Social Media Trends: What’s hot for 2011?

We’re already three weeks into 2011. You’ve read all the trend posts (good compilation here). Seen the predictions from the digital, PR and marketing experts. But, do you know what’s really going to be hot in 2011 (insert cheesy Entertainment Tonight music!)?

My take on what’s “in” for 2011 and what’s sooooo 2010:

Social Bookmarking Tool

So 2010: Delicious (thanks a lot Yahoo)
In for 2011: Diigo (I switched last month–full review of my experience so far next week)

Web browser:

So 2010: Firefox (my Mom uses Firefox now; it’s officially jumped the shark)
In for 2011: Chrome (lighter, faster and new app store now)

Blog platform:

So 2010: WordPress
In for 2011: Tumblr

Third-party Twitter app:

So 2010: Tweetdeck Desktop
In for 2011: Tweetdeck extension for Chrome

Social media bible:

So 2010: Mashable
In for 2011: Mashable (as much as I think it can improve, it’s still the social media bible)

Comment management system:

So 2010: Disqus
In for 2011: LiveFyre (planning to install on my blog shortly)

Hot social media event:

So 2010: SXSW
In for 2011: BlogWell (one of my favorite social media events; more brand-focused, speedy [half-day], and real learnings from the people who are actually doing the work)

Twitter hash tag

So 2010: #fail
In for 2011: #anyoverlylongexplanatoryorironicnoteaboutyourtweet

Trendy social network

So 2010: Foursquare
In for 2011: Quora (the steam on Quora is probably bigger than it was for Foursquare at this point last year)

Photo-sharing platform

So 2010: FlickR
In for 2011: Instagram (don’t currently use, but one of the cooler apps I’ve seen in a while)

Social media style statement

So 2010: Stickers on the back of your Macbook
In for 2011: iPad case (see my post from earlier this week for ideas)

Social media celebrity:

So 2010: Ashton Kutcher
In for 2011: Conan O’Brien (I know, I know, CoCo was hot LAST year, but he’s still 1,000 times funnier than 1,000 percent of the celebs on Twitter)

Food darlings of social media:

So 2010: Pizza (Dominos, Naked Pizza)
In for 2011: Cupcakes (Foiled Cupcakes)

Social Media Book Du Jour:

So 2010: Trust Agents (great read–just posted my review)
In for 2011: Now Revolution (looking forward to reading in Feb.)

Key social buzzword:

So 2010: Engagement
In for 2011: Content strategy (it even spawned a new event–ConFab–to be held in the Twin Cities by the good folks at BrainTraffic this May)

Real-time chat forum:

So 2010: Twitter chats
In for 2011: Facebook Group chat

Adopted sport of social media geeks:

So 2010: World Cup Soccer
In for 2011: Thumb Wrestling (bold prediction)

Trendy free giveaway:

So 2010: Free iPad (so played, although I will take another if your brand is offering 😉
In for 2011: Free MacBook Air (have you SEEN the new 11-inch Airs?)

Hot market for digital talent:

So 2010: Austin (sorry Chuck Hemann)
In for 2011: Chicago

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20 comments on “Social Media Trends: What’s hot for 2011?

  1. jlbraaten says:

    Nice predictions, Arik, although I have to say that Squarespace will become the blogging platform of choice over Tumblr. Maybe not this year, but at some point a great tool will reach saturation in the market.

  2. Kristin Gast says:

    I love, love, love Diigo – especially the group feature, great for organizational teams. I’m definitely going to check out Livefyre for comment management.

    Speaking of Conan, I’m really not a fan. However, he wrote a piece in People magazine’s Hottest Man Alive issue and it was really, really funny.

  3. I am still surprised you are saying WordPress is losing out, and that it will be Tumblr. Tumblr has recently had a TON of downtime (to the point of spawning parody sites), and it can do WAY less than WP, which has more downloads than Tumblr has users.

  4. Erik Hare says:

    First of all, I will never understand trendy. Good is always good, and that’s what matters to most people.

    But I have to say that Foursquare had its chance but utterly blew it through poor service. It took them forever to get back to venues who wanted to set up badges & offers. They simply didn’t have what it takes.

    I also want to say that WordPress is likely to only increase in use because it’s that good for strategic use of SM. More and more businesses are going to latch onto this and I’m quite sure the old static site will start to fade. Tumblr doesn’t even come close to providing what is necessary to make this happen, let alone the downtime issue.

  5. Arik Hanson says:

    Yeah, well I had to pick on some platform. All part of the mechanism. Tumblr did see some amazing growth in 2010, and I think that will continue in 2011. It’s a bit easier to use and has a smaller, but very strong, community. Definitely not saying WordPress is dying (I use and recommend to clients all the time). Just fodder for a trend post.

  6. Arik Hanson says:

    For all its steam, what have brands really gained from Foursquare? I certainly don’t have all the facts, but it just seems to be a very, very niche tool that still has a relatively small user base (5M+). Quora seems like it’s probably on that same path, but the usefulness of the tool seems different to me. Time will tell.

    Also, see my comment back to Mitchell re: WP. Definitely not saying it’s on the outs–but had to pick on someone there 😉

  7. Monitoring Tools
    2010: Radian6
    2011: Crimson Hexagon

    Small Business CRM
    2011: Batchbook

    Social Business Implementation:
    2010: Marketing & Community Managers
    2011: Social Business Analyst

    Business Technology (Non- Software Makers)
    2010: Buy, Customize, Upgrade, Own, Drain Budgets
    2011: SaaS PaaS IaaS – up and running 6-9 mos cost effective – People using
    Competitive Advantage

    Career Path & Learning
    2010: Silo’d & Industry Specific
    2011: Cross Pollinating & Collaboration

    Just thought I would a couple more to think about. Good list pretty much agreed with most of them. I did wonder about the Tumblr one…..kinda bias I like posterous better. Yes Chicago, but keep an eye on Detroit for maybe 2012 or 2013.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wish I knew what half of these predictions were referring to! Ugh, I’m so not a techie. I must be pretty behind, too, since I still sometimes use Foursquare and Tweetdeck Desktop 😉

    Either way, yes to the Chicago digital talent nod! As the most obvious non-techie in the area, I’m super fortunate to be able to hang out with those who are really dedicated to making the community aspect of digital media grow and develop. They’re some of the most open people, so willing to share, and not critical at all of my lack of knowledge. I really appreciate how they’ve helped me with our company’s digital strategy and spread the word about our business.

    And thank you for the trend nod – much appreciated! Hopefully we can make it past 2011. Fingers crossed!

  9. Arik Hanson says:

    Hmm…some interesting adds here, Keith. I haven’t even heard of a few of these. But you’re much closer to the social analyst world than I am so that’s not surprising.

    I’m a huge fan of Posterous, too. In fact, I use that tool far more than I do Tumblr. I wasn’t basing these “predictions” on what I like–more what I’ve heard. In this case, there’s no denying Tumblr’s popularity of late, and I see that continuing in 2011. That said, I’ll continue to use both Tumblr and Posterous (love how Posterous continues to improve its product though).

  10. Arik Hanson says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Mari. And good luck to you in your continued success with Foiled Cupcakes in 2011!

  11. Fun post Arik. Tumblr?? Ha! Not so sure about that one. I think Quora is going to flame-out. Too much noise, too much spam but we’ll see! Great job.

  12. I enjoyed reading this post and gained insight to some trends that I wasn’t aware of. I just discovered Quora recently and love it! I will continue to be an optimist that brain fuel will continue to dominate.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So when can we thumb wrastle? I am not sure Tumblr will overtake WP. And like Mark am not sold on Quora, despite the current crush that folks have on it.

  14. Chuck Hemann says:

    Arik – I respectfully must disagree with the hotspot for digital talent. Austin is still going to be a hotspot in 2011. As Google, Facebook and others continue to grow their presence in town the talent will continue flocking. And, in addition, many agencies are growing their presence in the area. Not saying Chicago sucks, by the way, but Austin still rules.

  15. Arik Hanson says:

    Not arguing Austin isn’t a hot spot–just feel like a few other markets are cutting into the huge lead it’s built. That’s all. Don’t worry, Chuck. Up here in Minny, we’re all painfully aware of just how much Austin rules this time of year 😉

  16. Good post. Social network is the future of online marketing and learning its basics are very important now.