I love the start of a new year because it is a time to throw my social predictions into the hat for later reflection. This year, I’m going against the grain of most predictions. I’m also looking a bit further into the future with predictions #6 and #7. Agree or disagree?
“Return on Investment” will be measured in much looser terms.
Digital marketing isn’t the mystery it was a couple of years ago. There is no doubt that companies, brands, and even hospitals have to be social in order to compete in today’s market. As 2013 rolls out, CEOs will begin to accept that some benefits of social presence aren’t immediately realized and that attempting to measure ROI wastes time and money. Marketing professionals will finally be able to get down to business. Don’t get me wrong. Marketing companies will develop measurement tools that do just about everything in an attempt to hold onto the market, but CEOs will be tired of pretending they see the emperor’s coat.
Social be incorporated into many departments and roles.
We will see a big surge in job descriptions calling for knowledge of social platforms. Why? Many more companies will choose to manage social presence in-house in an effort to cut costs and integrate social into multiple areas of a company. Social strategy will no longer be a Lone Ranger housed in the marketing department. Incorporating social into all facets of a company will be a growing trend as we start breaking down the silos and realizing all that is at ou fingertips.
Text-only interaction will seem naked and slowly fade away.
Just take a few seconds to fly through your Google+ stream, Facebook page or Pinterest page. What catches your eyes and interest? A picture is worth a thousand words, so companies will start to focus on communicating concepts through photos and video. The accompanying text will become secondary, focusing on search engine optimization as much as content.
Mobile sites and phone apps will no longer be an afterthought.
Smartphones are the wave of the PRESENT. Last year, smartphone use in China grew 150% (Pew/Nielsen research). The US is on the same trend, reporting that in mid 2011 there were already more mobile phone accounts than people! Half of these accounts were smartphones. Since then, there has been a steady upward trend of dumb phones being traded in for smart phones. The writing is on the wall (or should I say mobile wallpaper), so companies that want to stay visible will need to accommodate the mobile customer.
Hospitals and practices will start using social technology.
As healthcare providers are forced to care for more patients with less money (especially where ACOs form), they will turn to social technologies. They will start to use these tools to educate and inform patients, and to communicate better in hopes of improving patient satisfaction scores.
We are just starting to realize all the knowledge that can be gained from tracking people online. Google impressively predicted the flu outbreak and now everyone is imagining the possibilities. Businesses that lose social marketing business will turn to data collection and analysis as a new service. Information will be tracked and sold at a premium to predict all kinds of trends and responses.*
Privacy will have to be bought.
It’s no secret that our privacy is for sale, as sites like Facebook and Google track our moves and sell our data to the highest bidders. Built-in private browsing and permission prompts won’t be enough. We will have to purchase apps and gadgets to assure our privacy is safe. We will have to pay to block our whereabouts and encrypt our activity to lock down our personal information much like we subscribe to antivirus software today.*
* may be 2014 before we see anything fully baked.
Some people don’t consider LinkedIn to be a “social” site. I tend to disagree. The socializing may not happen as frequently or as casually, but because of the professional tone of Linkedin, it often leads to great results.
In this discussion, I talked with Mark Browne, Dean La Douceur, and Kathy Nieder about how they are effectively using LinkedIn. We talked about what should be included in a profile (CV vs resume vs profile), how and when others refer to them, and what can negatively impact a first impression. (Recommendations do matter.)
We also talked about LinkedIn groups and how healthcare-related discussions have been beneficial. (NOTE: Dean had to call in from a Starbucks after losing power in his office… we tried to keep him muted when he wasn’t talking.)
More and more hospitals and practices are getting onto Google+. Google+ is a great place to educate patients, build a presence, and reach out to a community.
In December, Kathi talked with Todd Hartley (WireBuzz Founder), Tim Cook (Healthcare IT Consultant), Shiraz Siddiqui (Health Field Team Leader for Google) to learn how they are using Google+ in their roles. The panel shared their reasons for joining Google+, talked about the value of Google Local search benefits, and discussed how Google+ is different than other platforms. Todd talked about how BreastCancerAnswers.com is gaining momentus by using hangouts to reach patients on a personal level, and Tim shared how he is able to target communications with specific physician and IT groups. The panel also discussed a new feature on Google+ called COMMUNITIES.
This discussion is packed full of great ways hospitals, organizations, and physicians are using Google+ to connect every other social effort (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…).
Kathi holds Health Care Hangouts every 3rd Sunday for interesting discussions on social media, apps, and other technology that help people communicate better in healthcare.
A few lucky souls bought a pricey prototype of Google glass. Having just returned from a wonderfully relaxing holiday, my creative juices kicked in with ways Google glass applications would vary from standard cellphones. I wish I could be in a room with the creators to examine one, give my two cents, and ask lots of questions. For example…
If Google glass is only one eye, why not be creative with an asymmetrical design? The current appearance is so predictable. I’d like to see it worked into a headband with an arm that raises and lowers as needed. And how about building this technology into a contact? Does that come in blue, please?
And has anyone considered building in a back camera? Moms would love that!
How long will I have to wait for facial recognition? Prosopagnosia is no fun at a dinner party.
Taking into consideration the portability and location of this device, how can one NOT start thinking of ways Google glass will change the way we live? Maybe Google glass will be able to take a picture of an object and then blow it up to act like a built-in magnifying glass. No more readers! And how could Google glass extensions revolutionize healthcare by checking for glaucoma, spotting floaters, monitoring your temp, or administering visual tests to a large group at a time? Would this become a standard device for diabetics? If I started brainstorming with my Healthcare Talk community and a few sharp healthcare app designers, who knows where we could take this cool little device.
There are so many exciting possibilities. If only I could just get an afternoon at Google to bounce ideas with Sergey Brin and the Google glass team (pausing for a moment to dream)…