Charlie’s Social Media Predictions for 2016: Crusade.


Confidence.

2015 was the year where social media came into it’s own.

With shocking world events such as the natural disaster Nepal Earthquake and human disaster Paris Attacks, to local events like the Sampson Flat and Pinery Bushfires in South Australia, people increasingly have turned to social media as their first trusted port of call to listen in and hear what was happening. Of course, so were the “nasties” (but more on this later). During 2015, the broader community stopped making the silly comments on mass, and there were less trolls (thank goodness). We all started to settle into using social media as a more informed and trusted news channel. A welcome coming.

This could also be in part due to some of the major announcements, like Mark Zuckerberg’s own after the birth of his daughter this year. The leaders are also maturing.

It has made a local Adelaide Mayor question our current Council By-Laws and the regulation to post/advertise via the local printed newspaper. For an informed community, Lachlan Clyne, Mayor of Unley, is suggesting we should review our current standards and regulation and look to where the people look for the posting of such important local news and information. It would be a progress move.

My guess then, is 2016 will be a year of discussion and debate. Where previously our discussions have been in relation to “business” and the commercial aspects in the use of social media, 2016 looks set to confidently rise the social media debate into the regulated legal system. As with anything which tackles “law”, it will be a long debate.

Well worth the conversation though.

Conversation.

A wise man once said nothing.

Ha! I love this quote, however, there are times we must speak out. This year has been a turning point for me. Employed full time for my ‘competitive advantage’, rather than being a contractor, freelancer, volunteer, mentor or consultant, what a difference. 2015 was about doing; a sorting out year.

Of course, in that, there were firsts. 2015 saw Australia as the first country to have its own dedicated Microvolunteering Group on Facebook. Worldwide. Started by #moi. I’m pretty proud of this fact, however it came from a connection made while volunteering and a company who didn’t seize the day and see my vision for social conversation.

One of the area’s social media, and indeed its new counterpart #microvoluteering is so beneficial, is, it is for the isolated. Those living in isolation can be reached and can feel part of a greater “thing”, a community for them and it’s simply good human nature to want this and we can provide. Of course, the NBN roll out can’t come soon enough and we badly need to reach the truly isolated regionally and we currently reach many and are making a difference.

So, this isn’t a prediction, however it’s certainly a hope we manage to reach more isolated people in 2016 and create connections through social media and #socialgood actions.

Criticism.

I found my niche in 2015 and in doing so realised my personal frustration with freelancing is because only “small business” had jumped on the bandwagon of social media early on to became the adopters; mainly because it was free (in money – not time). The thing here is, I’m better suited to a more corporate mind, corporate process and executive strategy. I don’t mind saying this – as we need to identify our strengths and weaknesses. I was frustrated because I could see the corporate business potential however couldn’t get it across the line for implementation.

Well, this has changed. In 2016 we will see this change even more.

A corporate or executive (CEO and Board) social media, or virtual public relations, or personal branding strategy is COMPLETELY different to that of a small business; many of my clients now see this – and appreciate the difference we bring in. 2016 will see a much broader distinction and positioning between the two… and in a way, we will go back to normal. Corporates will no longer grapple, and small business will have it’s own space in place returned.

Where small business may pick up and win (again), is if they “get this”, and get back to local conversations ie through groups on Facebook, engaging with locals and working the “real people”.

Crusade.

Online has long been seen as a westerner communication tool (and no, I don’t mean west of Adelaide).

With modern warfare including tactics and strategies to embrace (overtake) “voice” or to simply shut down major operating systems and websites, the powers that be may be relied on more and more to control the environment where we mere citizens of the globe play. What we feared from “big brother watching” may in fact end up being what we need without realising.

The concept is already there – you search something on Google and suddenly something similar pops into your Facebook news feed… it’s not a “person” watching over you, it’s a clever technical algorithm by a computer adjusting your experience.

And those experiences will continue to get better.

A computer keeping you happy. Surreal hey?

Customers will in fact expect more from the companies (computers) who provide their services and without realising it, expectations will rise and companies will need to data mine to meet those expectations.

The shuffle (or “scramble”) towards CRM systems will be intense if they are not already in place. Large companies like the Telstra’s and Big5 banks are a long way along their journey with these systems and heading towards the “what’s next?” path. I suspect the Telstra’s will follow the Google’s and start to provide a whole encore of services – yes online – to meet more needs for their customers and beat off their competitors. It is already witnessed and in place overseas, companies like Walmart are now including their own banking system to eliminate the need to carry and use cash in store. Customer loyalty is entering a new era – get those crazy outfits out and spend spend spend if that’s your scene.

How would you translate your company into an online app? Worth pondering if you want to stay in the game.

Chuckle.

Time to get serious.

Actually, what’s funny is the TV commercial using the elf maker. Social media introduced this app about 5 years ago. They have caught up. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

-Amen.

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