We received such great feedback about our #AllHallowsReadNISM series (October’s blog posts about the marketing mistakes that scare our SMS community), we decided to try another theme for December – goals and predictions. We asked our SMS community to share both!
SMS strategists all learn how important SMART goals are, so I’ll follow that guideline in my own goal creation. Specifically, I’d like to publish three (measurement!) written pieces (blogs, articles, etc.) related to research through social media. As the SMS community has grown, I’ve connected with people around the world who share the same interests and, by focusing on their own specialty, are interested in helping people understand social media as the incredible tool for understanding markets that it is. In fact, because I wrote Social Media Research and Analysis for NISM, a university professor outside the US invited us to contribute to his anthology (making my goal that much more achievable – I’ve already got one of my publications lined up).
Undeniably relevant to our work in 2018 (time-bound), I’m excited to add this area of emphasis to my own professional development – especially since NISM has just announced its partnership with the Social Media Research Association (SMRA)!
Like all of our contributors, predictions for 2018 were more difficult for me than goal setting. In social media, I think we learn to identify trends and anticipate what’s coming, but we also become pretty comfortable being ready for anything. But rules are rules, so here is my prediction.
In 2018, I think we’re going to see fewer people falling for fake news stories – because people and tools will get savvier.
In 2017, a variety of platforms came out with ways of combatting fake news and most people seemed to feel it was too little too late. Flagging suspicious material is certainly better than nothing, but we are still far from having fake news under control. But I think brighter days are ahead of us in 2018 – and I think it’s going to come from two places.
Tools will get better. We may feel like we’re fighting a losing battle now, but as more and more people dump fake news on social media platforms, very smart people on various platforms are watching and learning. I don’t think it will be quick or easy, but patterns are emerging and techniques are being developed that will make posting fake news effectively more difficult. It may never be 100% eradicated, but it will get better.
People will get smarter. There will always be people who intentionally spread misinformation. Whether they think it’s funny or they’re trying to forward their own cause with a lie doesn’t matter. The point is, those people are who they are and we can’t worry about them. But other people – the people who unknowingly spread fake news – will get smarter. They’re tired of looking foolish after sharing a story that was later proven false. They have a strong belief system and they want to connect with people honestly. Those are the people who are learning and those are the people who will stop spreading fake news in 2018.
What do you think? Do you have goals or predictions for 2018? Share them in the comments and keep coming back here to see what other members of the SMS community share!
Dr. Amy Jauman, SMS, is the Chief Learning Officer at the National Institute for Social Media and author of the Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists. Amy is also one of 58 members representing 12 countries in the inaugural class of the Prezi Educator Society. Previously she was the Social Media Director for Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN) and she currently serves as the marketing director for the Minnesota Chapter of the National Speakers Association. She is also an adjunct professor in the St. Catherine University Business Department and the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota MBA program.