Social Networking Trends: What’s In & Out for Fall 2011

While some resistant Baby Boomers may still regard Facebook and other social networks a passing trend (or so they hope), experts know they’re here to stay. Although online social sites are a permanent fixture, the trends within them change as frequently as fashion fads. For social media professionals, it’s vital to keep abreast of what’s hot in the world of interactive marketing; so what’s in and what’s out for fall of 2011? Lisa Buyer of Search Engine Watch recently reported directly from the runways of the top social media platforms.

Trending now:

  • Niche Twitter chats – the perfect forum for journalists, SEO, PR and social media experts to connect, share and discuss what’s new in the industry. Search #socialchat or #journchat to get in on the conversation every Monday night at 9 p.m. EST.
  • Online brand influence – Klout and Peerindex are social media analytics that can be added to your Twitter feed. These tools measure a brand’s overall online influence, but be warned, “Klout is not very forgiving, going on a one week vacation can bring down a score,” says Buyer.
  • Facebook Sponsored Stories – Eclipse the limits of your fans’ newsfeed by paying for a sponsored story on Facebook. “The page post sponsored story allows you to get in front of fans with current wall posts and the post ‘like’ story lets you reach the friends of your fans.”

So last season:

  • Static websites – Make sure your company’s website is as dynamic as the internet itself by keeping it fresh with new content and updates.
  • Social media press releases – Buyer says issuing press releases detailing your new website, blog or social network presence “just makes you seem outdated.”
  • Competing for the social media crown – SEO aficionados, marketing and advertising gurus, customer service reps and PR experts should all share in their online efforts instead of fighting over who owns social media.

Being proficient in managing social media marketing is a round-the-clock job, and keeping up with what’s in and what’s out is just as important as flagging negative comments and engaging fans. Experts like those at Blue Interactive Agency know that using the latest tools and applications will lend credibility to your social web presence and let fans and followers know how serious you are about your brand. As Buyer suggests, social media experts should always, “be smart and keep the balance.”