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Social Media in the Business World in 2011

As the year comes to a close and business owners around the country consider options for their 2011 Web Marketing budgets, focus turns to the Social Media trends for the year to come.

With increases in commerce at the base of the goals for most companies, trends within the Social Media  Marketing, SMM, landscape are recognizing the need to not only utilize SMM as a brand building tool for businesses, but how to turn that brand building into ROI and real dollars.

Growth in Social Commerce

Keeping this focus on the bottom line within a Social Media Marketing plan means that other than just monitoring traffic, brand awareness and the overall conversation, social shopping sites and functions within Social Media platforms like Facebook Connect are growing in use and availability. According Facebook, Facebook Connect allows that when you connect with a website, it can access information you’ve added through Facebook to allow you to interact with your friends in new and interesting ways.

The interaction of websites and Facebook opens web shopping to a whole other plain of opportunity. Using the interactive tools from Facebook, business owners now have the ability to interact with their site visitors to have a direct effect on conversion rates and sales.

An increase in the social shopping trend is a natural catalyst for new options in retail advertising and ads on Social Media sites. Keep an eye out for creative and innovative options when you log on to chat with your friends next year. Ads will help to drive local commerce with offers for “friends” and followers when they go to the actual retail location.

“Location is a key factor in the future of search, social, commerce, and media, among a lot of other things,” Federated Media founder John Battelle has said. “Local is the most important signal to emerge in the database of intentions since the link.”

Larger Market for Goods and Currency in the Virtual World

Growing from the increasingly popular social gaming world, virtual goods and currency have launched a new and financially explosive market for site users interested in stocking their gaming pantry. According to reports by The Inside Network, expected revenues from the virtual goods market is expected to grow half a billion dollars from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $2.1 billion in 2011. With this potential market increase, the market for engagement ads for virtual gaming is expected to follow suit.

Virtual goods and services have also found a home in retail stores like Target, Wal Mart and Best Buy. They all carry Facebook credit cards that can be used to purchase any Facebook based goods and services.

Social Media Usage and Availability Continues to Increase

As Social Media becomes omnipresent across all digital channels and programs, large brand partnership and increases in SMM budgets will continue this trend. With this potential, the need for keyword oriented posts and page content as well as engaging other users with likes and comments gives anyone regularly involved with Social Media an advantage in the search potential.

In other words, the quality of your “conversation” has become even more important.

2011 is going to be a year where Social Media continues to alter the web marketing realm. To take advantage of these powerful tools for your business, talk to a web marketing partner like Paradigm Productions about the potential that Social Media Marketing offers your business.

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