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Oranjestad, January 15, 2013 - 2012 was a great year for social media – and we believe 2013 might just be even better! Here are 8 predictions for the New Year.

1.  Mobile Friendly

People cannot be restricted to use social networks just on their computers. There are more than one billion active smartphone users, and with more people converting to smartphones, we can expect that 2013 will be even more mobile than 2012. A study made by Nielsen and NM Incite found that a staggering 46% of all social media users use their smartphones to access their favorite social networks and 16% use their tablets. Particularly as developers are not so expensive anymore, it’s easier for small businesses to create their own apps using sites such as appmakr, mippin or MobileAppLoader.

2.  Less talking, more photos please!

Photos and videos are a great way to get more engagement on social platforms. Just think of how many people are viewing, sharing and commenting through the hundreds of millions of people that use Instagram, Pinterest and other similar social apps. This trend will continue to grow in 2013.

3.  Content is King

Every business out there has so many competitors which are invading consumers’ ears and eyes with so much information that it becomes almost impossible to stand out in the crowd. And that is where content comes in. The more interesting, engaging, relevant and up-to-date a business’ content is, the better the chances are to reach more people and to retain more customers. And businesses are increasingly learning this. Compared to previous years, businesses will make an effort to offer better content and more of it. Businesses will embrace content marketing in 2013 if they want to keep afloat!

4.  Websites – the new magazines?

Content is very important for the success of any business that has some form of online presence. And this trend could lead to a new business model that has been slowly emerging in the past few years. Businesses are offering so much up-to-date, interesting content on their websites that they will probably end up looking like proper magazines. People will start visiting such websites more often to get their news and find out more about different subjects, in addition to “regular” magazines and news websites.

5.  More noise

There is already so much information out there, and so many businesses fighting over the same people. Unfortunately, in 2013 there will be even more “noise” on the web, particularly on social networks, and it will become much harder for businesses to stand out. Businesses will have to come up with innovative and creative ways to capture its audiences’ attention.

6.  Better tools for businesses?

As more businesses are using social media as part of their marketing campaigns, social networks will probably make better tools available to help businesses in their efforts to monitor, schedule and analyze without having to go to other websites. Facebook, for example, is offering a premium version of Facebook Pages in 2013 and they have also acquired analytical tool Threadsy. It’s sure that other social networks will follow Facebook’s lead.

7.  More resources spent on social media

Social networks are here to stay. Networking online and sharing are the very essence of the Internet. Social media can also prove to be less expensive than other, more traditional forms of marketing, which is another great plus for small businesses. Because of that, it’s probably that businesses will pay more money and spend more time on learning how to use social media efficiently since businesses want to see a financial return from their use of social media.

8.  Less spamming, but more ads

There might be a chance that we will see less spamming this year but we will almost surely see more ads. This is good news for businesses as advertising on social networks can be quite inexpensive and extremely well targeted. Social networks are doing their best to make it easier and more effective for companies to advertise on their sites. Last year, Facebook started a new feature called “promoted posts” that would help businesses get their content into more news feeds than they normally would. For a fee, of course.