In 2011 there will be monumental changes in social media. And by monumental I don’t mean anything that has to do with new platforms or new tools. No, I mean there will be monumental changes in the way people use them.

Here then are my 5 Big Changes in Social Media for 2011

1. People will want more real experiences: It will no longer be acceptable to interrupt real, in-person conversation to check-in, tweet or update your status. Those of us who have had it up to here with this kind of rudeness will start calling people on it. We’ll all be looking to take social and other web experiences and find some real aspect to them.


The opportunity: Real Foursquare badges anyone? Any marketer who can take an online experience and add entertainment or some other real-world value will reap big rewards.

2. Social networks + email = marketer’s dream: Email is newly resurgent as a marketing tool. Combine this with the ability of social networks to help identify groups of interested customers and you have a winning combination.

 

The opportunity: Marketers will use email to encourage the sharing of content on social networks and use social networks to encourage engagement via email – a win-win for both email and social marketing.

3. Social network growth will slow: Facebook will continue its inexorable march to get everyone (and their pets) signed up and Twitter will continue to explode as a newsfeed. However, everyone will become a lot more selective about who they follow, friend, fan and like. This will mean a slowing in the growth of social networks.

 

The opportunity: The percentage of active participants on networks will rise meaning those you engage with are more likely to respond.

4. We’ll all watch the clock: How much time we are willing to spend on a given social platform will become an issue. So many people signed up on Facebook in the past 12 to 24 months, for example, that the newness of the network kept a lot of them on it for hours at a time. That, will change rapidly in 2011 as the newness wears off and we reconsider the utility of two or three hours per day spent on a social network.

 

The opportunity: Anyone who operates online and can simplify processes (from the sign-in to the check-in to the posting of a comment) will win big.

5. We’ll reach a saturation point: “Social media saturation” will become a catchphrase and as a result we'll all start trimming if not wholesale chopping down the number of social sites we visit to only those most-relevant to us.

 

The opportunity: With the crowds starting to form around fewer networks it will become increasingly easy to figure out which platforms and social network members are truly influential.

So, what do you think? Can any or all of this come to pass in social media in 2011?