Our next set of predictions comes from Katie Tolin.
Katie Tolin is the Marketing Director at Rea & Associates, Inc. She serves as the Vice President for the Association of Accounting Marketers. In June 2010, Katie received the Accounting Marketer of the Year award from CPA Practice Management Forum & the Association for Accounting Marketing. Katie's firm has a very creative and active blog called Dear Drebit.
What is your prediction about social media in 2012?
Social media will continue to gain in popularity. I believe people using Twitter will increase. More businesses will use Google + and only time will tell if the individual users will increase. I also think more sales savvy people will find ways to look for opportunities on LinkedIn through new groups, and unique ways yet to be determined.
Facebook use in the US will remain the same or increase only slightly. I think the tool has reached the top of its lifecycle bell curve. There are security issues that discourage people from participating and as Facebook encourages people to share more, those concerned about security will stay far away. More than a few current users may get fed up and walk away from it, too.
I also see teens and youth looking for an alternative to Facebook. This was something unique for them. Now, not only are their parents on Facebook, so are their grandparents. I believe they are looking for an alternative, they just haven’t found it yet.
Are there any new social media sites that will impact us in 2012?
I think we’ll see FourSquare making more of an impact. People are curious about FourSquare and unsure how it works. But the coupons and specials businesses are offering may be tempting enough to get them to sign up. I also think tools that measure your social impact will be more prevalent and will tweak their formulas. From Klout to Kred to CrowdBooster – these types of sites will fight it out to be the acceptable influence measurement tool.
Do you think any social media sites will disappear in 2012?
That’s hard to say when My Space is still in existence. I’m hoping it’s not Google+. My fear is that too many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon that some people may stay away as they feel over marketed to. If there aren’t people actively using Google+, others won’t be compelled to participate. People need to share unique content on Google+ to prove to others that it’s worthy of interaction.
What are the top three social media activities that CPAs should be doing in 2012?
LinkedIn. Minimally, everyone should have a profile, but that’s not enough. Use it to make connections and get involved in groups where you actually answer questions. A CPA wouldn’t hesitate interacting like this at a chamber event, this is basically the same thing. You have to be seen.
Google+. Build your profile. I believe this does, or will, have an impact on search results. If you have a common name, this may be an easy way to get your name to the first page of google search results when someone is looking for you.
Blog. This is a big time commitment, but it can also have a huge return. Today, people searching online don’t realize if they are on a business website or a blog. More often than not, they just have a question and are searching for an answer. The format of blogs along with how well they rank in search engines make this a viable tool for those with the time to invest.