2011 is the year of the social customer. Never before has the power of one been more powerful in the history of business as we know it. You cannot hide from the social customer as I have demonstrated on several occasions with big brands like UPS and Starwood. Those of you who read my blogs last year know that I became a social customer, blogged about it and demonstrated how it can impact brand, reputation, product and service. I must admit I had a lot of fun becoming a social customer.

My Top Ten Social Media Predictions for 2011

1.     The power of one has arrived.

2.     If you are not a social business you are not in business.

3.     The social media police have arrived.

4.     Mobile applications will provide a new platform that enhances the business to customer experience.

5.     B2C, B2P and B2B Marketing will be challenged to create and manage thought leadership.

6.     More and more people will begin interacting with news reports and journalism creating a totally new platform for information exchange and influence.

7.     Plagiarism and (now called content scraping) will rage out of control.

8.     Data, data everywhere, analytical tools will be key to controlling brand reputation.

9.     Everyone is a journalist

10.  Measuring and identifying influencers will become more difficult.

The Power of One http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/30085/united-parcel-service-gets-social-media-customer-service 

“Encouraging illusions of personal power in this way is ethically questionable.” This is a quote from a comment on my Social Predator blog late last year. The last time l looked 834 people had seen my reviews on Yelp and hundreds viewed my Trip advisor reviews posted during my travels in 2010. And one tweet solved a yearlong issue with UPS. Today you can check on the reputation of nearly any product and/or service on Yelp and other sites including piercing and tattoo parlors and auto service. I rest my case.

If you are not a social business you are not in business. http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/25685/why-you-need-know-your-social-customers-because-they-control-your-brand 

This is really a no brainer and if you aren’t already aware of your reputation in the world of the social customer and aren’t interacting with them I am concerned about your business. Think about how to leverage social business to build yours and demonstrate thought leadership through blogging. Know who your social customers are! And remember in business there are always customers that you want to send to the competition, social business is no different.

The Social Media Police have arrived http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/32103/social-predator 

After nearly thirty years of writing my content was censored for the first time by my own company in 2011. The Social Predator voted one of the best blogs by members of this site was removed from the highlight list because some “marketing people” thought it was too aggressive for my company SAP. Get ready for more of this as those who can write begin expressing their opinion, which may not be what some in the company want. But it might be what the company needs! In today’s a sea of words, blogs and social media peer groups no one remembers your name unless you say something memorable.

Mobile Applications http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/28039/social-customer-goes-mobile 

The explosion of inexpensive mobile applications has help drive Apple’s market cap beyond Microsoft’s to $317 B. I really like Vogue magazine new stylist application and the way it interacts with the consumer. This is the way of the future. Last year I even tried to call coyotes in the desert with my IPhone’s Quik hunting calls application, it didn’t work but you get the point. The mobile buying frenzy during the holidays reflects this.

B2C, B2P and B2B Marketing will be challenged to create and manage thought leadership. http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore/27449/four-cs-social-media-marketing-content-connection-communications-and-community 

This will be key as many marketing organizations are not organized and/or have the talent to create thought leadership let alone manage it. Facebook fan pages are not a simple answer here but they are a beginning for many companies but how will you leverage them?

More and more people will begin interacting with news reports and journalism creating a totally new platform for information exchange and influence.

When I read news now I am amazed at how many people comment and I have begun commenting, organizations now have instant gratification when it comes to news reports and I find the comments fascinating. This offers a new platform for interactive journalism.

Plagiarism

As a scientist by original training I have always been sensitive about people stealing my ideas  and yes this year there has been another case of someone stealing my original content in “the five Ps of marketing.” The link below is to a blog that my colleague Don Bulmer wrote last November 1,  If Facebook were a Country http://everydayinfluence.typepad.com/everyday_influence/2010/11/if-facebook-were-a-country.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+EverydayInfluence+(Everyday+Influence)

This idea showed up in the San Francisco Chronicle Business Report January 11, 2011, entitled “The many facets of Facebook,” the Facebook Nation, I mean this is kind of disgusting in my view and reflects that journalists are scraping content.

Data, data everywhere, analytical tools will be key to controlling brand reputation and predict social customer behavior.

In the first wave of social business many companies quickly assembled reputation and brand protection swat teams to monitor social business. New intelligent monitoring tools have emerged and many IT vendors are now integrating these tools to identify and monitor influencer and social customers into CRM products. Many more will emerge this year and some will begin to employ predictive analytics, what will my social customers do?

Everyone is a Journalist http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/29302/everyone-journalist 

This was my most popular blog out of the 37 that I wrote during 2010, and when you think about it if you can blog you are a journalist. Although many blogs are written by people that really have no place blogging because of lack of experience, their voice can be heard and their opinion felt. Journalists would argue that you might not have the training and research background to provide objective opinion, I don’t agree with them.

Measuring and identifying influencers will become more difficult. http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/30607/measure-me-profiling-social-media-influencers-analysis-paralysis

This is a continual battle and using search engines is not the answer. Blocking and tackling still needs to be done, you need to go to conferences and look beyond their followers they may not be who buys your products and services. Look closely at their ecosystem of influence and how it aligns with you company’s business. http://thesocialcustomer.com/peterauditore1/30873/ecosystem-influence

Net/Net

Proctor and Gamble is way ahead of the pack when it comes to understanding the social customer, they even build places for us to live and interrelate! An article last week’s in the NYT “As the Web turns “called them out as having a reputation of unusual marketing; I think it’s called modern marketing. Their newest site ManoftheHouse.com is again genius marketing, but what is surprising about this article is that both analysts quoted don’t get it. Forrester’s Josh Bernoff called it the new version of “As the World Turns” a 20th century version of the soap opera. We are not surprised by this after Forrester prohibited many of its analysts from blogging and building their brand which ultimately enhances theirs. Even Mr. Oywang of the Altimiter Group doesn’t see the big picture here; he said all of these discussions are already happening on Facebook and they should be careful about overusing the brand. Really?

This is no different than what P&G did with the mommy network and teenage girls and they are clearly targeting a market and will undoubtedly leverage this into supply chain logistics, brand building, price and product testing etc. etc. Get it; the analysts don’t, as I have always maintained if you don’t know the market better than the analysts you are in big trouble. Until next time I wish you get selling and marketing in the millennium!

A list of my social customer blogs for 2010.

  • Social Media Rules of Engagement and $10,000 at Tweet December 6: 795 Views
  • The Social Predator November 9: 1294 Views
  • Measure Me: Profiling Social Media Influencers & Analysis Paralysis September 29: 2225 Views
  • United Parcel Service Gets Social Media & Customer Service September 14: 2511 Views
  • Everyone is a Journalist August 31, 2010: 3948 Views
  • The Social Customer Goes Mobile   July 28: 1001 Views
  • 4 Cs of Social Media Marketing: Content, Connections, Communications and Community July 16: 1720
  • Why you need to know your Social Customers: Because They control Your Brand June 21: 1002 Views
  • Designing a Social Media Peer Group For Best Buy May 4: 467 Views
  • The Economics of Social Business April 22: 474 Views
  • Is the Social Media Bubble Bursting or will the Tsunami Continue March 30: 343 Views
  • Thought Leadership and the Social Customer March 18: 242 Views
  • The B2B Social Media Olympics March 9 2010: 614 Views
  • On the Front Lines of Social CRM February 18: 548 Views
  • The New Mobile Social Customer is Here are You Ready For Them? February 2: 118 views
  • I am a Social Customer January 15, 2010: 417 Views