Curious about what’s on the horizon for social business in this new year? According to its recently released predictions, Actiance expects social governance, compliance requirements and the increased use of social networks to directly affect social business strategies for 2013.

Social Business Will Impact You

Regardless of what department you find yourself in, chances are the long arm of social business will be tapping you on the shoulder sooner than later.

Whether it’s internal communication channels or external customer engagement channels, employees at every level are subject to strict compliance standards. If companies are unprepared, it could result in larger issues.

Previously, the IDC reported that the worldwide enterprise social software application market is expected to grow from US$ 788 million to US$ 4 billion by 2016. Such impressive growth will most definitely impact how and when companies implement social business initiatives and as a result may bring about the following trends and actions in the coming year.

Social Media Scale Will Create Complexity Challenges

While companies are still working to integrate social media strategically into their business communications, Actiance says that 2013 will be the year that businesses take the step toward scaling social media management. The level of scale projected will require companies to leverage tools that can streamline the content, approval and execution process in order to achieve the desired ROI.

C-Suite Will Demand Social Marketing Results

As social marketing moves beyond focusing on the number of followers and likes, companies will begin to define other metrics for success. In years past, the C-Suite may have had little interest in overseeing social media initiatives, but over the next year, the demand from the C-Suite to see the results will drive marketers to implement sophisticated strategies for social media marketing.

BYOD Will Introduce Voice and Social into UC and Collaboration

The adoption of BYOD policies and the realization that enterprises must support employees no matter where they are will soon transform traditional UC technologies to incorporate social media and voice. The improved collaboration will decrease overall costs and increase productivity and customer service outcomes.

Actionable Big Data Will Derive from All Forms of Communication

Any business will tell you that the volumes of data and traffic available from employee interactions across social and traditional online communication channels have increased dramatically. Financial institutions and businesses will finally start to harness that information, streamlining the integration of social media activity within the enterprise, using operational data to guide their strategy.

The Lines Around Compliance, Content and Distribution Will Shrink

Like it or not, social media has become an integral element in every aspect of personal and professional capacities. In some companies, social communities have replaced traditional methods of communications, which has caused challenges for regulatory bodies, such as the SEC and FINRA.

Actiance says that we’ll see more requirements and guidelines with respect to social corporate content, the distribution of that content and how to ensure compliance to applicable laws, all of which will provide companies with a framework and the accountability needed to strategically guide social business initiatives.

Social business may be a category we use to describe the way companies communicate and collaborate, but soon enough it will just be business. These predicted trends confirm that. However, only companies can make it happen. The tools and technologies are available to help them, but without their proactive oversight and strategic governance, companies will either thrive in the era of social business or they will suffer the consequences.