It’s apparent that we’re in for a deep, long recession. As our leadership rallies to fight the economic tide, those of us with businesses (or individual careers) need to continue moving forward. With an eye towards the near future market of 2009, here’s my projections for the top six opportunities in social media next year (image by Adelswood).
1) Government: Obama is in and that means government 2.0 will start becoming a rapid adoption communications vehicle for federal, and then state and local will follow. It’s inevitable that Obama will want government to adopt the incredible grassroots tools that swept him into office. The key here isn’t building grassroots networks to get the word out; it’s to help communities and the government connect to facilitate faster more intelligent governance.
Tip for non DC types: Because of the political appointee and government contracting cycle, don’t expect to see any real dollars flow until bare minimum 3Q next year, more likely 4Q. October marks the beginning of the federal fiscal year and the first full year of spending under the big O. For those of you who need a fast brush up on federal procurement, check out my friend Jimmy Baker’s upcoming book on the topic.
2) Maintenance: Whether it’s auto or house repair, people will want to fix ‘er up rather than throw it out and buy a new one. Cost becomes a big issue, which can become a boon for the right companies that can market themselves intelligently. Social media tools can be used to provide value added conversations on how to maintain and repair.
Think Midas, Home Depot, Duron paints, etc. The business case is obvious, now it becomes a question of whether their executives have the vision and foresight to invest in marketing to maximize their opportunity.
3) Booze: Yup, one thing that’s historically true about troubled times is a boom market for producers of hard liquor, beer and wine. Get to know your local maker of spirits and engage with the community on stories about good times! Or how to brew your own. Or whatever. This one’s a no-brainer for anyone with the slightest bit of creativity.
4) Security: Bad times bring another traditional increase: Crime. That means security products — both commercial and personal — will be in higher demand. Related corporate social media can help people through these times by facilitating conversation on the topic… thus providing value add to the community.
5) Causes: With bad times come great causes. No communication tool set is better positioned to activate the public and engaged in grassroots education than social media. I expect to see (as well as participate in) some fantastic campaigns as cause communicators rely on these tools more and more frequently.
6) Technology companies: According to the Washington Post, six of the ten most capitalized companies still standing are tech companies. We’ve experienced some volatility with smaller tech cos this year, but some of our most stable accounts are also tech cos. There’s no question the tech sector will experience more volatility as the long awaited culling of un-needed or broken social technology cos happens, but good companies with strong solutions will continue thriving. Tech will do better than most sectors.
Would you add any other verticals to the 2009 “hot list?”