving to be more popular with mobile social media users.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” The greatest social media trend of 2012 is by far sharing visual content. Social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest have found tremendous success by allowing users to primarily share images instead of text. Social networkers no longer want to read about what you are doing, they want to see what you are doing. The popularity of visual social media also results from a change in how users browse the web. Social media users are accessing sites via mobile applications more than ever. Even luxury brands are using sharing images through these visual social media sites. Tiffany & Co. uses Instagram to post snapshots of new pieces, ad campaigns and pictures in shades of Tiffany Blue.

The 2012 Presidential Election takes social media by storm. The 2012 presidential candidates took their campaigns digital; posting content in real time and creating an ongoing conversation with voters. Both the Obama and Romney campaigns used Facebook and Twitter to directly connect with their supporters. According to the Huffington Post, Barack Obama’s victory post was the most liked photo on Facebook of all time, receiving over 4 million “likes”. It is safe to say that social media has become an essential piece in the communications strategy of any business.

Mobile applications triumph over websites. Smartphones have become an indispensable part of everyday life. Instant access to the internet at any time or place has opened the door for numerous mobile applications for social networks. According to Google Insight, 79% of smartphone users have used their mobile device for help with shopping and 35% of users have made a purchases with their mobile devices. As a result, social media sites will have to strive to create the most functional and efficient mobile applications. In the fourth quarter of this year, Barneys New York has launched a newly optimized mobile site. The site features more efficient ways for consumers to filter and search for products, as well as the same personalized check out options featured on the Barneys website. 

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