3 Social Media Game-Changers for 2013

By Hootsuite | 3 years ago | 21 Comments

Ryan Holmes LinkedIn Featured image
HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes

By Ryan Holmes, HootSuite CEO

Social media has revolutionized communications and changed society. These are the social media game-changers needed in 2013:

1. Big business tackles social media (but does it right).

In 2012, Fortune 500 companies took a big social leap: 73% now have active corporate Twitter accounts, 66% have Facebook pages. In fact, 81 % of executives now believe their brands can get more sales and bigger market share by using social media.

With so much at stake, it’ll be critical that companies have social media compliance training for employees. We’ve seen some pretty damaging consequences from it being used improperly on the job. Let’s hope that in 2013, responsible social media use will be the trend in business.

2. Higher education will really embrace Social Media 101…for students’ sake.

There are currently 18,000 parking lot attendants in the US with college degrees and 5,000 janitors with PhDs. In total, there are an astonishing 17 million college-educated Americans with jobs that don’t require their level of education.

In contrast to this rather bleak picture, advertised jobs requiring social media skills rose 87% from 2011 to 2012. Jobs boards are teeming with postings for professionals qualified in all things Twitter and Facebook. The reason: A recent Harvard Business review survey revealed that a mere 12% of companies using social media for business feel they are doing it right.

It’s time for colleges and universities to step up and begin providing integrated social media educations as part of their curriculums.

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Some institutions have already begun this, including Syracuse, NYU, the University of Washington, and Harvard Business School, among others. In 2013, let’s hope to see more social media coursework at universities, as well as dedicated social media MBA programs, as schools rise to the challenge.

3. Social media continues its worldwide expansion, empowering more people.

Although total social media users will grow by only 4.1% across North America next year, in Asia-Pacific they’ll increase by 21.1% and the Middle East and Africa by 23.3%. At HootSuite, we’re very proud that our 24-hour support department now speaks 18 languages and our expansion into Europe, Asia and Latin America is currently driving our growth.

A key reason why I became involved in social media is I believe it’s a truly revolutionary form of communication that can change society. I saw firsthand how this could happen during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

More shared knowledge and even greater freedom of speech are all consequences of the social media revolution. In 2013, I hope social media takes us to newer and even more exciting places.

This post was originally published on the LinkedIn Influencer blog, a new resource that brings together regular insights from hundreds of thought-leaders around the globe. To find out how you can follow world leaders, educators, industry experts and others (including HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes), read this post: “How to Follow Richard Branson, Barack Obama and…Ryan Holmes on LinkedIn

Written by

Tyra 5pts

Kennesaw State University's (www.kennesaw.edu) Marketing and Professional Sales department offers a Social Media Marketing class. It is in the catalog for the first time this year and is offered every semester in 2013. I'm proud of my department and college for taking a step forward into the here-and-now of marketing.

Dean 5pts

Social medias indeed change the game of how to do marketing in business, search engine results also affected heavily by them. Thanks for sharing Ryan.

Sophee 5pts

I loved the article until your really obvious spelling mistake. Mmm...

Roy K. Nelson
Roy K. Nelson 5pts

Long established Marketing and Advertising Firms have had to rethink their entire approach to using social-media. Those that will survive are those who will be most successful in passing on the importance of social media to their clients.

Matthew Rasmusson
Matthew Rasmusson 5pts

I understand the importance of social media in today's business world, but do you really think having college courses and degrees on it's implementation is a good thing? Marketing students are already learning about branding and maximizing the impact of their advertising. Those concepts don't change because we now have Facebook and Twitter, all that has changed is the vehicle.

The beauty of social media is that people want to use it and that's why it is so big. Besides, what could a college possibly teach a student about social media that isn't already intuitive to a social media user? "Here's a list of the most popular #tags on Twitter. Memorize them, we'll have a quiz on Monday."

The area for breakthroughs in social media is the tools that people use to sort through the endless seas of meaningless tweets and the tools, like HootSuite, that help you manage multiple accounts from one place. It is not in over-educating a workforce in how to use social media, which was specifically designed to be as user-friendly as possible.

Mathieu Tremblay
Mathieu Tremblay 5pts

It will be quite a challenge for universities to offer proper education in Social media management. Most schools are big, move slowly and struggle to keep up with the fast evolving universe of social media.

Janet Bebb
Janet Bebb 5pts

I received a local college prospectus through the post the other day with all their courses for the next half year. Not one mention of a Social Media course anywhere to be seen.

My experience is that many small businesses get on social media because they understand they'll be left behind if not. Although they think they know how to use the tools correctly many don't! It's the small tweeks which can make all the different.

You don't know what you don't know!

Jeff Turner
Jeff Turner 5pts

It's interesting how social media has become co-opted by brands to connect to "consumers". If you believe the original intentions of platforms like Facebook and Twitter it was to engender communication and connectivity between people.

It will be fascinating to watch how these platforms stay true to original intent while providing a commerce vehicle to sustain existence. It is the successful management of original intent/vision and business success that I hope is provided the appropriate level of effort.

An interesting read BTW: http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682193/im-not-your-consumer-how-research-misses-the-human-behind-the-demographic?utm_source=twitter

James R.C. Smith
James R.C. Smith 5pts

It's incredible that social media hasn't become a degree-level option yet. Although it will be and must be introduced into any Media Communications course, experience will always trump a certificate.

There are plenty of learning tools and, as with the beauty of social media, everyone who is an online presence, is online and approachable.

N.B. Teachers, please help the future of all publicly visable content, teach the use of good grammar! 'Txt spk' has become notorious with Twitter and should go the way of shoulder-pads and parachute pants!

Chad 5pts

I wonder: is there any research that suggest how effective those Twitter accounts are for the 73% of Fortune 500 companies that use them. Exactly what does it do for them, how active are they, what return do they see, etc.

Lori 5pts

For anyone in communications (and we all are in some way), the social media revolution is here to stay. I'm less excited by the existing university training--I wonder if the learning model has to change there, too.

Mark Lee
Mark Lee 5pts

Hi Ryan Holmes,

Great info thanks for sharing.

hanaa 5pts

that's a good work

Andy Au
Andy Au 5pts

Hi Sophee,

Hmmm... Give me a hint. I'm not seeing it.

remedyfarm 5pts

IMHO acronyms and abbreviations were invented in anticipation of the existence of Twitter lol. Corps and accountants are masters of those; so I think they'll adapt to the environmental requirements of the tweet.

PS: You should watch ur gramer too. (It's Sunday night and I'm tired, so please excuse my thinly veiled educational tone....)

Leanne McBean
Leanne McBean 5pts

Great article!

And Well said James R.C. Smith :-)

I completely agree, and think that education models are definitely not evolving at the rate they should be.

remedyfarm 5pts

I bet the radio guys asked this same question when TV first appeared in the living rooms of listeners :)