Social Media Trends 2011

It's the time of the year for lists of best of, worst of, most important etc. I usually read them. I sometimes write a few.

One topic that interested me the past year is the use of social media. In no particular order, here are the trends I saw in SM.

Facebook was big for many reasons including a film that had nothing to really do with social media but probably brought even more people to the site. Facebook overtook Google in getting the most weekly site traffic.

If you can believe the stats out there, 90%+ of companies are using LinkedIn for recruiting.

Mobile continues to grow on its own, but the use of SM via mobile devices and apps was very big this year.

That connects very well into the use of location-based services. They actually narrow your social world in that it focuses you and your friends in a place geographically. Foursquare is probably still on top even with the entry of things like Facebook's own Places tool.

Businesses are using all of these services and apps to make SM a bigger part of their marketing. It's hard to find a company or college that doesn't minimally advertise their Facebook and Twitter connection.

Social Media policy creation hasn't caught up with usage. That's unfortunate.

The explosion of SM use is causing some fragmentation and duplication. Your Twitter posts are going to Facebook and othe rplaces and getting re-posted all over the place. So many other sites ask you to "connect" with your Facebook or Twitter account and all this chatter between apps is both confusing and potentially a security risk - or at least a privacy concern.

How were you sharing sites, articles and news 5 years ago with your friends? Probably using email. Chances are that is a lot less true today. Apps and simple "share" buttons on many sites from big players like The New York Times allow you to easily share content. Sometimes you can email it, but it's more likely that it is being shared by most users via Facebook, Twitter, or some other site.


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