The year of 2011 was a fantastic year for social media and a number of prominent changes came to the forefront. So, what should we expect in 2012. With such major moves made during the previous year, surely the new year should be a great year for social media?

socialmedia_2012 Social Media in 2012

Facebook has over 800m users and it seems we will see more growth, though not in the explosive numbers of previous years. This will however mean Zuckerberg will shift the onus to increasing engagement and sharing on the social media network. This is part of a trend we have seen in recent years, with the time spent on the site up from 4.5 hours a month to 7.5 hours per month in the last two years. This is down to the increased focus on entertainment, media consumption and the Facebook Timeline, as well as integrated apps and social games.

 Social Media in 2012

Social Metrics for Ads

New metrics to measure social engagement and the cost of advertising are more than likely to come about in 2012. These are expected to be along the lines of charging for influence in a similar manner to that of Klout. This new metric for ad buying will value content on how often it is shared and the impact of these shares. CPM and CPC advertising will still definitely be most prominent, though new metrics are set to make an impact.

YouTube on TV

With the coming of the connected TV space, a re-launch of Google TV and the likelihood it will have YouTube at its core, expect to see YouTube dominate living rooms in 2012. This would change the TV landscape and allow us to see what lies ahead in Internet TV terms in the living room.

Second Tier Social Networking

It is expected that the second tier social media services will grow significantly in 2012, following on from huge growth from Tumblr and Pintrest’s rise in 2011. Quora, Path and Instagram look set to be the big hits of 2012 and allow a personalised experience.

Social Media Start-ups

Expect to see more social media start ups in 2012 and a continuing trend from 2011. Social media looks set to expand further in 2012 and celebs will be looking for their portion of the action.

Social Media Security

2012 will also be the year when security threats go mobile. Smart phones might be hit by phishing scams and malware in 2012 and these threats may even be amplified. This is added to by the rise of mobile ad networks and third party apps and the fact people are three times more willing to enter log in data through mobile without checking than they are on a desktop.

E-commerce Rise

Expect more shops within Facebook that will personalise their ecommerce sites based on your taste graph from Facebook and Twitter. These will also use the secondary social media sites for sharing of purchases, stories and interesting materials.

We also believe that Social media Optimization is the key to a successful digital marketing campaign in 2012. What do you expect to see in the social media game this year? Let us know via the comments.