By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:23 pm
I’ve been nominated for an award by PR News, though I won’t find out if I won or not until next week. I’m up for “Best corporate blog.” Although this is flattering, and I’m honored to be considered, it might also be like being nominated “best sandwich at the airport.”
However: if I do happen to win this thing, I’ve been asked to answer a question as an acceptance speech:
What digital trends do you see in the next six months?
I started writing my response out, and it turned out to look like a blog post. So here it is: trends in digital communications that may start to play our over the next six months:
You can’t just hire a college kid with a Facebook page anymore. And you can’t just sprinkle a little social media magic onto a campaign or a concept as it’s on its way out the door. I imagine that more and more companies are going to start hiring people with proven social media experience. You need people who can cut through clutter with something concise and meaningful. And you need someone that can kill a dumb idea (“Let’s make this thing VIRAL!”) before it makes its way out of the boardroom. Those skills don’t show up overnight.
Social Media Exhaustion
Facebook, Twitter, other forms of online media are exhausting, and they can easily eat your whole day. We’re all hooked on the little dopamine bursts that come from text messages, emails, tweets, Facebook “likes.” And we’re starting to get depressed when we compare our own real lives to our friends’ personal PR machines.
This is hardly news to anyone reading this, it’s a cliche to talk about it. But it wasn’t two years ago. I’m seeing a real swelling in articles, posts, whatever about social media burnout – and I think it’s more than just talk. I think people are going to become less engaged in online media, reading less and commenting less, maybe pulling back a little.
That’s not to say that social media isn’t here to stay – it is. But the shine has worn off and people are looking more carefully at what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and writing off a lot more. Sharing or retweeting something doesn’t equal reading, agreeing, or comprehending, and I think the rest of the world is going to catch onto that a little more.
More online crises, of less importance
We all know the stories of Chick-fil-A, Nestle, etc. and what happens when they listen to the public with a tin ear. Well, here’s the thing: there’s always another one right around the corner — and the public’s attention span is shorter than ever before.
As we see more and more online uproars reacting to political issues, celebrity buzz, business problems we’re going to become more and more immune to them. What was once a big deal is going to start to look more like tabloid headlines that fade even faster. To play in this space is to get burned by this space, and eventually, it’s going to happen to everybody.
Being at the center of a huge online firestorm is never going to be anybody’s favorite thing, but it’s not going to be as bad as it once was — and I don’t think that they’re necessarily going to move stock prices the way they once did, either.