Five social media trends to look out for (...and where in the world you would find examples of them)

Social media is an evolving online communications tool, but it's not all being led by companies in the states. Jono Marcus, group director of online strategy for Lucre Group explores five online trends not developing out of Silicon Valley.

Trend 1: Brands apps, with mobile voucher integration to provide customers with instant in-store discounts and campaigns that can be purely mobile-based. Seen in Miami with McDonald’s Burger Roulette App, which offers to help find the right burger for the size of your mouth and gives all participants a coupon for the burger-of-the-week.

Trend 2: Consumers creating online advertising and social media campaigns for brands - for the right incentives. A Brazilian NGO invited people and companies to buy an online ad banner on the campaign landing page, which they could customise and pay whatever they wanted for. The banners produced resulted in over 3,000,000 impressions and donations from this effort were up by 260% from the previous year.


Trend 3: Consumers aggressively promoting a brand using social media to win dream prizes. Seen with comparethemarket’s latest campaign for the UK’s first official meerkat ambassador; and in Turkey, where participants could win a smartphone courtesy of Turkcell if they unlocked a post-it note puzzle on the box and pesuaded a celebrity to retweet a message with the solution on it.



Trend 4: Social digital installations giving fans and passers-by a voice (mediated by a brand). Nike Shout campaign in Singapore allowed football fans to submit messages of support for their team or favourite player via the Nike Football Facebook App or with #hashtags on twitter, messages would queue in real-time, before being displayed on huge LED displays that run the length of the field, during games.


Trend 5: Utilisation of the New LinkedIn API to engage brands and consumers. A challenge, set by Volkswagen in the Netherlands, asked consumers to connect to their site, to pit the quality of their LinkedIn profile head-to-head with other participants to stay in the game and win a car.


Jono Marcus is group director of online strategy for Lucre Group. He is currently writing a book demonstrating the use of social media to uncover human insights that can revolutionise approaches to global marketing and audience research. He also appears regularly on BBC Radio with a slot on what's going on in the world of online.

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