What are 2011’s Hot Social Media Trends?

One of the key roles played by social media is trendsetting and trend spotting.

At the same time, it is important to remember what is popular today might not be popular tomorrow, which means flexibility and an open mind are key. The real game changers and influencers tend to be those ahead of the curve with the ability to spot early signs of an emerging trend.

Some of the more interesting trends to emerge this year include group buying, a surprisingly high IPOs of social networks, the influencer hunt, and even more focus on measuring ROI on a social media investment?

Here are two other “hot” trends that should remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

Further Transparency in Privacy Policies

The finger in the dam started to weaken a few years ago as older generations began to adopt social media. As a whole, social media users are beginning to demand transparency about what happens to their data within social media services.

In fairness, this information is readily available on all social media services but the average online user is becoming increasingly aware of what it means and the ramifications. Convoluted privacy policies buried in footer navigations may soon be replaced with something more straightforward and attuned to how we receive and interpret information on the Web.

Content Became King

More social media users are investing time to build content calendars, and create and curate compelling, relevant content. From a simple tweet or Facebook update to a blog post and case study, content is attracting more attention as an effective marketing vehicle.

Brands are beginning to notice the impact of content that appeals to their target audience(s). As well, brands with a strong social media presence are creating content that fills their audience(s) needs and answers their questions. Look for chief content officers and content curators to become even more prevalent and popular.

Of course, there are other hot trends but these are two that might have the legs to stick around for awhile. 2012 is around the corner, and this is now the time to think about the next wave of trends within social media.

What do you see as the most compelling or interesting social trends this year?