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5 Predictions For Social Sharing In 2013

Every 3 days Twitter posts one billion tweets. Three billion likes are given every day on Facebook, alongside three hundred million photos being shared every day. If we can say one thing about 2012 it has to be that it probably was the year of social sharing.

Looking into the future, I’m more than convinced that 2013 is holding another huge year for how we interact on social networks. When it comes to social sharing, the numbers will continue to skyrocket. As I watch usage stats continue to increase, I also watch people closer to me doing more socially. They share more photos, they like more activities, they follow more people. These are my Mom, my wife, my neighbors and my friends — many of whom previously had little to no interest in social networks or Internet sharing. So both my own little study and many other larger ones confirm that the times, they are a changing.

With that, Here are my 5 best predictions on the future of social sharing.

1. Photos are taking over Facebook, partly replacing links.

A key development that was most evident for most people was how photos have taken over Facebook. 2013 will be the year where this trend continues, largely due to Facebook favoring engaging images with their edgerank algorithm over text or link status updates.

Hence, one of the most important things will be to start sharing images more intentionally, especially when trying to share links. Apps which facilitate easy photo sharing from any article you are reading (like my favorite, Buffer — see photo of their new design that launches today) will play an important role.

2. The quantified self revolution: Sharing insights about your body and progress.

A second important sharing trend to observe is the revolution of the quantified self. Apps like Strava or Fitocracy already let you share your workout stats today and we are going to see a lot more sharing of this sort. With up and coming services like Fitbit, Facebook and Twitter will soon be full with how many steps you’ve taken today, how many pounds you’ve lost or gained, how high your blood pressure is and other insights about the quantified self.

3. Zuckerberg’s law continues: The amount of daily shared updates will increase dramatically

“Every year, we are sharing the double the amount of what we’ve shared the year before” said Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 conference in 2011. His then newly established law has kept its promise up until today and can be expected to continue at the same pace in 2013. There will be a massive surge in daily posted updates. Especially now that larger and larger groups of people are conversant with the various social platforms. The learning phase is ending, the sharing phase is ready to roll out to all platforms.

4. Optimization, timing and analytics will become more of a focus.
When is the best time to post on Twitter? When should you update Facebook? What should you be sharing that most interests your audience? Questions about timing, optimization and analytics will be a huge focus in 2013. Keeping track of how well your updates are performing and knowing how to improve this will be crucial.

Optimization apps that help with timing and analytics like Tweriod, Buffer or Crowdbooster are just a few amongst the facilitators to make your updates get to your friends and followers exactly when they will be available to read them and what they enjoy the most.

5. Promoted Tweets and stories will be the key advertising trend in 2013

Amongst all advertising products that Facebook and Twitter have tested over the past year, two have come out as the most promising: Promoted Tweets and promoted stories. Paying to have already relevant content show up more frequently is a brilliant way for brands to stay on top of mind with consumers. In 2013, I expect lots of more promoted content to be passed around on Facebook and Twitter, potentially also on new rising stars like Pinterest or Google+.

Social sharing is looking like a big hit in 2013, with all clues pointing up and to the right.

What are your predictions for what is going to happen in 2013 when it comes to posting to your favorite social networks? I’d love your thoughts on this in the comments.

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About Alex Lawrence

Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.
  • Alex, you make some great arguments. In social sharing we also have to include video and YouTube; especially since Cisco recently made the prediction that within 3 years 90% of web traffic will be video traffic. That might be an overstatement but still worth considering.

    • delighted2write

      I agree, Kyle. Videos are becoming the go-to form of communication.

      Excellent points, Alex. No wonder you listed No. 2 as sharing about your body – I’ve been impressed with your biking stats. I don’t see myself sharing my training stats because it takes the fun out of it (for me) to have it be so quantified. Even for the half marathons I’ve run, I never post my actual times (although I can recall them all, and am quite proud of what I’ve accomplished). I just like to be more private about that stuff. I’m also one who never runs with music/headphones in my ears – guess I have my own workout style.

      • alex_lawrence

        Hi Crystalee — public accountability has helped my fitness a lot. I totally get where you are coming from though being more private about that stuff. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to go about it. Whatever works, right?

        • delighted2write

          Yeah, I agree. There’s no wrong or right – I think it’s cool you share, and can see the benefit of public accountability. Maybe someday I’ll join you, but for now, I’ll keep my workout successes…or lack thereof…to myself 🙂

    • alex_lawrence

      Kyle – agreed, video is HUGE! Gonna continue to grow rapidly and be a big part of things.

  • I hope #2 doesn’t come true. But if it does, thank goodness for Tweetbot filters.

    • alex_lawrence

      Dave – I already share some of my fitness stuff from Strava. I love public accountability, it has really helped me.

  • I don’t know about you, but I Report Spam all promoted tweets and Recommended Follows.

    • alex_lawrence

      Dan K — I do not. I don’t have a problem with it. I’ve tried both myself, so it’d be hypocritical to do so.

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