As we look back at 2012 from a social media perspective, it’s important to look at the good and the bad. I always like to ask two questions when analyzing a situation: 1) “What is being done right?” and 2) “What if everything is wrong?”
So, to start, here’s a social media insider’s top-six disappointments of 2012:
1. The number of business decisions based on Facebook's stock. Stock price only matters when it affects your stock holdings or a business’ ability to spend money. Facebook’s stock price most definitely did NOT affect its ability to spend money. Marketers and analysts should have been more focused on what Facebook was doing, instead of what its stock was doing.
2. Instagram disabling viewing from Twitter. This one is recent and slid in just before the end-of-year deadline. Instagram cutting off Twitter now means a legion of Twitter users will more aggressively use the Twitter photo function instead of Instagram. This move feels very Facebook-y -- not playing friendly with others.
3.That I didn't shame myself into a 90-day Fitness Challenge sooner. In this column and on social media I announced my weight and body fat (209 and 29%). The power of accountability and encouragement on social media is amazing. I highly encourage you all to use your social network(s) to accomplish goals in 2013. After three months, I’ve successfully dropped to 183 lbs and 21% body fat. Feeling great.
4. How many non-retail brands didn't use Pinterest. It seems like clothing and food brands are the only ones you can find effectively using Pinterest. As we wrap up the holiday season, I wish more electronics brands (showing photos of unique set-ups), airlines (photos of destinations) and B2B (photos of inspiration) had taken advantage of Pinterest earlier.
5. YouTube streaming the best concerts live. Selfishly, I love that this is happening. I’ve seen some great stuff from SXSW and Bonnaroo. However, I worry for musicians. One of the only viable money-generating avenues for musicians is live shows. If the broader population can see them live for free on YouTube, how many people will forgo seeing the musician at a local venue?
6. eBay didn't capitalize on this YouTube video. Why don’t more brands and ad agencies capitalize on great user content? This video about a mom finding her son’s long-lost stuffed animal on eBay is amazing. Sure, you could say eBay got enough free earned media. But why not offer to purchase the rights to the video by donating to a charity of the mom’s choice, then use the video in paid media, both online and broadcast?
OK, time for the good. So, here are six events from 2012 that bode well for 2013.
1. American Express and Twitter teaming up. The integration of technologies that allowed people to tweet about stuff and then receive discounts on said stuff was a thing of beauty. This type of integration is seamless for consumers and opens up a wealth of data for marketers. Beautiful stuff.
2. YouTube continuing its funding of content creators -- and not just funding the same content creators. YouTube dropped content creators that weren’t performing and added new ones that had potential, very similar to a TV network dropping and adding shows. This move showed YouTube’s commitment to consistent, quality content. It also showed how to embrace old-school paradigms in a modern way.
3. Nike partnering with TechStars. TechStars, the technology incubator, partners with brands to form mini-incubators focused on select areas of technology innovation. Nike recently announced its partnership with TechStars, focused on technology to develop and enhance the Nike+ fitness community. This is a great way to support and expand a growing social community.
4. This BBQ truck's Twitter logo. When a local food truck can reinvent a social platform’s logo as this one did for Twitter -- and for the logo to still be completely identifiable -- bodes extremely well as an indicator of broad acceptance of the social network. This event very much speaks to the increasing opportunities on Twitter in 2013.
5. That this was my most retweeted tweet of 2012. I love that social media can be a power for business, personal and social good. The tweet below was retweeted for weeks upon weeks. Not only does it show the diverse opportunity of Twitter, but it also speaks to the inherent goodness and optimism of the people on social media. We as marketers should embrace and encourage that.
"A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation." @petrogustavo Mayor of Bogota— Bryan Boettger (@bboettger) September 15, 2012
6. Klouchebag.com. Because Klout is increasingly becoming totally worthless, I give you Klouchebag.com.