One of the most powerful potentials of social media is for it to not only connect people online, but facilitate connections offline as well. 2010 will see an increase in location aware apps and games that blur the line between the web and the real work with technologies like Four Square and augmented reality. Driving this will be continued interest in and improvement of mobile web technologies like smart phones and netbooks. The real world will be important again.
Micro-Targeting and Personalization
Everyone actively engaging in social networking is sharing a ton of data about themselves and in 2010 companies will leverage this information in increasingly sophisticated ways. Micro-targeting and personalization will take advantage of information on individual people to deliver highly customized messaging and content to small and smaller segments. Opinion mining technologies will begin to mature, allowing researchers to utilize the entire social web as a global focus group for any brand, product, service or idea.
Small Business Social Media Marketing
In 2010 small businesses will continue to realize the high bang-to-buck ratio of social media marketing and will get into it like never before. Social media is a great equalizer in that it allows small companies to compete more effectively with large ones. They’ll take a strong do-it-yourself stance and will demand accountability and effective analytics.
The Real Time Web
We’ve been hearing about the emergence of a real time web for a while now, but 2010 is the year when it will really come into its own bolstered by advances in mobile technology, micro-content production and the recent integration of Twitter with Bing and Google. Traditional link popularity search is too slow so it will be augmented or replaced by instant real time based search. Trend spotting will happen minutes or hours after some new fad starts, rather than days, weeks or months. And you’ll hear about breaking news faster than ever before.
I also contributed my predictions to TrendsSpotting’s 2010 social media influencers predictions. You can see the slideshow of a bunch of great thought leader’s ideas below.