Mobile, Social and Search – The Plan for 2010

The two important things happened to marketing and communications in the last five years.

  1. Communications became a two-way street – the audience became the community
  2. We expected our community members to find us. Now, they expect us to find them, wherever they are.

The social part of this has been beaten to death for the last five years; I don’t have to go into that. But as the recent owner of my first smartphone, I finally internalized the game-changing nature of our always-on, always-everywhere world.

The ah-ha moment for me was a New York Times article last year, where a 20-something remarked that if the news is important enough, it will find her.

Guess what – she’s right. But it took me a while to realize it.

For the past month, Congress was voting on health care legislation over several consecutive weekends.  Naturally, as a health care association, we cared about this a lot.

In the old days, I would have been anchored to my desk at home, following the action. But with my phone these past two months, and with the right Twitter feeds loaded, I could do my work and continue with my weekend life.

I went to my daughter’s soccer game. I did some errands. I went to the high school football game. I picked up my car at the garage. When the climactic votes arrived at night, I got home to follow it on CSPAN, because still nothing rivals the immediacy of live TV.

During the course of this work, our organization’s Twitter reach grew. We are re-tweeted and our followership has grown. Our influence has grown, too – thus fulfilling one of our key objectives with Twitter. All because of mobile.

  • People learn from each other today through social media.
  • People find each other today through mobile.
  • People discover you through search.

It all works together. The destination site, the portal – they’re history. So while some people may bookmark us and consider our site a destination in and of itself, I am no longer trying to get everyone to do that.

More people will learn about us when we show up in their world or in their community. If we interest them, they’ll follow us back to our site, where they’ll discover what we’re all about. Then we have a chance to enroll a new member, retain an existing one, sell a product, service or education program, or influence people.

That’s what we’re in this for.


3 thoughts on “Mobile, Social and Search – The Plan for 2010

  1. Nice observations, Frank, but everything isn’t so absolute. The person who says the news will find her may miss a lot of information that will benefit her because she won’t bother looking for it.

    Yes, communication is a two-way street, and associations will have to be more strategic in the ways they communicate.

    But people still have to seek out information. If they don’t, they may just exist in isolation.

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