3 Social Media Game-Changers for 2013

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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.

Student Life

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