TrendsThis is the time when everyone creates a list of things that were or things that will be.  Normally, I do not participate in this ritual but this year I  can’t stop myself.  The reason being that the lists I am seeing are so out there in terms of predictions that I want to bring back to pragmatism to 2013.  I see 5 major trends for 2013 and here they are!

Participation - Now that Facebook has reached over 1 billion members, it is fair to assume participationthat in Belgium we will round the cape of 5 million in 2013.  With LinkedIn having 187 million users, we will pass the 1.5 million users in Belgium in 2013.  However, I am predicting a boom of twitter usage in Belgium with thanks to the traditional media. Inspirational is the radio with programs such as #hautekiet or #touché, TV with the hashtag #7dag or #SODD, and traditional magazines such as Flair, Humo and many more.  Slowly they are driving consumers to Twitter and thus comes the explosion of number of users.  I think we could be looking at 2.5 million accounts with 1 million active users by the end of the year.

Amplification – Many companies are setting up company accounts on social media but they are struggling to get the following they would like to have.  However, they are forgetting the “untapped potential” they are sitting on.  A fair amount of their employees is active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) during and after working hours (survey Vanguard Leadership October 2012).  Unfortunately, they rarely follow, like or support their company on social media.  And these would be the best ambassadors for your company.  Remember the old days when they were motivated to recommend their company to their friends in the real world…

ampliCompanies are taking notice and we are seeing that large companies are running “awareness sessions” for their employees with a number of goals in mind: provide information about the general use of social media, explain the social media policy but mostly to ask employees to become social media ambassadors for their companies.  This leads to another trends for 2013, the introduction of social media “amplification software”.  These software packages will allow companies to post messages on the corporate accounts, inform their employees, ambassadors and influencers about these messages and have them re-distributed by their employees, ambassadors and influencers.  Tap into the “untapped potential“.

Gamification = Even though this word has been on the lips of many, I think 2013 is thegame year when it will become real.  The gaming techniques will find their way in which we use social media, learn, or do business.  Today the emphasis  lies on badges, mayorships, free goods, etc. but the evolution is going to be quick and innovative.  A true revolution in the making.

So the biggest challenge for companies in 2013 is how their are going to use awareness building  to inspire their employees’ participation to social media to become ambassadors and amplify the corporate messages using a number of gamification schemes.

How far on this journey are you today?