Expect to hear more about Facebook in 2012

 

Each Thursday, we’ll be talking about the big issues for businesses like yours.  We’ll share three articles on the week’s topic and pick out our favourite tip or insight from each article.

We’ll filter the white noise.  You’ll stay informed and get your time back to focus on what you do best.   What’s not to like?

This week, it’s prediction time!  Anyone and everyone are putting their predictions out there.  So we asked ourselves: why can you expect to hear more about Facebook in 2012?

 

1.  Facebook goes corporate

Does your workplace restrict access to the internet?  Do you block major social networking sites like Facebook?  And do you then bemoan the abundance of smart phones that enable staff to carry on merrily posting and tweeting?

Expect that to begin to change.

“We’re moving from a corporate mindset where social media is a distraction to listening to it”, Tim Longhurst told the SMH’s IT Pro in its take on IT hot topics to watch in 2012.

“Rather than spending $10,000 on a focus group,” he continued, “businesses will listen to what their customers are saying on social media for free.”

Expect to hear more executives asking their teams what they are doing about Facebook and enquiring about getting a posting and monitoring strategy in place.  Here at socialface, that’s certainly our experience.  Many executives we talk to want to have a say in how their brand is presented and their corporate identity is protected.

2.  Facebook ads go mainstream

Facebook will allow a limited number of advertisements to move from the sidebar to the primary newsfeed.

How will it work?  This time around, Josh Constine writes on Techcrunch.com, Facebook will only allow ‘sponsored stories’ that would have appeared in your news feed anyway. The post will be bumped a little in prominence and be marked with a discrete ‘sponsored’ tag.

There will be noise.  But if Facebook limits the number of sponsored stories in your newsfeed to one per day, you may not even notice the difference.  And that’s the point.

Whatever Facebook decides on the issue of newsfeed advertising, expect to see it making this sort of incremental change to increase revenue.  Can you blame it?

Two things are certain: Facebook users will share their feedback and Facebook will carefully monitor what their users are saying.  Expect that, if only that, not to change.

3.  Facebook goes public

Is it any surprise?  Perhaps the biggest surprise is how long Facebook has remained a private company.  LinkedIn, Groupon and Zynga all made the leap in 2011.

Of course, the hotly anticipated Facebook IPO is likely to dwarf any technology or internet IPO that has gone before it.

The Wall Street Journal neatly sums up the current speculation.  Expect to hear lots more speculation about the timing, listing price, and market valuation over the first half of 2012.

What will this mean in the longer term?  Expect to see a listed Facebook throwing its acquisitive and competitive weight around.  Get ready Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Tell us

Are you expecting to hear more about Facebook in 2012?

What will it mean for your business?

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