One of the fascinating things about change is that it rarely occurs in a linear motion. Things don't remain static as change sweeps throughout the system; every single item touched by the transformation agent sets off on its own trajectory, itself stirring up change in those around it.

The entire process is like a twirling kaleidoscope, except that it's less orderly, less predictable, and much more wildly dynamic -- like a simmering cauldron ready to boil over. The social media landscape displays just such wildly dynamic behavior.

Change is the catalyst that propels the entire industry forward, igniting more transformations that themselves stoke new innovations and so on. Take the handful of cutting-edge technologies presented here; most are by-products of the social revolution.

They developed to provide for new end-user needs brought about by the new social dynamics. And they will, no doubt, fuel the next level of change and development, particularly in the area of small and medium-sized business.

Here is my take on what trends will propel businesses forward and open up new and exciting dimensions. Mobile Devices Apple has just recently announced financial results for the third quarter of its 2011 fiscal year -- including a whopping net profit of over seven billion dollars from over 28 billion dollars in revenue.

A huge chunk of this exemplary financial performance is the result of over 20 million iPhones and over nine million iPads sold during this period. Consider all the other mobile devices from competing brands, and the writing on the wall is as clear as day; mobile devices are here to stay and make a tremendous impact on our lives, including how we conduct business.

  1. While it may not be obvious, the small screens of most mobile devices is a determining factor to how business communication and transactions will be handled.

  2. Mobile devices facilitate location-based marketing.

  3. There is probably a mobile app for whatever business need you have.

  4. Messaging works well with mobile devices.

YouTube Television In 2010

YouTube's viewership finally exceeded that of the big three networks during prime time. And recently it has reinvented itself from a mere video uploading facility to become more of a social media platform.

With new features such as channels, feeds and analytics, YouTube is better positioned to serve as a business tool companies can use to promote their businesses.

E-Commerce

E-commerce appears to be a great fit with social. In the past, consumers have determined the direction of e-commerce by initiating mechanisms such as review sites, consultation and price and feature comparison. In the era of social, more and more apps are becoming available that businesses can integrate into their sites to improve the buying experience.

New Advertising Directions

More companies are experimenting with new advertising models anchored on the framework of social networks. Unlike earlier attempts at online advertising which were based on the old advertising models that looked cumbersome in the new digital marketing environment, these new advertising paradigms are built on the flow and function of digital -- particularly social media.

Communities

The success of social networks underscores an important human need that is met by these platforms -- humans need to communicate, relate and interact.

From a business perspective, the attraction lies in peoples' tendency to gather around and even champion ideas and causes.

Substitute these for products, solutions or the company's marketing message, and the prospects for community development in a business setting appear truly exciting, at the very least.

Putting together the right social media campaign isn't always as easy as one would like, but there is plenty of help out there if you need it.