I started blogging back in 2007 with the first iteration of the Personal Branding Blog. Each year, I wrote a post giving my predictions for the forthcoming year. In 2007, I talked about the “rise of consultants” and a recent report by MBO Partners shows that by 2020 they will be the majority of the global workforce. In 2008, I explained that more job seekers would embrace personal branding through social media. Recently, Jobvite reported that one in six workers have found a job through social media. In 2009, I predicted that brands would start to understand the social monetization opportunities. Facebook alone will be in charge of 50 percent of online retail by 2015, says Moontoast. Brands use social media for SEO and customer loyalty, both of which generate leads. In 2010, I explained how I felt that soft skills would be looked more highly on than hard skills in the recruiting and promotion process. Careerbuilder released a study showing that the majority of employers view emotional intelligence as being more significant than IQ when recruiting and promoting workers. So much as happened since 2007 that it’s simply mind-blowing to me.
This year, I have 8 personal branding predictions that will help you prepare for the coming year and become more successful.
1. Scalability becomes a major concern
2011 introduced Google+ personal and brand pages, as well as Twitter brand pages, to the masses. In 2012, brands will have increased labor costs and individuals will fine it challenging to scale themselves and their follower engagement. We will see professionals focus more on fewer social networks in order to get the most bang for the buck, while their other profiles suffer from a lack of updates. This trend will force individuals and companies to measure the return on investment for each of their profiles and then to consolidate accordingly.
2. The year of filtering
Millions of pieces of content are being published daily so we’re going to see new companies focusing on disseminating and filtering content for niche topics and markets. There’s too much content now that everyone can be a publisher, so we’re going to see new solutions to the noise problem we’re all having. Filtering will make it easier for brands to stay relevant and to promote content that users want.
3. Top brands adopt content models
Brand name companies adopt content models in order to compete, engage their audiences, maintain their standing in search and stay relevant. Journalists who are being laid off from major media companies will be hired by brands. Content production and publishing will be a daily task and won’t be a competitive advantage like it was in the past.
4. One-to-one marketing takes off
Marketers move from a one to many model of pushing content to a one on one conversation with customers. The online world is extremely noise so the best way for brands to have lifelong relationships with customers is to interact with them individually instead of adding to the noise.
5. Facebook goes IPO and dominates the market
Rumors have it that Facebook will go IPO at the beginning of next year. Facebook will continue to evolve, starting with the new timeline profiles that people will resist but eventually “like.” They are set to hit over a billion users by the middle of next year based on their current growth rate. More people will advertise on Facebook over Google because of the social data that has now been expanded with the timeline profiles.
6. Google+ becomes intertwined with Google search
Google adds the “+1″ button to it’s PageRank algorithm, forcing all companies and professionals to build their platform using the tool. Since Google owns 70 percent of the total search market share, they have considerable leverage over which brands are more visible in their rankings. If you want to be at the top, then you’ll have to use their tools to get there, starting in 2012.
7. The beginning of the end of interpersonal communication
As more and more people use text messaging and social networking as their primary method of communication, both in social and professional environments, interpersonal communication will take a major hit. You will see more socially awkward professionals who build weaker relationships instead of strong ones that are only created in person. While the internet brings people closer together, weak ties rarely turn into job offers.
8. The end of the traditional nine-to-five work day
Technology has made us 24/7 workers. Globalization has forced us to stay up late at night in order to do our jobs. One of Euro RSCG Worldwide’s top twelve trends for 2012 is Gen-Y overturning the traditional workday. The traditional work model is going to evolve next year because more emphasis will be put on project results than the amount of time spent to achieve those results.
Author: Dan Schawbel is the Founder and Managing Partner of Millennial Branding.