2012 was a rather large year for me. Aside from becoming a father for the first time (amazing!), I left the teet of employment and set up Velocity Digital. A bold move and one that I’ve not regretted for even a split second. 2013 will be a huge one for me and the business, but instead of making predictions for 2013, I’ve decided to pull together my key thoughts on social media, digital and content marketing (some other areas too!) from the past year in little tweet-like chunks. A couple of great videos have been thrown in for good measure. Enjoy.

Social media

  • There are still bullshit merchants out there and unfortunately, businesses continue to pay them.
  • Too many people use the whole ‘ROI from social’ question as a shield for producing shocking work.
  • People expect to see success from social media as a stand-alone marketing channel. Rarely possible.
  • The world needs to move away from ‘you can’t sell via social media’. Yes you can.
  • If you aren’t thinking visually, you’re not doing it right.
  • Facebook has become a place where brands often go to die.
  • Facebook did absolutely nothing to endear itself to its precious users.
  • Twitter still rock my socks.
  • The socialnomics videos are so 2010.
  • Over-sharing is still hugely annoying. See the video below for an amusing Instagram over-sharing related video from College Humour.
  • The understanding of how much time and planning has to go into digital is very low. Having fast platforms doesn’t mean you jump the gun.
  • The term ‘social media’ won’t go away, so stop saying ‘we need to stop saying social media’ – us humas need categories.
  • There’s no doubt that people at the upper levels of business are getting more and more wise to digital and social specifically.

Content marketing

  • ‘Content marketing’ was the buzz phrase in 2012 and will continue into 2013. Again, we need to categorise.
  • The bar for amazing video from brands was massively raised in the past year. See below for my (and many others) favourite.
  • Blogs are still very much an important part of the mix. You own your blog, you don’t own your social network presences.
  • Every business has great stories to tell. Yes, I said every. See more here.
  • Businesses struggle to write in a fashion that actually appeals to their customers. Press releases aren’t blog posts.
  • Testing of the effectiveness of content isn’t widespread enough – too many are persisting with pointless churn.
  • Infographics were huge in 2012. There were as many (if not more) terrible ones than good ones though.
  • Content isn’t king anymore. Google made it god.

General observations

  • Too much money is being spunked by ‘start-ups’.
  • People think a ‘start-up’ has to be tech-based.
  • Reading ‘The Lean Startup’ doesn’t make you a business expert.
  • People love to freak out about online privacy. If you don’t like it, leave.
  • Students are getting very savvy when it comes to digital marketing. However, this is down to them, not the universities etc.
  • Bananas aren’t actually the route of all evil.
  • Cucumber is.
  • Scotland is full of very clever people, and we need to get better at shouting about it.
  • Google and WordPress up a tree, i,n,d,e,x,i,n,g
  • Hipsters need our love, not our mockery.
  • I will never look as sharp as Don Draper.
  • The power from actual face to face networking is huge. Collaboration rules.
  • People love it when you tell them they are wrong. But only if you do it in the right way.
  • 95% of people look nothing like their avatars. 95% of them are worse looking in real-life.
  • Growing a tache is hard. But oh so worth it.
  • Anchorman was a fluke.
  • My favourite ad of the year was for Perrier, watch it below.

Have a very happy Christmas/holiday period one and all. If you missed our epic Christmas lights switch-on video, you can watch it here.

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Mike McGrail

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