Will 2012 be the year of Google+ for business?
Guessing what’s in store is traditional at the start of a New Year. And so I’ve been looking ahead to consider what 2012 might have hold for businesses and the way they use technology. Here are my predictions.
With almost half the UK population using smart phones and tablet computers becoming increasingly popular, demand to access business content on a range of devices will grow exponentially. The line between consumer and business use of technology will become increasingly blurred as workers expect to be able to access work email on their personal devices - and vice-versa.
We’ll see an increased adoption of Google+ as a new way for businesses to reach key customer groups. Facebook is not always the right marketing channel for a business but Google+ has the potential to bridge the gap between social and professional.
Small businesses have the flexibility to be amongst the early adopters of new tools like Google+ and so should capitalise on the opportunities they can bring.
If 2011 was all about the growing popularity of discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, 2012 will see more and more companies looking to services like Perkbox - the small business equivalent of Groupon.
These services enable small businesses to boost their presence, acquire new customers and ultimately increase sales. The offers are widely promoted and generally very well received - so they can provide a great opportunity for small businesses.
Finally, the use of QR codes will continue to grow. We’re already seeing these pop up everywhere: in magazines, on groceries, adverts and so on. They provide yet another avenue for customers to interact with a business, giving smaller companies a voice in crowded markets.
Andrew Miller is technology marketing consultant at Dell.