**Great article from Social Media Examiner.**
How will social media impact businesses in 2012?
We sought expert opinions from a wide range of pros you’re likely familiar with.
We are grateful for the dozens of social media professionals who have written over 600 articles for us since we started Social Media Examiner in October 2009.
To give you a glimpse of what we can expect in the next 12 months, we decided to tap their knowledge and expertise. Here are their predictions of where social media is headed in the next 12 months.
#1: Businesses consolidate social media activities
As the social media landscape becomes more crowded in 2012,businesses will pick their battles and dig in. What used to be simply Facebook and Twitter is now Google+, LinkedIn, Facebookand Twitter (and who knows what’s next). On top of this, you have many specialty networks like Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram.
The old mantra of “be everywhere” will quickly be replaced with “be where it matters to our business.”
The major four players have all gone through massive changes in preparation for the battle for users. But don’t let a shiny new wrapping be the motivation to focus on social network A or B. Instead, it will be essential to focus where you’ll see results. And that may not necessarily be Facebook or Twitter for your business.
#2: Photo and video social networks will blossom
We’ve been nibbling around it for a while, but 2012 will be the year of the multimedia social network.
Photo- and video-based social interaction will grow. There is more meat on Instagram and Viddy and Tout than bun, and that enables the whole point of social networking—making and perpetuating connections and seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.
I don’t expect these services to dethrone Facebook, as many people simply are not comfortable with multimedia. But already you’re seeing power users reduce their Facebook (and Twitter) musings in favor of multimedia, where a picture (or video) speaks louder than 140 characters.
Given that the camera on your smartphone is almost as good as your actual camera, the multimedia-driven social networks are here to stay and will be an emerging force for brands in 2012, too.
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