Clearing the Clutter in 2012

Last week I read “30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 from the Pros” on SocialMediaExaminer.com. I didn’t get past reading the title before I was struck with my first twinge of fear. One of the biggest pain points I hear from people is the confusion they feel because they perceive Social Media as an ever-moving target that they struggle to get their arms around. Now, here I am reading an article about what will change again in 2012, and not only that but by canvassing all of these experts they couldn’t narrow the list down to less than 30 different things? Oh dear! It’s no wonder people are confused when even the professionals that live and breathe it everyday struggle to agree.

However as I began to read the article I was pleasantly surprised. There were four things that remained consistent:

  1. Focus on strategy rather than tactics.
  2. Increase the depth of the user experience.
  3. Effort should produce analytics for the brand.
  4. Consolidation and integration is key.

First, strategy over tactics. We have all been inundated over the past few years by the next “thing” or the newest shiny toy. As I speak to clients their must-have list within the world of social and mobile, it is often built up on a “me too” mentality. My belief is that in 2012 we will begin to see clients start by asking themselves the question, “What are my overall marketing objectives?” and then “How does social and mobile fit into that?” rather than vise versa.

Depth of the user experience. Just being somewhere (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Foursquare, blogging etc.) is not enough. A statistic I learned this year is that the average consumer is only a fan of 9.8 brands on Facebook. What you say and the experience they have when they get there will determine if you stay 1 of the 9.8. Video, photos and a strong focus on rich content creation is key. Let’s hope we move away from the premise that an entry-level college grad is best suited to be your brand’s voice.

Analytics come from knowing who we are interacting with. Let’s make sure there is a two-way dialogue, not just self-promotion. As a result of all of our efforts, we need to go beyond the “like” button and actually learn Anna’s name and what her preferences are and give her the ability to choose what information she gets and how she receives it. Not only should we know who is participating with us on this journey, but why they are there and thus what trends can we expect in the future and how should we adapt to take advantage with this information.

Lastly, consolidation and integration. It has long been our view here at Pocketstop that there are so many invaluable tools available to us today across social, mobile and the traditional worlds. However those tools are not right for everyone and the ones we choose should all work together to accomplish that strategy we were talking about earlier. Our company is built on not letting databases sit in silos, but rather compliment and enhance each other.

- Daniel Wagstaff, VP Client Development