2012 PredictionsI enjoy this time of the year because most blogs pull out the stops to prepare excellent “The Best” of the year posts.  This year, however, I’m more interested in what 2012 will hold.

So I’ll make a 5 predictions based on hours of study, (sometimes) friendly debates and countless hours preparing business owners “for what’s next”.

One note though, I won’t pretend that my predictions are anything more than SWAG (Super Wild Ass Guesses).  Although I like predictions, I value the ability to adapt to change above all.  That said, I’m planning for this:

 

1. Mobile Becomes Essential

After changing my blog theme I received an email from a reader.

Expecting to see a complaint about the new style, I quickly skimmed the note.  Surprisingly, the reader loved the new theme but was concerned with how the theme showed up on his iPad.

Curious, I reviewed my traffic stats and learned that 20% of my audience visited my blog using a mobile device.  I also discovered that my blog wasn’t optimized for these readers!

I suspect many bloggers are seeing similar stats for their own sites. As tablets and smartphones become more powerful and inexpensive expect readers to prefer content that looks great on small screens and works with touchpad keyboard.

2. WordPress Gets Competition

WordPress alternatives like Tumblr and Posterous are gaining popularity as users discover how easy it is to start publishing with a few clicks.  Jux, a beautiful WordPress competitor combines one-click set-up with amazing layout options.

Although these options lack the full-feature set of WordPress, they do offer unique designs that stand out from the standard right-sidebar schemes of most blogs.

As competition for readers is heating up and social publishers are turning to these WordPress alternatives to make their blogs stand out from the crowd.

3. Google+ Disappoints

The Social Media elite loves Google+ but the majority of users still rely on Twitter and Facebook to engage with their audiences. For many, Google+ requires the user to migrate their audiences from other platforms.  Since many have worked years to grow their audience they don’t look forward to repeating the process.

This challenge will delay Google+ from crossing the chasm to mass usage, perhaps outliving its usefulness to the Google leadership.

4. B2B Joins the Social Party – Fashionably Late

Business to consumer companies are a natural match for social media.  B2B companies, however, have struggled to realize the benefits of dialogue and content marketing  on social platforms.

Slideshare, Scribd and the evolution of content marketing tactics will open new possibilities for B2B companies to promote their products via innovative storytelling, branded content publishing, and customer generated content.

5. Social Media Becomes JAN (Just Another Channel)

The struggle to convince C-Level management to adopt social media will continue.  The majority of Chief Marketing Officers will check off the social media box by purchase Facebook Ads and set-up Twitter branded pages. Stubborn “community managers” will spend 2012 searching for the link between engagement and profit.  The good news is that in 2013 they will find it.

6. Klout Disappears

Klout needs two ingredients to function: 1) People with registered connected profiles and 2) Trust in the scoring methodology. 

Klout-  while attempting to solidify it’s methodology - offended the early adopters experimenting with the scoring system.  Now these critical opinion-makers are disconnecting their profiles in droves jeopardizing the usefulness of entire system.  While some advertisers may use Klout to reach micro-communities, Klout’s place in the social monitoring ecosystem will disappear.

What are your predictions for 2011?  Disagree with any of the SWAG Predictions here?