Major 2012 developments in social media:
  • The re-unification of social business. While 2011 was dominated by the realization that social media must be connected to daily work to have real impact, 2012 revealed that organizations had created numerous social silos that fragmented their efforts and people, especially when it came to the walls they erected between internal and external social media.
  • More major vendors moved into social business. IBM has long been a leader in social business, but up until recently the other software giants either had minor side bets or had platforms that could be social, but was not their primary function. This all changed in 2012 as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft each doubled-down on social business by making substantial new public commitments to it, major related acquisitions, or introducing new software products. 
  • Social business became data-driven. You couldn’t sit through a presentation last year without hearing about the confluence of big data and social media, and more specifically how it will allow companies to zero in on ROI. The goal? To turn the mass of global conversations in social media into relevant insights that can improve results in marketing, sales, customer care, product development, and more.
  • Mobile hampered social business projects more than it helped them.  Strong user pull of mobile devices, which are (potentially) perfect for delivery of social business user experiences, made it awkward for older efforts still rolling out their pre-mobile social marketing and workforce engagement efforts. 
  • Social business merged with main customer experience. While a few brave souls in years past have thrown away their traditional digital experiences and made them all social, a new view has arisen to merge and combine the traditional and social customer experiences into something more holistic, natural, and expected by today’s consumer. 

— Dion Hinchliffe in ZDNet