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2011 was the year that social media went viral in South Africa: The number of “experts” in the field mushroomed, there were seminars, talks and a scramble for business.  Out of the confusion came one, unassailable fact:  Business must go social.

In 2012 the international trend will be Social Intelligence with an emphasis on knowledge, intelligence about your business, industry and competitors.  This is and always has been the first step in developing a social media programme that is sustainable. Monitoring the social web and knowing what is being said about you, your industry and your competition.

And through this intelligence, real and effective social strategies will evolve.  The greatest effect of this will be seen in the office environment with the introduction of social platforms as part of every day workflow, much like email is used now.

Dell had great foresight in this regard.  Already in 2010 they put 5000 employees through social media university.

2012 will see social begin to dominate as communication platforms for business. We may even see email numbers go down for the first time since 1994.  At 260 billion emails a day, who can stand to get any more?

This will require a re-engineering of communication systems and training at all levels, including the C-suite (more accurately, especially the C-suite).

We will see marketing departments no longer being the sole custodians of social communication.  To be sure they will continue to be key players but for a business to go social every employee in every department must know and make use of it.  Only the most backward and resistant will still block & ban social access in the workplace.

It’s going to be a dynamic world in 2012.

6 Response Comments

  • DanielaNovember 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Fantastic Read! Thanks Ryan.

  • ZwelakheNovember 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Insightful! I like the idea that email will eventually dwindle esp in tue office space. Do you consider Instant Messenging Social media?

    • AnonymousNovember 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Hey Zwelahke, I would definitely consider it social. Any platform that allows broad communication and the sharing of content with which you can interact.

  • MandoNovember 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Ryan, You are truly a social media master. 2011 has seen my business go social mostly due to following your drive to get social media integrated into the business sector in South Africa. I pride myself on the fact that I am still the only plumbing company to have embraced social media in South Africa.Its has been an exciting evolution that has changed the way I had been operating and promoting my business. I look forward to 2012 with the same excitement. http://www.facebook.com/gogreen.plumbers

    • AnonymousNovember 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Hey Mando, very well done on what you have done and with your passionate for it I really believe you will find success with what you are doing socially! Good luck in 2012


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