As I have traveled around the world, I am seeing the following top Social Media Trends. I’d love your thoughts on these as core topics! I call them my crazy 8’s!

1) Mobility and social networking are biggest (most influential and highly visible) emerging trends related to Internet usage. The bar is now set as basic communications like voice or internet access and other than voice growing faster outside the US as far as I can see. The US runs the risk of being left behind in this core market since growth of mobility and user expectations are being set outside of the US!!! Safety and security are large reasons why the up-and-coming Tweens users are increasingly accessing mobile devices since their view security and privacy issues in social media environments.

I predict that key to mobile, social networking, and cloud will be security, and location based services like I saw in Japan. As walking downtown Tokyo, my cell lit up with coupons and offers based on stores I passed. Location awareness will increase in importance with the rise of mobile Internet and mobile social networking applications.

2) Social media is on the rise especially outside the US. Some of the most rapidly growing countries are South Korea, Brazil and the Philippines. In fact, when the power went out in Brazil, I used Twitter to find out what happened and if my hotel had a generator. In general, there is a youth movement driving much of the initial mobile Internet and social networking usage (particular in mature markets).

3) Mobile-friendly websites are required to leverage the power of the mobile Internet. Pictures are worth a 1000 words and therefore online video has a meaningful impact on purchase decisions. I believe the future of video is on mobile devices.   Most of the world is ahead of the US in mobile.  (P.S. I’d love some social mobile case studies!)

4) Continuation of a focus on relationship.   The best in class companies will not place the focus of social media on the bottom line revenue but focus instead on building relationship and continuous improvement. One of the biggest influences on purchases will continue to be colleague word of mouth — which as we know, grows exponentially with social media.  I see countries like India and China will a focus on this relationship element vs just ROI. 

5) WorldWide,  I continue to hear the biggest fear from all size companies on how to protect their company’s brand. Reputation management is an increasingly important trend.  Social media drives concerns related to brand management as well as implications for personal information.

6) Resume 2.0. And speaking of personal information, I think that the majority of resumes will be links to facebook, linkedin, podcasts, youtube, etc. The U.S. is leading this trend right now but I see other countries following.

7) Keep up the pace with search engine optimization. I predict that search engine optimization will continue to evolve. For instance, twitter will be searchable and will impact the search ratings and more changes will be coming WW.  I see this impact changing the way companies in multiple countries do business.

8) Cross pollination will accelerate in the future starting in the US first. In the future, there will be more linkage between social media tools. Using Twitter to drive reads of blogs, LinkedIn to facebook, for example… add the blog link application so your posts are prominently displayed on your LinkedIn profile.

So this is my view from visiting about 58 countries.  What did I miss?