Top Trends in 2010 for Strategic Social Network Use

Beyond Search,, a Web log focused on news, research and analysis about online search and content processing, has released its list of the top 10 social network trends to come in 2010.

According to Patricia Roberts, an advisor to Beyond Search: “Social networks will have far reaching impacts on hiring, competitive intelligence, governance and marketing. The buzz about networks like Twitter and Facebook, and the lack of standardized, robust metrics make it difficult to discern the true implications of social communications in business.”

A list of the top 50 social search systems appeared in the Dec. 23, 2009, story Preliminary List of Beyond Search Evaluated Social Search Systems posted at .

The Beyond Search team conducted a web survey of business professionals, interviewed more than 30 business writers, and compiled supplementary research in October and November 2009 provided a wealth of data about the implications of social networks for organizations and professionals. The Beyond Search team analyzed the information access systems focused on social networks and distilled its research into the top ten trends unleashed leading into 2010.

1. Virtual organizations will replace traditional business organization models.

2. Marketing via social networks will displace direct mail and slower, more expensive ways to build brands and identify prospects

3. Governance of social networking will place significant stress on professional interaction. The shift from local communication to diffused communication will stress confidentiality and security procedures set up to handle a 20th century approach to business.

4. Hiring will shift from the traditional hierarchical relationship to an organic, fluid distributed approach.

5. Control of information and organizational “secrets” will become difficult, if not impossible to control, without escalating friction between professionals and the organization itself.

6. Prohibitions against the use of social networks on company time will increase the likelihood of work arounds, undermining mandated policies.

7. Corporations will continue to invest increasing resources in social media, almost always at the expense of traditional media, despite the lack of clear direction and metrics to determine return on investment figures.

8. The lack of robust, standardized metrics for social media will make it difficult for organizations to establish and understand the true value proposition of their social media efforts.

9. 2010 becomes the turning point for the use of social network tools in healthcare. We expect increase use for healthcare education and public health alerts.

10. Social network technology will displace more expensive, traditional methods in business processes from recruitment to direct marketing.

The strategic use of social network systems and tools will have a significant impact on marketing, security, public relations, recruitment, and management systems. “The meaning of a social network is changing and fast”, said John Lack, MBA, an advisor to Beyond Search. “The implications for business and knowledge workers are not well understood.”

In January 2010, Arnold IT will create a new Web log focused on strategic social network tools, systems and applications. A full description of the new service will appear in the Beyond Search Web log at

About Arnold Information Technology and Beyond Search
Arnold Information Technology is an organization specializing in electronic publishing, marketing via electronic media, online system engineering and database design. President Stephen E. Arnold monitors search, content processing, text mining and related topics from his office in Kentucky. He works with colleagues worldwide on a wide range of online and content-related projects. Beyond Search is the research arm of AIT. The company’s Web site is, and the Beyond Search blog is at

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