Charlie’s Social Media Predictions for 2017: Community

2016; Crusade | 2015; Chuckle | 2014; Crusade | 2013; Confidence | 2012; Conversation | 2011; Commencing

From the titles above (Crusade, Confidence, Conversation…), it looks like we’ve all been on a crusade into unknown territory, perhaps unchartered waters for quite a while.

It could also be why in 2016 we fatigued. Did you sense it too? All around social media “expert guru land” there was a hesitant sigh, a deep breathing out of relief.

Could it be true people caught up? As in the general community grasped the bull by the two horns and went forth? I think so.

This gave the big platforms some time to fine-tune their services. So, we saw things in Facebook land like “Moments”, “Messenger”, “Live”, and “Search” all get a good once over with some new features and better functionality. YAH. We saw Instragram settle petal, Pinterest happily sing along and SnapChat shine bright. We didn’t see so much happening in Twitter land and while that service isn’t going anywhere fast – Twitter really is shaping itself into a platform aimed at a dedicated audience and ‘use’ (for want of a better word).


For example, and meaning… it’s interesting that we use Twitter and #hashtags when in a Conference with confidence, ease and (shock horror) competitively, to reach the “Top 10” mentions at that same Conference… however once home, we go back to chatting via a Facebook group where we can see conversation threads and faces to engage with.

Of course, my example was at this years “Mayo Clinic Social Media Conference for Health Professionals‘.

Yes, I landed in the Top 10 for the full 3 days. Of course!

But it’s where we discussed online conversations during the Conference.

We discussed patients to patients, clinic to clinic, peer to peer and professional to professional. We discussed how each have their own protocols and challenges. And we discussed how we could make it happen and the ethics behind it all. It was fascinating.


Why? Well, everyone is excited about “peer-to-peer” engagement. We hold no confidence in “Dr Google” results and therefore wish to encourage and engage people, as we DO hold confidence in facilitating online discussion to raise awareness and assist others to understand what is the best course of action for their “whatever”. Social media learning has always been good for this – and this rise in facilitating a purpose for discussion on a platform is one which will gather momentum.


To continue the conversation around that, it is the word ‘purpose‘ which is key here.

The Dr Google society steps in wanting to search the “7 steps to understanding whats wrong with me” diagnosis. It’s certainly not always a good solution, however if a person needs something as a first step to admitting there could be an issue, then it’s worthy.

If we then had an easy step to transfer over t a discussion about it – well, even better hey.

I mused during the same conference that Mayo Clinic should partner with Google to do the “Dr Google” solution the right way. They had – but only search results. I look forward to the day they take it to that next step – a customer experience for health diagnosis. Hey, we may even get an app to make that Dr’s appointment (that works).


Speaking of the app crusade… it is still crawling. Considering my predictions back in 2015, and the enthusiasm back then for apps, this area has suffered. Once again, the web and web services failed to engage. There almost, continually, seems to be a disconnect between what is possible, what happens and what eventuates. We don’t get into that main community stream. Or if we do – it’s via Facebook!

Perhaps the Mark Zuckerberg Facebook, is the Richard Branson Virgin of it’s time? He needs to keep building and providing services.

Have they ever considered partnering? I feel Richard is the right age demographic for Facebook and they would be well served to “check each other out”.

However, we digress.

The predictions are mere philosophical statements about the state of play for now and into the future. They are a moment in time to reflect, ponder and share insights with you which may, or may not actually eventuate. In my seven years of writing the predictions, there have been good outcomes. It’s good to read back over comments like this one from 2015:

Online services, sales and content delivery is growing. Mobile use is growing and has been for a while. Emergency services use social media as a normal way to communicate to the community. What’s next? I know there won’t be too many more apps unless they are well thought out and work before they hit the market. People’s tolerance levels are low for poor performing sites.


Everything we do online, is really, simply an extension of what we do offline.

Therefore, if we are incapable of connecting and sharing ourselves offline, we won’t be able to do it online. It’s like my quote “you either have a personality, or not.” Online is no different. However, people will now expect it (a personality that is – and yes, being online).

Don’t be a fad about it, or fake. Make it real and engage fully.

Remember I said, ’emergency services use social media as a normal way to communicate to the community’ (back in 2015) – take their lead, people are there listening, businesses should be too.

It’s what’s expected from our community.

As Andrew Grill (Key Note Speaker at the Mayo Clinic Conference) said,

“In order to get digital, you need to be digital.

Wise indeed. Let the natives rise to the challenge.


Of course, the community also expect to support, cherish, love, admire, and praise the people they hold dear. Including the non-natives. The ones they don’t (hold dear), they critise. LOUDLY. This was intensely evident through the recent American election, the Kardashian jewelry heist and a raft of other tragedies. What is becoming evident, is the media fixing and use of social media to swing an argument.

Snopes has never been so popular, WIKI so unreliable and the newsfeed so intriguing.

It is one we will continue to chuckle over – well, we will once America works out what on earth is going on with all those conflicts of interest! I’m 100% positive social media will solve the worlds problems. Surely?

Yes, I chuckle.

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