The speed of evolution in digital communications and technologies has created a curious conundrum for marketers and business leaders alike.
With such rapidly advancing technologies, even the early adopters are too busy trying to understand what is happening now to be capable of looking into the distant future to see what’s coming.
Further, they’re so focused on the technologies, networks and platforms that they lose sight of the fact that they are merely small contributing factors to much larger trends.
Steve Woodruff is speaking on this very topic when our Social Media Masters’ Conference stops in New York City this Friday. He calls this: Trend Currents, the large-scale cultural, economic, and technological shifts that drive our ongoing communications revolution. Steve argues that “current trends” are merely temporary metrics that contribute to much bigger “Trend Currents”.
We’ll see the concept of a “friend network” evolve to where it’s no longer associated with any one social network. Your network will become portable. Your friends and colleagues tagged in LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. will become nothing more than social contact books that feed into a ubiquitous social engagement “engine”, which might not be a network at all but a device such as a smart phone. You’ll use social network to manage your contact databases and filters but all those contacts will be feed into one device or network where all your engagements such as emails, chats, texts, video and audio calls, etc will be executed.
The infamous Google PageRank is making way for Social Search, where search rankings are being dictated by our social engagements with other people rather than keyword relevance, SEO tactics and link strategies. In short, search engines will push relevant content from our personal engagements, not our Web sites to the top of search results.
And as social media continues to permeate other Medias such as print, mobile and television the impact of Social Search will dramatically change the focus of marketing. It’s no longer about relevant content but identifying and influencing people that can help you to “ENGAGE” your target customers in social engagements.
Potential employers and business customers are increasingly searching social profiles to make informed decisions about the character of the people they are looking to hire as employees or vendors. Cultural fit is becoming an easier factor to add to the vetting process with the availability of multi-media content and personal point of views shared publicly online.
Every restaurant review, tweet, blog post, online community membership, Likes/G+1’s, YouTube video or Flickr pictures posted is creating a social personality. Further, the content and nature of those posts form an impression about our intelligence, capabilities and culture.
I’ll aggressively argue that people will continue to share more rather than less as more technologies and opportunities are presented to do so. And so our expectation of privacy will diminish and we’ll begin to accept a new level of public transparency.
“New Media” became “Internet Marketing”, which became “Digital Media”, which became “Web 2.0”, which became “Social Media”. When we step outside our furious efforts to keep up with the current developments in social engagements, we see that history tell us that we’ll move on.
Social Media was once considered a fad by most businesses yet soon it will be unthinkable to build any brand without some form of social engagement practice. Within the next few years, we’ll not be talking about Social Media, we’ll be talking Digital Media again. Back to the future indeed.
What are your thoughts on these predictions? Will technology continue to evolve at such a rapid pace that we’ll never be able to surf the trend currents?
Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below!
#bizforum debate notice: Steve Woodruff, the Connection Agent has agreed to join our #bizforum Twitter debate to discuss this very topic and these 4 predictions! Please join in on September 21st, 2011 from 8 to 9 PM Eastern by following Tweetchat or monitor the #bizforum hashtag on your favorite Twitter client.
Steve will also be joining Chris Heuer and I at the upcoming Social Media Masters conference in NYC on September 23rd, 2011 where he’ll be presenting how to indentify Trend Currents in Social Media and your industry.
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