Just as I was about to sit down and write out my prediction that fewer advertisers will spend money on obviously forced social marketing campaigns, I get an email that Chick-Fil-A is running a “make your own video” contest to find their biggest fan. Then, hours later, I read that McDonald’s has basically ripped off Ray Ban’s Wayfarer video with a viral video that depicts two cool dudes catching French fries in their mouths as they do cool dude type stuff. So maybe I was jumping the gun; a valuable thing to realize as we’re just getting ready to send out our Social Marketer Executive Survey, where we’ll get a great understanding of just how many marketers are still trying for instant word of mouth fame and fortune. I fear that there are many. Social Marketing is still very new to many marketers, but hopefully the learning curve will be fast. This coming year, we will be focusing not only the hype-y stuff like viral marketing and using widgets, but the evolution of brand advocacy, successful product launches, and how to deal with fragmented audiences. These last topics seem to me to be the ones with the lasting themes that will define the next phase of social marketing. In the mean time, I will keep my eye out for more viral shenanigans.