BEYOND SEARCH, a firm that tracks social networks on the Internet, has released its list of the top ten social network trends to come in 2010. According to Patricia Roberts, an advisor to Beyond Search, “Social networks will have far reaching impacts on hiring, competitive intelligence, governance and marketing. The buzz about networks like Twitter and Facebook, and the lack of standardized, robust metrics, make it difficult to discern the true implications of social communications in business.” Social networks will have far reaching impacts on hiring, competitive intelligence, governance and marketing.
The Beyond Search team conducted a web survey of business professionals, interviewed more than 30 business writers, and compiled supplementary research in October and November 2009 provided a wealth of data about the implications of social networks for organizations and professionals. The Beyond Search team analyzed the information access systems focused on social networks, and distilled its research into the top ten trends leading into 2010:
- Virtual organizations will replace traditional business organization models.
- Marketing via social networks will displace direct mail, and slower, more expensive ways to build brands and identify prospects.
- Governance of social networking will place significant stress on professional interaction. The shift from local communication to diffused communication will stress confidentiality.
- Hiring will shift from the traditional hierarchical relationship to an organic, fluid distributed approach.
- Control of information and organizational secrets will become difficult, if not impossible to control, without escalating friction between professionals and the organization itself.
- Prohibitions against the use of social networks on company time will increase the likelihood of work arounds, undermining mandated policies.
- Corporations will continue to invest increasing resources in social media, almost always at the expense of traditional media, despite the lack of clear direction and metrics to determine return on investment figures.
- The lack of robust, standardized metrics for social media will make it difficult for organizations to establish and understand the true value proposition of their social media efforts.
- 2010 becomes the turning point for the use of social network tools in healthcare. Expect increase use for healthcare education and public health alerts.
- Social network technology will displace more expensive, traditional methods in business processes, from recruitment to direct marketing.