What we’ve learned from 2012

 

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

2012. What happened? Where did it go?

The first professor I considered a mentor preached to always reflect when possible. He said it was something our generation didn’t do enough of and those of us, who do make time to reflect, will go further. So what better time to reflect on this year than right before the end of the year? Nowadays, things change instantly and it doesn’t look like it will get slower anytime soon.

2012 was the year of visual eye candy – Pinterest and Infographics each took the industry by storm. Both are different, yet share similarities. Each one uses visuals to share information in a way which is attractive and easy to understand for any consumer. I don’t even know how many times I was at a party or luncheon and I heard the question “Is that from Pinterest?”  People love Pinterest because you can share/find great ideas at the ease of “pinning” something. Infographics makes paragraphs and paragraphs of data obsolete because they allow you to tell all your findings with cool images and graphs that flow. Why would you ever want to read a boring, report again? Your mother lied to you…looks do matter.

Zuckerberg couldn’t resist anymore and made Facebook public. According to The Social Network, Zuckerberg sold out. Ever since Facebook went live it is becoming more and more about making money. Facebook already has around a billion members, and it doesn’t need to make the members happy anymore; it needs to make shareholders happy. Promoting your posts for minimal money can have a strong impact. Unless you Oreo or Justin Bieber, promoting posts is the only real way to start garnering some traction with Facebook these days.

Thanks to Instagram, everyone and their cousin turned into a part-time professional photographer. This year Instagram really took off, especially since they developed the Android version. No one takes a “normal” picture anymore. People complained for years about how they want better cameras in their phones and now that they got them, what do they do? Make them blurry!

While social media is proving more and more to be a great news source, Twitter specifically demonstrated why you don’t need to be by a TV anymore to know what is going on. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, death of a celebrity, a presidential election or a natural disaster, Twitter can keep you up to date instantly. Slowly, more and more people are turning to social media for their news source and news stations who want to stay around need to adapt.

Memes also made a huge splash into the social media world this year. How many times have you seen Willy Wonka with that smirk on his face like he really doesn’t care? How many professions created a montage of the different perceptions of what they did?  Or how many funny e-cards have you seen or shared? I honestly don’t think I can go a day on Facebook without seeing a handful of them.

When you reflect on this past year you realize a lot has happened; however, reflecting has no value if you don’t think critically about how you can improve. Does your company or clients use Pinterest or Instagram? Do you use Infographics for presentations? How can you leverage current news to engage with customers? Can you create a meme for your client that people will share? And have you tested out promoting your posts in Facebook to garner a larger audience? You won’t be able to use all of these for your business or clients, but you need to consider it. Everything besides the post promoting is free and can have a very strong impact for a brand. Go ahead and repin something on Pinterest from a follower or have a contest for users to upload their Instagram photos to your site. If you don’t think about these things now, before you know it, new things will be out and you’ll already be behind the ball and trust me…no one, not your boss or your clients, will like that.

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