Here's to a happy, digital and social 2013

Martin Kubler predicts the hottest social media trends for 2013

Martin Kubler
Martin Kubler

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asked many times about the trends for 2013 and the answer to the ever popular question, “What comes after Facebook?”

My answer is usually that, if I’d know what comes after Facebook, I probably wouldn’t be here, but instead I’d be living the (digital) high life in Silicon Valley, hobnobbing it with the rich and über-connected. Alas, I’m still in Dubai, etching out a living as a chief cook and bottle washer.

Luckily, though, we don’t really need crystal balls in the digital world, because we can measure, analyse, and compare the impact of our campaigns and engagement efforts in many different ways, which also allows us to forecast trends with a good degree of certainty. So, without further ado, here’s my prognosis for the coming year regarding all things social and digital in the hospitality and food-service industries:

Strategy matters
The year 2013 is going to be the year of integrated strategies. Do you have a social media strategy? If not, make putting one in place your New Year’s resolution, because without a suitable social and digital strategy, which ties in with your overall sales and marketing plans and business goals, you won’t make much of an impact in the future.

Even more mobility
There is little doubt that within the next few years, most internet access will be from mobile devices, so if you haven’t got a mobile enabled website or a mobile application yet, make this a priority for the coming year.

Also, adjust your marketing budgets and allocate money for banner advertising in mobile portals and for reaching out to mobile users in your locality via creative use of location-based services (e.g. Foursquare or foodzy).

Segmentation and customisation
The year 2013 is also going to be the year of “niche” networks and better segmentation of updates on larger social media platforms.

Use the first months of the New Year to segment your social media customer base, so you can engage your fans and followers in a more targeted and meaningful manner. You’ll probably see an increase in engagement and attention as a result.

As more and more companies start using social media to engage consumers, the medium loses its ‘cool’ and users will pay less attention to the ‘run of the mill’ content, but focus on likeable, engaging, and fresh content and platforms.

So, if most of your Facebook updates still contain pictures from the sales and marketing folder on your server and if you’re still giving away free pizzas to people just because they ‘like this’, it’s probably time to become more creative. Whatever you do: Keep it social!

About the Author:
Martin Kubler is owner, director and chief cook and bottle washer of Iconsulthotels FZE, an ultra-boutique hospitality consultancy in Dubai. Email: or visit

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