My first post of 2013 was a bunch of my educated predictions about content and social media. So, did I nail my predictions last year?!
FROM 2013: MOBILE
Whatever you’re producing, make it work on a mobile device. A recent study by Google found that 72 percent of consumers want websites to be mobile-friendly and that 96 percent of respondents have visited a site that does not play well with their mobile device. In 2012, there was an 80 percent increase in the number of email opens on mobile devices, according to a study by Litmus.
Any piece of content you have or produce had better be mobile device-friendly this year. If it’s not, count on losing at least half of your readers/viewers by next year.
UPDATE: Nailed it. The focus is going to be even more on mobile this year.
FROM 2013: UNIQUE AND AWESOME
Giving people an easy way to share content, like a handy “tweet” or Facebook “post” button, is always a great idea. Asking people to share your content is so over. Your job is to create something that is so amazing people will be compelled to share it and will do so on their own. There’s a lot of content clutter out there, you aren’t going to be able to “Please RT” your way out of it any longer.
UPDATE: Nailed it. The secret’s out and everyone is producing content. Lots of it is bad, some of it is good and about 1 percent is excellent. There’s even more content out there now, so you’d better create something amazing to get you noticed.
FROM 2013: RECYCLING
If you’ve got valuable information, make it work for you. Repurpose your content across many different formats so you reach the largest audience possible. Create a Slideshare presentation, a video, a podcast, a blog post and expand it into an exclusive article. You just got five separate impact points out of one basic set of information. And you’re going to where your audience is, not forcing them into one format you’ve chosen for them.
UPDATE: Nailed it. Don’t make your audience work hard to find you, bring your content to them in its many forms. Keep repurposing, but don’t duplicate. Enhance your content as you find new venues for it (i.e. this blog post).
FROM 2013: ONLY YOU
If your organization doesn’t have custom data, go out and gather some. When you’ve got exclusive facts, figures, measurements and knowledge that no one else possesses, you can create completely original content everyone will want. Of course, the information has to be valuable, but when you know your niche and you know your audience, you’ll easily be able to serve up the information they crave.
UPDATE: Nailed it. 2013 was the year of “big data.” Giving your audience exclusive information they can’t find anywhere else is more important every day as our fields of vision become cluttered with endless information.
FROM 2013: ALL EYES
While tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are very useful for social media monitoring, if last year taught us anything it was that there is no substitute for human eyes and attention. Automated promotional tweets in the middle of a stream during a national news event (or worse, a tragedy) are simply not acceptable. More and more Twitter users are calling them out and it looks bad for your brand. Two words: Pay attention.
UPDATE: Nailed it. Home Depot’s agency tweeted an image many felt was racist and that image was retweeted thousands of times before it was removed. British grocery chain Tesco left its auto tweet function on while shoppers freaked out about a horse meat scandal, but all was well at Tesco. All was well at Tesco. All was well at Tesco. You get the point. These disasters continue to happen. All eyes on deck.
FROM 2013: EASY
Human beings are programmed by evolution to expend the least amount of energy to get the greatest reward. In order to succeed in getting people to read, respond to and interact with your content, you need to make that as easy as possible. Don’t make people click away to get to what you need them to see and don’t make them jump through hoops. Catering to the laziest nature of human beings is almost always a successful strategy.
Update: Nailed it. This is timeless advice. If you need someone to do something, make it so, so easy they can’t say no.
2013 Side note: This is why Instagram should have played nice with Twitter instead of pulling their service. People now have to click away from Twitter to see Instagram photos. Many, including me, simply won’t do it and Instagram will lose market share.
Update: FAIL! Instagram is thriving while Facebook (Instagram’s owner) is on the decline. Be careful what you wish for with your IPOs, when you try to monetize every single thing social media users have come to rely on and enjoy, they will find a new thing to rely on and enjoy. Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. Heads up, Facebook.