You’re probably familiar with Pinterest and Instagram—both of which exploded in popularity in 2012—but these perhaps lesser-known platforms could prove useful to you in the year to come:
Personal social media aggregators
Content unification is shaping up as one of 2013's big trends. In other words, people want all of their social activity housed in one place online.
The tools that do this the best include:
– The social media “front page.”
– An automated organization of your social media life.
– A chronological look at your social media activity.
Interest-based social media aggregators
Platforms that aggregate content around a subject give users immediate access to the content they are most passionate about. The new tools in this area include:
– A clever subject-based social network that connects users with the top “social sources.”
– A platform that encourages users to follow the things they love while discovering new passions.
– A site in which users follow specific topics (as well as people).
Expect to see more tools such as these surface in 2013.
Another interesting mini-trend from 2012 is the emergence of high quality “disposable” digital content. This content can come in many forms, but due to the popularity of images on social media, the ability to produce poster-style content quickly (and cleanly) is priceless.
Two great examples of these tools include:
– An easy-to-use platform that lets users create and share posters.
– A site similar to CheckThis, but with some added features.
An oldie but a goodie that is also worth having on your radar is Glogster.com
Web-based image editors
Another by-product of the image-powered Web is the need to edit imagery in an “express” manner to meet the needs of the communities where you operate.
The standouts in this area are:
– A platform that gives users collages, filters, and frames at the touch of a button.
– A powerful and easy-to-use photo editing tool.
List-based content only seems to be increasing in popularity thanks to its easy-to-consume nature. Two new tools are capitalizing on that in similar, yet different, ways.
– A “lists hub” featuring contributions that range from the very useful to the very inane.
– A basic bookmarking service that make it easier to categorize your favorite sites and resources.
Multilingual website creators
The social Web is creating challenges and opportunities for brands that have no choice but to participate in a global media landscape. Frustratingly, budgets aren't getting any bigger, so creating Web properties to serve the need for consistent and constant content in multiple languages can be tough.
However, there are options, including:
– A very promising start-up driven by some senior managers from Skype.
Organized Twitter amplification
Now that Google has publicly recognized the importance of social actions in relation to search rankings, it is increasingly vital to give your content as much support as possible, especially during the initial “just published” phase.
To give your content a kick-start, you might want to consider the following:
– A platform to tweet your curated content on behalf of your colleagues, friends, and fans. Essentially, it’s a mailing list for Twitter.
Pinterest-style e-commerce communities
The meteoric rise of Pinterest has been one of the biggest social media stories of 2012. This success has seen the launch of a number of similar sites that capitalize on our collective eagerness to find and share products we love.
– A universal catalogue of products organized by users of the site.
A version of this story first appeared on the author’s blog.