7 Social Media and Web Analytics Predictions for 2010 by webmetricsguru on 12/17/2009
1. As highlighted by OurSocialTimes – Social Media Monitoring will go niche, in a big way, in 2010 –  the first few entrants already emerged – and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I wrote about one of them in a post titled stories I didn’t write about, yet …

1. As highlighted by OurSocialTimes – Social Media Monitoring will go niche, in a big way, in 2010 –  the first few entrants already emerged – and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I wrote about one of them in a post titled stories I didn’t write about, yet …,  a monitoring tool for pharma was released in Nov 09, called ScanBuzz – the first platform for life sciences companies that monitors online mentions of their brands and products in the social networking arena.  Another entrant I just became aware of today, HotGrinds, a monitoring platform built around the hotel and pharma verticals – I’ll do a post on HotGrinds soon, I expect many Social Media Monitoring platforms to specialize because the sentiment and textual analysis is fairly poor now, but improves quite a bit when it’s focused on one area or vertical.

2. Marketers fall out of love with Search Engine Optimization – Robert Scoblemay be on to something with his post 2010: the year SEO isn’t important anymore – Scoble cites 2 big reason for the change of heart
a) Search Engines figured out what’s important and are bypassing deliberately optimized pages.
b) Search Engines have collected so much information about us, in aggregate, and individually, they will show the pages they think we’re interested in, and not so much, the pages that have been deliberately optimized for search ranking.  When factoring in personalized search now defaults to everyone, even when your not logged into Google – Conversation Marketing has a good post spelling out what Google now knows.
3) As predicted by Alterian – I fully agree -in 2010,  data analysts will become hot property for marketing departments – and, according to Philip Sheldrake,I ought be smiling.  Let me put it another way …. “I am smiling“.   Hopefully, I’ll be smiling even more in 2010 … we’ll see.
” … Introducing analytics, or better analytics means empowering marketing with intelligence about their customers and prospects, so they can more rapidly, and more accurately, identify the hidden value in their customer and prospect databases.”
Your seeing the beginnings of it now in Public Relations – analysts like me are working for PR firms – Public Relations is itself, transforming, and in some cases, encompassing marketing, advertising and social media, but someone has to put metrics around all of that – and it turns out – it’s someone, kinda, like me.  Or someone that likes to slice data – do regressive analysis, and turn that into business analysis. ..whatever.
While it’s true that someone who goes into data analytics is going to have a harder time fitting into what PR is, today (many  of the best data analysts have a little bit of asperger’s)    ….. it’s also true, PR needs people like me, more and more, to prove what they’re doing is successful, because clients are demanding it – and will demand it even more in 2010.  The main problems with the mix are
a) putting data analytics findings in common sense terminology the rest of the team can understand
b) mapping activity processes into business processes and goals via measurement methodologies.
It won’t always be a match made in heaven, though PR and Marketing need people like me – and they’re going to need them a lot, lot more in 2010 and onward.
4) Competition in the Social Media training and enablement space is going to get fierce and Red Hot – as everyone wants a piece of the action. In fact, last month I wrote a post about  Building Social Media Programs from inside outwhere I signaled out Olivier Blanchard  ( RedChair), Jim Sterne (with his new book on Social Media Metrics coming out next May), Gary Angel (Semphonic  recently had a seminar on Social Media Measurement, more as a feeler – dipping their toes into a market to feel it out – mostly from the Web Analyticsperspective), Eric T. Peterson  morphed from strictly Web Analytics into Mobile Analytics and then, this year into Twitter Analytics with Twitalyzer – and while he isn’t “training” people yet, he and his group are busy writing white papers up the yazoo and consulting, and making sure the space is staked out.  However, with Web Analytics Wednesdays (which I have often attended – Eric and the WAA have built a large, niche community that is continuing to expand out).  And, Avinash Kaushik – Web Analytics 2.0 guy – is staking his claim with a whole chapter on Twitter Analytics and Social Media Analytics in his new book.
What we can  clearly say is … Social Media Training and Thought Leadership – that’s where EVERYONE wants to be – expect it to get QUITE crowded in 2010 as everyone I know, practically, decided (along with the rest of the world, that I don’t know) they want to provide definitive training in Social Media, including the monitoring and interpretation of it.
5) Social Media gets a new name – everyone is sick of the term “Social Media” ….. just the other day I heard Rob Key of Converseon, waxing at DigiDay Target conference that Social Media is going to be renamed in 2010 .. in fact, we’re all trying to figure out what it’s going to be called.
First of all, by calling “Social Media” …… “Social” … Media … we’re denigrating what we’re doing by making light of it  … hey …. it’s just “social” activity and that’s not “work”.  Fact of the matter … a lot of work is “Social” AND the boundaries of work and home life have just about dissolved, for many people – therefore, the boundaries of “Work” and “Fun” and “Social” have also dissolved … and calling Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc, calling all of that and a host of other things we now are seeing as “business activities” in some cases – doesn’t fit …… being Social is work … and it’s not fair to call it “Social Media” anymore.
So what’s the name … what do we call Social Media in 2010?
How about “Identity Marketing” or “Identity Analytics” or “Identity Strategy”?  Either that, or replace “Identity” with “Influence” and call Social Media .. “Influence Marketing”, “Influence Analytics” or “Influence Strategy” … and doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than “Social Media”?
It’s also a whole lot easier to fund “Influence Marketing” … than “Social Media Marketing” – people instinctively know Influencing someone is Work – your not jacking off while trying to Influence people … so I think … this is where it’s going to go in 2010.
Look, we know a lot of work is being focused on buying “cookies” now … and that gets down to “Identity” , or maybe, “Influence”. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook are building gigantic clouds of “Identity Management” and a single sign in for the web, be it via Facebook, or by Google, or by Open ID …that all comes down to Identity or Influence  – and Audience Measurement also comes down, eventually, to who is in the audience and how Influential they are considered to be, by the audiences they are in.
Yep, whatever the new name of Social Media becomes – I think it will, and probably should, have “Identity” or “Influencer” in there somewhere.
6) Based on all the above, it stands to reason that Marketing Budgets will increase for Social Media, including measurement – but, because this is a moving target – business will demand a bit more than what they have been getting, up to now, in this department.
A few weeks ago Philip Sheldrake held the first Influencer Scorecard Summit here in NYC -I was part of it and now it’s beginning to sink in what that’s really all about (more than when I was there, at the Summit).   Here’s what I mean – say your one of the  big corporations – you want to know how every cent your spending on any media or promotions (including Social Media) and how that  drove more sales … they want to see that … detailed and broken down by campaign, and you want it directly fed into your Operational Metrics platform – that is what the Scorecard was soposed to be.
We didn’t get to that level in the first meeting – but I am certain, we will give it a full airing in 2010, at a future meeting next Spring or Fall, probably in New York, or perhaps, London.
In fact, what Philip was proposing is Influencer Scorecard, The Chief Influencer Officer & the transmutation of Social Media and PR.
And where we were worried about having data all over the place in the enterprise – in various silos, we’re now going to settle on a few data-warehouse models and in 2010, many advances will be make in merging disparate data to understand customer behavior and we will begin to crack Social Media ROI – and not Oliver Blanchard’s type, which did not explain what to replace proxies for social media measurement with (he just told us what it wasn’t).
While there will be a lot of slick marketing out there – to claim Social Media – put the stake in the ground – you’ll also have the rise of the Chief Influencer Officer – who will be (he or she) very hard to convince … they will want to see HARD DATA …. not marketing hype …… nuff said.
Data Analysts will a lot better with an Chief Influence Officer – at least, if we can figure out how to speak their language.   Who knows, maybe a few of us will end up being Influencer Officers, ourselves. We’ll see what the cat drags in, next year.
7. My final prediction for 2010 is Google is going to go Goggles and blow half the Social Media Monitoring vendors out of the water – by entering in to the “Reputation Monitoring” space, itself.
While in London, last month, I presented my predictions for the Future of Social Media Monitoring were I said (in slide 15) Google will accelerate the merging of Web Analytic and Search Marketing (plus Organic Search) by integrating Social Media Monitoring into Google Analytics.
The Future Of Social Media Monitoring Marshallsponder
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Doing so (merging what Google knows about us into Google Analytics) seems to be the logical direction for them to take – since Google has a history now, of becoming an empire of tools and knowledge – why would they NOT enter this space.
It’s not a question of if they will, it’s more a question of WHEN they will announce it.   Will they unleash this on us in 2010 or 2011?   I don’t know for sure – but I’m going to guess they will do it sooner than later – and go for 2010 as the year.  While more and more people are hating Google, and see the seeds of it’s own destruction, if they are “evil” they are a “neccessary evil”.
And, ultimately, Google’s entrance into this space will be a good thing for two reasons, and then I’ll end this ungodly long post.
1 – There are no “Standards” definations for Social Media Vendors – (see slide 11 in my deck , embedded, above) – though there are standards for advertisers.   For example, how Alterian/Techrigy, Radian6, Sysomos, Scout Labs, etc, measure sentiment, all differ – in fact, everything they measure is a custom hack – there’s no interoperability… correct?  Just look at slies 5-8 in my deck to see what I mean.
But we know, as I detail, in Slide 11, that when there are standards, like the Web Analytics vendors have, like the IAB VAST standards – when these things are in place – it’s alot easier to monetize media.  Just look at my VentureBeat Post on BrightRoll: Video ad revenues are soaring, despite downturn where …
“…. Monetizing online video has been somewhat problematic because the technology in place interfered with easy communications between publishers and third party video ad platforms.
But that’s beginning to change, partly due to the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), via the VAST Standard. According to the IAB, VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) includes a standard XML-based ad response for in-stream video and an XML Schema Definition (“XSD”) for developers. It’s meant to accommodate the majority of current practices within the online digital video advertising business. The gains we‘re seeing now were almost impossible to achieve until the VAST Standard made it easier to obtain end-to-end control between ad servers and associated video players.
Let’s be frank – it’s the implementations of the VAST standard that is making the BrightRoll profits possible now, even during a recession,  but Social Media vendors – unlike Web Analytic or Media Vendors, have resisted any kind of “standards” and no body has stepped up the to plate – though I did, through my work with the Web Analytics Association’s Social Media Committee – try … but we parted ways earlier this year.
So … Google’s entry into the Social Media Monitoring Space – if it happens this year – will force the other vendors in the space to organize in way they have never had to do, before – and they will want and need some way to define a common set of interoperable ways to measure what they do – because right now,  most social media vendors would rather fly under the radar – they don’t want to have any kind of restrictions on them.
But .. with Google in the game … everything will change … and they will be crying out for Standards – which will help them be profitable, and the strongest ones will survive, and become really useful, while the rest … well .. you know the story.
2 .  At it’s heart, there is no company in the world that has anywhere as much information on us as Google – and there’s no company that can leverage it as well as they can – but the fact of the matter is … most of the tools that are good, today, cost way too much for the average business to use, and even if they did buy those tools, like Radian6, they have no idea how to use them effectively.
But .. we know Google – tends to build things that are simple and easy to use …this is their history – and if and when they go into Social Media Monitoring in a big way – they will give it away for free – like they do with Google Analytics … and that’s going to help people really understand Influence better – and it’s going to help Google improve Search, as well.
Ok, so I’ve given you 7 predictions that I’m almost 100% sure will happen in 2010 – and we’ll wait a year and then I can tell you just how close I was.
There’s a lot of other things I could predict – but I’m going to stop here – there are plenty of other predictions to look at – and I’d rather talk and predict what I can reasonably see happening.

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