[Photo: Adam Wigall]
"The concept of social media and sharing online in general is becoming much more broadly accepted. You're seeing people in their 50s, 60s and 70s using these tools to reconnect with children, reconnect with friends, with co-workers. That's changing the landscape pretty dramatically. When I started IZEA, the concept behind our company was that everyone in the future would be a publisher, creating content. I think you're starting to see that prediction come true. These tools now have an impact on the business that can be very positive or very negative, depending on how they're employing these tools and treating their customers. We're seeing more and more that companies are bringing on a community manager. They're looking for social media expertise. I see it as an incredibly powerful tool for small, local businesses that have prided themselves on providing a high level of customer service. Social media can be very fluffy and make people feel good. At the end of the day, it's about results — 'as a result of this we were able to increase sales X amount.' "
Worldwide creative director
"You're seeing a big shift away from paid into earned. The lines are really getting blurred between PR and social. You're seeing PR agencies really entering that space. 'Let's spend the money to create something that's interesting and that the social networks will pick up and pass around for us.' "
Crispin Porter + Bogusky
"I think the biggest issue with social network marketing going forward will be the whole privacy thing. Social networks have a tremendous amount of personal information, and they use it to help advertisers target you. Some people are cool with that, but a lot of people aren't. It's already a major cultural and legislative issue in western Europe, and it will be here as well. I think we'll end up with some kind of opt-in system where you'll have to allow social networks to share your information — maybe not in 2011, but in the pretty near term."
Social Media Platform
"A lot of folks go on there and immediately make the mistake of sell, sell, sell. Social media is where you flirt with the client. The website is where you sell the client once you have gained their trust. If you are a restaurant or retail store, Yelp is very vital to your business. It's basically complaining on steroids — either complaining or saying 'ya-hoo!' on steroids."
ILD and its subsidiary Social Strategy1
"You're really starting to see people now not only understand social media but also know there's a place for it in their business. It can be a real simple page on Facebook, a real solid professional profile on LinkedIn, to more customer service things and the Holy Grail of this kind of thing from a business perspective, 'How do I get ROI?' In larger companies you are going to see more designation of a chief listening officer and probably on a brand-by-brand basis someone who is responsible for the social media of the brand. CEOs need to be hands on. The trends are undeniable, and the power is pretty self-evident."
"Business and government have needs far beyond Facebook and Myspace. They have needs to control their brand identity, security and data. They need to control the expression of the brand in the marketplace. What's happening in 2011 is the evolution of the market to this higher value."
"Where we see it really exploding is with the convergence with more mobile apps. There's so much clutter now. A brand-specific, category-specific app will allow you to continue a conversation. Everyone's thinking about the mass side of this. We feel brands are built from the inside out. You turn to the internal audience, your employees and staff. Create these private apps. Getting that real time information out. It's nice to hear from the CEO real time rather than the annual newsletter."