Social Media Trends In 2013 By Webchutney [Guest Post]

A list of trends and perspectives from the folks at Webchutney, an Indian digital media agency

webchutney social media trends in 2013

webchutney social media trends in 2013In the final series of articles related to social media trends that would define Indian and global markets in 2013, we share a guest post from Webchutney, an Indian digital media agency. The guest post shares about some interesting trends and perspectives from the folks at Webchutney.

1. Digital Powered Experiential Marketing

2013 is going to be the year of the vending machine. 2013 is going to be the year of the virtual test- drives, talking chairs, audio tweets and 3D projections. 2013 more importantly will bring “digital” to streets and pubs and malls, offices and even restrooms. If my predictions are correct (though I was right about the Mayans), 2013 is going to be the year of digital powered experiential marketing.

Digital powered what? Well simply put, use technology to give your audience an experience. An experience they can’t stop talking about.

It could be something as simple as

Even life saving

And as sexy as this

As more and more creative techies join the industry and as agencies scale their hardware hyphen, electronics hyphen tech teams, we’ll see that the possibility of executing such ideas will increase immensely. We’ll not only be able to include on-ground tech ideas in all our communication plan, but also be able to give clients an exact cost and deployment plan for the same. Thus letting us do some really kick ass work in this space (yes similar to that awesome vending machine idea you saw on YouTube last week).

2013 is the year we’ll see digital in India get bold & aggressive, and not afraid to step out onto the streets.

 - Sattvik Mishra, Associate Creative Director

2) Social Content Strategy - How To’s For Brands

With everyone jumping on to the Social Media bandwagon, this medium of communication continues to grow and evolve. Filmmaker IQ, Aunty Acid, Minimal Bollywood posters – fun and original content is what stood out and went viral in 2012. .

Great content is of utmost importance, which is why we will see a lot more brands investing in creating original content exclusively for Social Media in 2013. So here we’ve outlined five key elements that help you create an effective social content strategy.

  1. Be the person you’re talking to – Know your customers, understand your audience and then put yourself in their shoes. Once you understand the mindset of your consumer, create content that will make you want to ‘hit like’.
  2. Enhance the appeal – A picture is worth a thousand words or in this case, a thousand ‘likes’. The success of Pinterest and Instagram tells us how impactful a stunning visual can be. Make sure that the images you dig up create that perfect first impression to grab the user’s attention.
  3. Talk – Listen and respond because consistent and quality interactions are what most consumers come to social networking platforms for. Solve problems. Be honest. Build trust by showing you’re truly listening.
  4. Give them what they want – Content strategy is not about what you want to provide. It’s about giving the information that your audience will value – something that is significant to them, something that they would like to use and hence ‘share’.
  5. Be relevant – Become a part of the consumer’s life by being relevant to him/her. Latest news, upcoming festivals and events or the hottest trends – keep your audience updated.

2013 will bring about an expansion in social media beyond Facebook and Twitter. A great example of this is the Zomato Instagram contest that translated the user’s offline experience into online engagement. Mobile is the only platform that best connects offline and online which is why people consume and share more information through the mobile, people invest more in mobile technology and hence, a rise in campaigns for mobile platform is something that we look forward to in 2013.

 - Vipasha Nigam, Social Media Manager

3) Social Commerce

Yet another catchphrase doing the rounds of marketing circles today is “social commerce”. Brands, having keenly invested in establishing themselves on social platforms, are in the mood for payback. Monetizing social media may very well be the next parameter to assess digital marketing ROI in 2013. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest, are rapidly becoming major source of traffic for online retailers. While Facebook works towards adding new features to galvanize social commerce, like the “Want” button, brands like Pampers, ASOS, and 1-800-Flowers are successfully deploying Facebook storefronts. Amazon, a clear trendsetter in this space, recently launched a Facebook-integrated Gifting feature on their site, to ensure users can access their Facebook friends’ Amazon wishlists for more relevant gifting.

Closer home, Tata Docomo has a shop on Facebook and services on Twitter, where subscribers can buy plans or value added services. Leading private bank, ICICI Bank, has even launched a banking app on Facebook. While banking within a social framework may seem like a questionable proposition to many, the bank has supported it by ramping up customer service & responsiveness levels on Facebook & Twitter.

Social commerce, while still nascent in India, is gathering momentum because it perfectly combines the convenience of ecommerce with the credibility of social media. It is an ideal fit for brands that are high-involvement and where potential consumers seek opinions and reviews before purchase. However, some form of social commerce will need to be planned by brands of tomorrow, be it monitoring sentiment, understanding what people want or positioning their offering within the framework of a highly shareable user experience. Social commerce transcends beyond a single transaction or click and results in collective sharing of experience and opinions amongst a highly influenced network of consumers.

 - Eshita Jayaswal, Client Services Director, Webchutney

4) Visual Story Telling On Social Media

Today’s advert is tomorrow’s post. A social-post today is as important a process as churning out a press ad or a TVC, atypically without selling the brand, or duplicating the creative. That means a new creative thought needs to be embedded each time and in each platform. The only differential remaining is the turn around time which results in how smartly it is executed, and a need to create fresh communication which helps staying *ahead* of the trend-curve opposed to being with it.

Visuals by themselves have a powerful way of driving results. Be it infographics on websites, embedded SlideShare presentations or illustrated videos, visual storytelling has become the key to greater visibility. It gives consumers a way to consume data more concisely and in a more memorable way. Visual storytelling is compelling and the standards and expectations of consumers are only likely to increase in 2013. Ensuring a better experience for users is essential and with tools like pinterest, instagram, tumblr, etc. people are more inclined to telling their stories through visuals. Throw in some science, unbrand your brand, have some platform specific guidelines, make it fresher/richer and more engaging, and it will get you those *likes* to satisfy the spreadsheets, while also managing to keep your subscribers short-term memory well engaged.

- Amit Basak, Creative Director

Some cool and interesting viewpoints shared here. What do you think about them?