The Top 13 Kansas City Social Media And Technology Trend Predictions For 2011
This is always an exciting time of the year. We just celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah and of course New Years. You may have just gotten back from visiting family and now you’re planning a Colorado ski trip or a sunny vacation in Texas or Florida.
Now we’re into 2011 and you’re wondering what the new years will hold for you? What will be the major social media and technology trends to look out for? And how will this whole social media thing play out?
Here’s a few things we do know.
The rate at which technology is changing our online world is pretty awe inspiring. The changes we see almost daily on our social media sites are an indication of that. I have been monitoring some important blogs and I have been noticing many changes being announced about social media.
If you haven’t realized, you need to realize that the online world that we operate in today will look vastly different in just 6 months from now, let alone a few years.
If you’re ready to accept this and be open to this continual change, then you’re in a great position to capitalize on the Top 13 Kansas City Social Media and Technology Trends for 2011.
1. More Social Media adaptation in Kansas City
If you’ve been using the Top 5 social media sites for more than few years – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and a blog, then you’re considered an early adopter. Slowly the rest of Kansas City is catching on.
When Harvard and Browns Universities started teaching Social Media classes, you knew this `stuff’ was important and no longer just a fad.
Does Google have social media figured out? Not completely. Google has many of the spokes mastered like Youtube and Gmail. Now they are working on their masterpiece, Google Me. Google Me was anticipated to be released by December of 2010. Now the rumours are that Google Me will be released in the spring of 2011.
Prediction: More people in Kansas City will adopt social media as their key platform of personal and professional communication, networking, branding, marketing and sales. It’s here to stay. Yes, my prediction is social media will grow. My measuring stick for full acceptance is when my parents start using any of the top social media sites. I also look for Google Me to really change the social media landscape and more people to jump onto the social media bandwagon..
2. Single User Access to Multiple sites in Kansas City
We already know that Facebook Connect has been widely adopted by individuals and businesses alike in Kansas City. It makes sense to make it as easy as pie for people to connect with you on your website using one of the largest social media sites as your login credentials. Plus it spreads the word further by ensuring every action they take on your site is shared on Facebook.
YouTube was smart to allow Google Connect on their site, so that you could use your Gmail login to access our account.
Prediction: More social media sites will allow for this single access sign-on using one main login credential in Kansas City. Perhaps even merging – i.e using your Facebook login for Twitter or vice versa too. This will make it far more likely that people will interact across the platforms on a more regular basis. At the same time their online footprint will be available on more sites and also their information….
3. New laws on privacy
We all want the scoop on the next big fad, but we’d like to share as little as possible about ourselves....The battle between privacy and secrecy will rage on, with the side of the fence you're on depending in large part on your age.The trend away from privacy concerns many of us. We understand the desire for transparency, but when is enough, enough? Who currently holds the power? Is it the Mark Zuckerbergs’ of this world who have virtually all your personal information at their fingertips? Or the governments who can shut down such a social media site at will on one hand, and demand access to your information on the other?
A great example of this was China’s government banning Google earlier this year and the power battles that ensued. I know we’re not in China and Kansas City isn’t under a communist regime, but have you really read the privacy statements that social media sites have? Surprise yourself, get informed.
Prediction: Ongoing privacy issues will lead to a tightening up on the key social media sites and a universal legislation developed. This will primarily deal with the increasing attacks on our privacy due to the amount of information we’re putting out and who owns this. The information as always been there, it is just easier for unwanted people to get to it. Look for universal legislation to address online privacy.
4. Social Media TV in Kansas City
Twitter has already stated they want to be the real-time TV channel of the decade. They showed it at the MTV Awards earlier this year. By allowing TV fans watching to interact by tweeting, they bridged a connection of the online world to the offline world in real time.
It’s getting easier and easier to make and produce videos and more personalities are tending towards creating their own `free’ TV channels that will compete with mass media. Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV is a great example of this.
Google has gone to the next level and have joined Apple in producing TV access to the internet. If you haven’t checked it out, head over to a friends house who has it or over to Best Buy. It is really cool. Google has even produced TV access to the Android operating software.
Prediction: Major networks will look to host online channels with free and paid for access to content in real-time. They will seek to partner with influential individuals creating great TV content through social networks. Look for more TV access to your TV and phone. With 4G access, this will grow..
5. Merging of the big names with the upstarts
It’s not just the big companies like Google and Microsoft that acquire startups with new technology. Some of the main social media sites have done a great job at acquiring companies that have built valuable applications and plugins to extend their platforms.
6 weeks ago I was reading about an awesome startup on a blog post. When I started surfing for the company, I found out that the recent success and publicity of the startup led it to be acquired by another company.
Prediction: Smaller social media sites and services will look to merge to become a larger entity able to compete on a bigger stage, along with LinkedIn and Facebook. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if MySpace became integrated with YouTube to enhance its dying service in a unique creative spin-off merging a site with a local TV network.
6. Online marketing spending will increase
It’s been baffling to read reports of the continual spending on traditional forms of marketing such as magazines, billboards, TV ads and print fliers. Especially when the figures clearly show that it’s becoming way less effective in a world dominated by online users. I can understand 15 years ago when 85% of a companies marketing budget was spent on traditional marketing. We’re in a new decade. Hopefully more Kansas City companies will get wiser.
Newsflash- we don’t look up from our laptops, netbooks, smartphones or tablets to read that billboards anymore (ok slight exaggeration but you’re nodding your heads in agreement). Look at what has happened to the Kansas City Star over the last 15 years. If you’re going to sell an old unwanted item in your home, would you go to the Kansas City Star or Craiglist in Kansas City?
Prediction: Finally this ridiculous activity of spending huge amounts of money on traditional forms of advertising will shift towards spending online. Companies will recognize the value of the potential audiences they can reach for far less and much more quickly and invest in social media as a delivery vehicle. Look for ads on Google, Facebook and maybe someday, Twitter, to increase because of their targeted traffic.
7. Smartphone dominance in Kansas City
First, I’m going to start with, 4G is in Kansas City. Yes, you read that right. Most of the major cell phone carriers have installed or retrofitted their cell towers to carry the fast 4G service. If you think it is a fad. You’re thinking wrong. 4G service is much faster than 3G service.
Why is this important? With over 70% of the world having mobile access now it’s only time before many of those become smartphones. Imagine what this means for us as individuals, but more importantly businesses seeking a global audience.
Prediction: Look for more people to access the internet with their cell phones in 2011.
8. Kansas City will expand to the International communities
The above prediction means of course that Kansas City businesses will go more global. The fact that China’s social network is larger than Facebook and Brazil’s is close on its heels means there’s a wide audience not dominated by the western world.
Prediction: The ability to start a Kansas City business and go online with international partners and offerings will become far easier. New services will be catering to language barriers and payments to ensure this trend becomes mainstream.
9. Women power
The recent report put out by Intuit shows that over the next decade, women around the world will enter the workforce at an unprecedented rate. Close to 1 billion women, who had not previously participated in the mainstream global economy will do so by 2020. This includes the women of Kansas City.
The fastest growing demographic of Facebook users are currently 55 year old plus women. We are creating a She-conomy. Plus women are naturally more social so it makes sense that we are adapting well to the social media sites.
Prediction: Look for more Kansas City businesses recognizing the growth in usage by women and starting to create customized products and services online to cater to them.
10. Consumers shape the online marketplace
Thanks to the number of amazing tools and services we have out our disposal these days it’s starting to transform the communities we build and the relationships we make online and offline.
Recent results have shown that nontraditional influencers, such as bloggers and social network contacts are the key people we turn to before making a purchasing decision. It makes sense really, you generally buy on recommendations from friends, right?
Now you have these social networks where you’re exposed to your friend’s friends’ too and their influence will continue to expand.
Prediction: Kansas City businesses are going to be forced to step up and take on multiple, inter-connected approaches to reach new customers, most of whom are hanging out on the web. Look for more Kansas City businesses to find influencers and have them starting to give recommendation about their products or services. We will see more companies using their customers as the face of their business – either by sponsoring bloggers or highlighting top customers in their online campaigns.
11. Look for more Android Tablets to hit the Kansas City market
Over the course of 2010 the rumours circulated the technology market that tablets will hit the holiday season and compete with the Apple IPad. The only 2 big players who had tablets in Kansas City for the holidays were Viewsonic and Samsung. Both of them had many limitations and they were no IPad. They don’t operate like an oversized phone because the operating software, Android, was developed for a small mobile phone screen.
It only makes sense for the Android Tablets to grow. Look at how fast the Android App market is growing. In 45 days over 100,000 Android Apps were added to the Android market place. Until new Android software gets developed to use on tablets, I wouldn’t upgrade or go out and grab a tablet yet.
Prediction: The rumours are that Google is about to release a new update to the Android operating software in the next month and that it will work on tablets much easier. Kansas City retailers should start getting the new tablets that are hitting the retail market in the next 60 days. Tablets are fun and I see them really picking up in sales in Kansas City by the summer of 2011.
12. Which Social Media Club should I join?
That is a million dollar question. What disturbs me is that I have heard rumours that the metropolitan Kansas City area is not big enough for multiple social media groups. That is bogus! Just as people are different, so are social media media groups in Kansas City. Kansas City is a big city and can support multiple social media groups.
Prediction: I look for more social media groups to grow in Kansas City. I predict that the current social media groups to form more of an identity and work to encourage more people to use social media. I also predict that the current groups will work together to promote tweetups, mashups and conferences.
13. Mobile applications replace traditional web applications
The smart phones have now become the web in your hand. This has emerged in just the last 3 years with the introduction of the Apple iPhone leading the charge with a design that took technology from the geeks by designing interfaces that are natural and intuitive with a usable interface that put technology power in the hands of the masses. The high speed mobile and wireless networks have also evolved to provide the backbone to distribute the data including video and images. It is transforming industries such as music, book publishing, online shopping and newspapers. Mobile makes it even easier to share with your friends with Facebook and Twitter apps at your fingertips.
Prediction: If you can’t carry it with you, you’re wasting your time. If you don’t advertise via mobile enabled apps, you’re wasting our time. Look at even faster 4G speeds to help increase mobile applications.
These are just some of the trends that 2011 holds. Do you think I’m right on or I’ve gone raving mad? Do you have some more to add? Let’s hear em!
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Blog post written by the Dowell Taggart Team of RE/MAX Best Associates
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