International Social Media Week
International Social Media Week
It’s International Social Media Week…do you know where your site is heading in the next decade? Chances are, your social media consulting agency is keeping a close eye on the news and trends coming out of Hong Kong this week as representatives from 20 major metropolitan areas around the globe converge to participate in a five day – 40 panel discussion – on the hottest trends in social media. From business strategies to social movements, it’s all there along with some of the biggest names in advertising and marketing. Famed Ogilvy & Mather, Forrester Research, Facebook rep’s and more are just a few of the movers and shakers scheduled to present. With more than 60,000 expected to attend in person…and nearly a half million via online or mobile options, Social Media Week is shaping up to become the premier manifestation of exactly how big – and how quickly – this form of communication is growing.
A quick look at the anticipated agenda provides useful insight into this year’s “hot topics”…topics sure to be on the mind of every small business owner hoping to maximize their own social media strategy. But one area in particular is already gaining a lot of attention even before the official start of the week. What is this hot topic gaining the greatest amount of attention? Video. In fact, Google TV Facebook page is ready to release a new YouTube app at any moment…literally, the future of TV is changing by the day.
Content Rules! According to Paul Kontonis of the International Academy of Web Television and Digitas as well as SMW Advisory Board Member, content still rules the social media roost. Of course, long term readers will recognize this common refrain; unique content remains one of the best investments possible in terms of higher rankings, repeat readers and future growth. Copyright challenges are likely to further enhance this trend well into the future. But Kontonis points out another area of rapid expansion…video. In fact, he goes so far as to claim 2012 is THE year for online video thanks in part to YouTube’s $100 million dollar investment in programming upgrades along with the “break even” point where advertising actually begins to make sense for online video.
How important is online video to the future of social media? According to Kontonis, “content needs social and social needs content”; with over an hour of new video being uploaded to YouTube each and every second throughout the day, it appears the interest in video is still in its infancy. The problem of course, comes in trying to sort through all that content to find what is relevant and interesting to the individual user. In the past, the naming conventions, keywords and descriptive texts used in traditional text based sites simply didn’t suffice for locating video information online. What is required is an entirely new method of attracting, sharing and distributing information based upon interest areas, needs and prior preferences. That is where social comes in. By allowing the rating, rankings and reviews of video by users, the next generation of video content will be better adapted at allowing users to locate and view the most pertinent information possible.
But this is just the beginning! Forget everything you think you know about online video or even traditional television. Smart Television(s) and mobile devices promise to radically alter the entire experience. Smart TV goes well beyond high definition or even 3-D; instead, these interactive sets are fully integrated with your favorite search engine and social media sites to wirelessly connect your friends and family with games, educational materials, home electronics, VOIP/phone, music, photo’s and other media…oh yes, it will play movies as well!
According to research, over 85 percent of Americans now surf the Internet while watching television. As the proliferation of Internet movies and video goes mainstream, so will advertising dollars. To date, there are few major outlets for online advertisers; in short, there isn’t an online equivalent to the Super Bowl in terms of single access to viewers. On the other hand, with current data collection methods spurring enhanced insight into viewer trends and buying patterns, even the experts predict it is only a matter of time before traditional advertisers begin shifting advertising dollars from television to the Internet.
In the meantime, what can small business owners do to enhance their own social media presence?
First, add quality video. YouTube is currently the third most popular website on the Internet and still in a growth stage.
Next, create an editorial calendar that supports both web browsing and television viewing. Remember, over 85% of people surf the web while watching television so put information out there that will enhance their viewing experience.
Third, inform and inspire. Twitter your favorite tips or blog about an upcoming educational trend…better yet, take a few moments to create a video blog option.
Fourth – Prepare for the future. Video is increasingly viewed in an “on demand” capacity so plan accordingly. Time shifting, digital recording devices and other patterns have changed how people watch video and social media promises to create even more dramatic changes in the near future. Commercials are less likely to be tolerated and more likely to be passed over or deeply resented unless highly pertinent, informative and funny/engaging. Multi-screen viewing is increasingly the norm rather than the exception…plan for it by promoting several different engagement options such as Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms. Buzz is more important than ever but subject to shorter and shorter duration cycles – once again, plan accordingly. “In-time” promotions will gain in importance while only a few will benefit from long term advance promotions. In short, attention spans are growing shorter while “on demand” and “instant” take their place.
Fifth – Last but not least, putting their own advice into practice, take a look at Social Media Week’s viral video release of the future: http://youtu.be/uGi_r9xlvqE