The way businesses use social media in 2013 will change the way customers and companies interact on the medium. According to social intelligence firm newBrandAnalytics, some of those changes may include:

  • Goodbye, surveys: "Many of the more progressive brands have already decided to eliminate surveys and instead focus on social feedback as their primary source for customer experience information," said Kristin Muhlner, CEO of newBrandAnalytics.
  • Industrial espionage is now legal and free:  "In 2012, we saw the hot brands using competitive data in new, previously unimagined ways," Muhlner said. "We predict that more than one-third of businesses adding products or menu items will be inspired by their competition’s online customer feedback."
  • So long, traditional performance evaluations: "Sharing online feedback places psychological control on employees," said Randy Stanley, vice president of Parasole Restaurant Group. "They recognize and accept that everyone is a critic and that they can read about their performance online daily, good or bad. They see now that they have to be 'on' all of the time. Every experience counts. That’s powerful."
  • Social media, not just for marketing anymore:  "Last year we helped several organizations save new locations from the brink of disaster by enabling them to make swift changes in management and operations based on social intelligence," Muhlner said. "This trend is sure to take off in 2013."
  • Everything’s local:  "Tip O'Neill said 'all politics is local,'" Muhlner said. "It’s no surprise, all customer experiences are local, too. Savvy companies will use location-specific social reviews and alerts to quickly pinpoint trouble spots and react in a way best suited to deliver the best possible customer experience in that location or store."

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