The integration of social media and business has come of age: 38% of CEOs now label it a high priority, and 57% of businesses plan to hike their social media spend in 2012 (Booz Allen/Buddy Media).
As the use of social media advances across the business spectrum, Edelman’s David Armano has put together a list of the major social trends for 2012.
Might one of them hold untold riches for you? Take heed of these highlights, get the team together, and get creative!

  • Convergence. Social will go “transmedia,” further integrating with the offline world. Example: Last year, Domino’s Pizza posted unfiltered consumer feedback, from across the Internet, on screens in Times Square. Watch for more of the same.
  • Influence scores. Everyone has digital influence, some more than others, and it pays off. The race is on to develop a system for quantifying that influence. Consider Klout’s efforts to track it and offer influencers “perks.”
  • Gameification. Expect gamelike qualities to enhance social experiences and motivate people to not only engage, but advance in a given experience. It may even be helping solve the mystery of AIDS!
  • Social sharing. Sharing’s taking a more transactional bent. Sears already lets users share products or reviews with their socnets directly from its site.
  • Social TV. Watching TV is already a social act, as those who tweet to Glee can attest. Networks are smartly trying to cash in. The X Factor lets you vote on Twitter, along with other social promotions.
  • Micro economy. This may be the most exciting trend this year! Watch for social approaches to solving huge business funding problems with tools like Kickstarter.

What’s the key takeaway?: Keep your social chops sharp by tracking how the space matures. Spot a previously unimagined opportunity for your business? Now’s the time to jump on it!