Eleven Digital Trends to Watch In 2011

Out of the many social media-related trends and predictions posts I’ve been skimming lately, this is by far the one that makes the most sense to me from a social business standpoint.

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Here are the headlines from David Armano’s post about the slides on Logic+Emotion, followed by my personal interpretation from the association industry standpoint:

  • Attentionomics - Marketers begin to realize the value of attention and not just reach in driving conversion

Relationship-building, too. This should be a “doh!” for associations.  The reach is the easy part.

  • Digital Curation – The plethora of content will give rise to digital curators who can separate art from junk

Associations have TONS of content and member content.  With all of the groups we’ve worked with, no-one has had any issues with finding enough content – but being a good curator of that content is a skill to be paid attention to and developed internally.

  • Developer Engagement – Marketers typically don’t try to court developers, but that’s all about to change

I believe this is true in the association space too.  Lots of orgs we talk to have in-house IT departments used to customizing all kinds of infrastructure systems, or if they are small-staff, are close to their AMS vendors and talk to them regularly about making sure their systems evolve with them. Lots of orgs are, for example, talking to WordPress or other blog platforms about developing their blogs and talking to mobile app developers about their apps.  As marketers get more tech-savvy and IT people (hopefully) become more aware of marketing and communications needs, there will be more and more working together on these things.

  • Transmedia Storytelling – If there’s one constant it’s that humans crave stories. Technology creates new expectations

“Transmedia” is a weird word – multimedia seems enough for me, but either way we know this is true.

  • Thought Leadership – Companies recognize they must activate credible individual expert voices who can create content

Check!

  • The Integration Economy – Social media efforts can no longer exist in fragmented, non-formal initiatives. They begin to integrate

We’re starting to see this in our work – real internal integration, both in centralized and decentralized structures.  It gets much easier when you do this, even if setting up the infrastructure and necessary processes can be tough.  Once you’re up and running, though… awesome.

  • Ubiquitous Social Computing – As competition heats up mobile devices, consumers closer to being socially connected anywhere

Mobile, mobile, mobile.  We’re watching to see what happens.

  • Location, Location, Facebook – If 2010 belonged to solely Foursquare, it’s likely that Facebook will rain on their parade in 2011

For associations, geolocation apps will matter most with regards to conferences and events.  We’re seeing a few that have had fun with Foursquare and others – but I will personally not be surprised when Foursquare dies.

  • Social Media Schizophrenia – Social overload is no longer a problem for tech mavens, but a broader population [sic]

We’ve experienced and seen frustration with social media overload a lot, of course, along with the other problem that many organizations have to deal with vastly differing levels of comfort with social tools among their members – so some people are still learning, while others are bored and tuning out.  We’ll all need to figure out better ways to deal with this problem in 2011.

  • Google Strikes Back – Google proves that the best way to beat Facebook & Twitter is to do what they do best: index them to pieces

SEO is really really really really important.  Like, really important.

  • Viva La Social Web Site – Businesses realize that integrating social functionality into their existing web sites is what users now expect

If your organization’s website does not have some social elements yet – get on it.  Your members expect it.

Or, you could dump it altogether… not a prediction nor a trend.  Yet. :)

{ 1 comment }

Brian Riggs January 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Maddie,
Great post and great job at synthesizing the presentation. My two favorite slides, and you touched on them both, were slides 6 – separating art from junk – and 9 – the art of story telling.
Nonprofit organizations have been telling their stories for a long time and technology affords them the opportunity to do it in new and creative ways. The challenge for some organizations may be in identifying and supporting effective storytellers but that’s half the fun.
Thanks for sharing your insights.
Brian

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