Top 5 Digital and Online Media Trends for 2013

By Shai Coggins, Digital Specialist | Blog

Jan 23

Keeping up with technology is always a challenge for organisations. Often, your team might just be starting to consider a piece of digital equipment, an online application, or a social platform, when a new one suddenly gets introduced. So, you wonder if the technology that you’re just about to plan and prepare for will become obsolete by the time you implement it.

That’s why it’s good to watch for trends as you look at your budget and work timelines.

For 2013, there are some digital and online media trends that you might wish to consider in your organisation’s plans. Here are the top 5 trends to consider:

1. Integration will be one of the keys to success.

Many organisations who operate their digital and online presences in a vacuum will struggle to keep up with the growth that will continue to happen in this space.

Social Media and Online Channels Integration

How are you integrating your digital and online media?

What does this trend mean for your organisation?

  • Your overall business/operations plan: Social media and other online channels cannot operate separately from each other. Your website, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, your mailing lists, etc all need to be able to talk to each other and have a plan that supports each other’s efforts. And, all these cannot operate separately from other aspects of your organisation as well. Social media is not just marketing, PR, community building, communications, technology adaptation, fundraising and/or events tools. Your online presence becomes part of your brand and a way to help your organisation’s overall business/operations. Make sure you don’t just leave it to anyone who simply knows “how to do Facebook”.

How Vervely Can Help: We offer services and programs that can help to integrate social media use in your organisation. Some relevant services include: social media audit, social media strategy, and social media management. Contact us if you think we can offer you any assistance. You can also check out our library of resources, including our 8 Steps to a Social Media Audit article.

2. Mobile will be even bigger.

We’ve seen mobile use grow over the years, including the use of smart phones and tablets. This 2012 study shared over at Pingdom shows a 192.5% increase and global use of mobile browsing. And, according to an infographic based on several studies released by Microsoft Tag, mobile internet would take over desktop internet usage by 2014. Some analysts are also forecasting that mobile ads, use of geolocation apps, and the like will also increase.

Mobile will rule!(C) Microsoft Tag

Mobile will rule!
(C) Microsoft Tag

What does this trend mean for your organisation?

  • Your online presence: Make sure that you have a  mobile strategy when considering your online presence. What does your website look like when being accessed through a mobile phone or a tablet device? Are your communications and marketing plans considering mobile? Are you considering mobile ads as a viable way to reach your target audience? What about mobile donations for nonprofit organisations and charities? Or mobile communications to parents and stakeholders in schools?
  • Your technology plan: Is your IT department equipped to manage mobile usage in your organisation? Are your staff all trained appropriately on what’s the best way to use mobile to help your organisation? Can mobile help your employees to be more productive?
  • Your content: Will your content be available and easy to consume on mobile devices?

How Vervely Can Help: We can help your organisation with mobile integration, including training on the use of mobile devices and apps. We have previously assisted nonprofits and businesses to go mobile. Tell us your current needs and we can offer you a customised solution.

3. There will be more conversations on online reputation management.

Dr Leslie Gaines-Ross, a reputation specialist, shares some of the trends on reputation management in 2013 over at Huffington Post. Granted, she makes a living off helping brands manage their reputation, but with an ever increasing list of social media faux pas and disasters over the last couple of years (2012 social media disasters + 2011 social media disasters; bonus: 2010 social media disasters in Australia), more and more brands are being encouraged to learn how to deal with these situations better.

In fact, such online reputation management does not just stay within just organisations and brands. Even individuals, including teenagers and young school children, are being encouraged to learn how to handle themselves online to avoid potential issues.

Keyboard: What are they saying about you?

Is your organisation equipped to manage your online reputation? What about your staff?

What does this trend mean for your organisation?

  • Your communications plan: Having social media policies and strategies integrated into your communications plan should become a high priority. Putting crisis communications planning on the agenda is also important.

How Vervely Can Help: We offer services and programs that can help to integrate social media use in your organisation. Some relevant services include: social media audit, social media strategy, and social media management. Contact us if you think we can offer you any assistance.

4. Data is taking centre stage.

With increasing usage of social media and other online content, data is becoming a central part of conversations on digital. Whether this is about cloud storage, big data, data measurement and analysis, or content curation, learning how to process, share, store, and manage data is important.


How does data affect your organisation?

What does this trend mean for your organisation?

  • Your content: Designing and creating content that can be easily digested becomes key in our data-driven world. Being able to curate content effectively becomes an essential skill.
  • Your technology plan: Looking at how you use and manage your data in your organisation, you can identify the greatest needs that you currently face. Addressing these challenges becomes more and more a part of your planning.

How Vervely Can Help: Content planning, creation, and curation, as well as data measurement and analysis are things that we thrive on. If you have any needs in these areas, contact us so we can work out how we can help you best.

5. Digital / Online / Social Media Training will no longer be optional.

In the past, organisations looked at digital or social media training as something that is only a specialist skill, in a niche area (and perhaps, secretly thinking it was all just a “fad”). Now, as you can see with the first four trends, there is an increasing need to equip individuals and organisations in order to cope with changes and growth in the digital / online / social media space. Not just for individuals who will manage social media for the organisation, but for everyone in the team to understand and to use these digital and online tools better.

That’s why digital or social media training should no longer be an optional professional development pathway. CEOs, board members, employees, teachers, volunteers, job seekers, and even young students should be trained in the use of these tools.

And, apart from the basics, the conversations in this space will be moving more on advanced and intermediate skills – from learning to manage personal and professional branding to learning how to create and curate content, amongst many other topics that are fast becoming essential skills in this digital age.

Online Digital Social Media Training

What are your social media and/or digital media training needs?

What does this trend mean for your organisation?

  • Your professional development plan: Personal or professional coaching in digital and social media, as well as group training, is slowly becoming a real need. Individuals and organisations who are getting left behind will find themselves needing to catch up, as digital and social will only continue to play a significant role in the way we live our lives and do our work.

How Vervely Can Help: We are available to conduct webinars, workshops, in-house and/or online training. We have also developed online learning tools and modules for organisations. If you need any kind of individual coaching or group education in digital/online/social media, do let us know.


About the Author

Shai Coggins is the Manager and Chief Digital Media Specialist at Vervely, an Australia-based agency serving local and international clients. One of the company's main clients is Microsoft. Shai has been featured in a number of media due to her online work, including being named as one of Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list (2009).