I like to identify yearly online presence trends. I labeled 2011 the year of the Video. 2012 the year of Alignment. And I’m going to go ahead and announce 2013 as the year of Consolidation. Now what in the world am I talking about?
2011 was pretty straightforward. I encouraged every one of my clients to use video as a way to introduce their company, organization, personnel, product, and/or service. Text on a website was great but the statistics were showing page view averages of 3-4 seconds, clearly not enough time to consume multiple paragraphs of text. Photos were also great and encouraged, but lacked a certain element, especially when those images were stock images. Video however could reach into the brain and heart. YouTube jumped to the #2 search engine after Google. Videos were being shared on higher levels than articles and photos. A potential client could get a deeper view into a company through a video than through reading an entire website. 2011 was the year of the video.
2012 was the year of alignment. I began to notice that most of my existing clients and new clients had all of the pieces of an effective online presence. They had a website, social media platforms, videos, blogs, SEO, and maybe even some advertising. Most of these platforms had simply been created because leadership was told they had to be on a specific platform. No real plan was ever developed to align all of these platforms. Therefore, websites had one objective (if any objective at all), social media was over there doing its own thing, and advertising didn’t fit into the whole picture. Most of my time in 2012 was spent aligning company online presences into a specific direction with measurable goals.
I see 2013 as the year of consolidation. I think this will overlap with the economy in general. Families (and hopefully the government) will begin spending less, consolidating, selling, and living frugally. In 2012, I aligned multiple online presences for my clients. In 2013, I anticipate consolidating these online presences. For example, is it absolutely necessary for every company to be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and Pinterest? Is the company having an influence on each of these platforms or are they better at one platform over another. Also, are all of these platforms leading to undue stress for a company or organization? Is there the feeling of needing to constantly be “on” for each of these platforms? Is that cutting into valuable time that should be spent on developing relationships, new ideas, or new products? Where is the company reaching the most people? Where are connections being made?
These are the types of questions I anticipate covering with my clients in 2013. Changes will be made to consolidate these platforms into the most effective ones. This will free companies and individuals to better utilize their time on the platforms creating the most buzz.