12 Social Media Truths for 2012

This past week, I attended the PR News Digital PR conference -- and I'll be blogging about what I learned. To start are statements from @StacyGreen, Vice President for Marketing & Communications at Mashable, who presented the keynote lecture, along with some context and advice from my own experience guiding clients on social media. Feel free to use these when talking to your team about the power and possibility of social media.
1. “Keeping up isn’t good enough anymore.” It's time for brands to take the lead and put a stake in the ground when it comes to social media. Test, learn, iterate, fail harder, then succeed. And keep a watch on new platforms. Brands like GE and Southwest have succeeded by being early adapters.
2. “2012 is the year that social media becomes the dominant engaging content on the Internet.” All the statistics point to the fact that social media is not a fad. Stop listening to people who say it is.
3. “2012 is year that online advertising eclipses print.” That opens possibilities for greater connections beween your online media (paid) and your social media channels (owned and earned). Think about how to connect the dots.  
4. “There are more than 24 screen-hours in a day.” We don't watch one screen anymore. It's the new reality -- and brands can leverage it. NBC's "The Voice" is a great example of this. They engage viewers through the TV screen, the computer screen and the mobile screen.
5. “Think like PR people, measure like Mad Men.” And, I would argue, dress like a Mad Man or Woman, too :)
6. “Everyone is passionate about something. Find your people. They are out there." 2011 marked the rise of the niche social media network. Think Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr. You don't have to be everywhere, but you should be in your audience's space, sharing the way they are sharing.
7. “Do more with less and leverage the free tools that are out there.” You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can listen, learn and participate in the conversation that is already happening on social channels.
8. “2012 marks the rise of the Fan Girl. Nearly 90% of Pinterest users are female.” Is this the next wave of mommy bloggers? I think so.
9. “For PR professionals, think about a new way of placing a trend piece: You can use social media tools to, for example, schedule tweets to go out via an algorithm that aligns your messaging with current conversation trends.” Wow, that's powerful -- and firmly puts the "public" in public relations.
10. “Take the media you have and give it as many legs as possible.” Give every brand placement a life beyond its initial placement. Post wisely and appropriately to your social channels to make the most of a good thing.
11. “Social is the new search. That’s why we need to watch Google+, especially how +1 affects search.” If you're not a believer in Google+, you will be when you see its affect on search.
12. “If it’s not on the Internet, it didn’t happen.” Enough said.