Monday, September 24, 2012

Retro and Counter Trends in Social Media

The following is the September issue of Info-Currents. To sign up for monthly social media and trend updates and action items, click here


Re-Emerging trend:  The value of singular, physical experience over multiple, virtual experiences is being emphasized through documentaries, experiments on life without Facebook, online dating services organizing offline events and research-based books such as The Face to Face Book.

Implication: For every trend such as the social media rush, there is a counter trend such as the one that underscores the value of face-to-face relationships. Some cohorts may seek lifestyles balanced between the emotional gratification of in-person relationships and the efficiencies of virtual ones. 

Action: When creating experiences as marketers and entrepreneurs, use social media as a lever to spread news fast and reach new frontiers. Rely on in-person connections to cement the concept in people’s minds and to give them something to talk about.


Re-Emerging trend: Subscription services such as get back in the spotlight as an alternative to free but ad-cluttered services such as Twitter.

Implication: Tech-savvy early adopters will sign up for services where they will pay to have ad-free content. Majority of Internet users will continue with ad-centric, free services and continue to ignore ads. 

Action: If you are running an information business, diversity your offerings by adding a subscription service. The select few who sign up for it are likely to be your most dedicated readers and followers.


 Re-Emerging trend: Bartering old but gently used goods is becoming a new source of satisfaction for e-commerce aficionados. Sites such as and give people the simple joy of acquisition in an environmentally conscientious way.

Implication: Millennials have different perceptions of value than older generations. Their interest in all things retro (retropia – a phrase coined by futurist firm Weiner, Edrich and Brown) is also spilling into trade.

Action: Turn this retro trend into a business advantage by creating second-hand markets online. It can bring longevity to your brand and help increase the value of limited edition products as collectors’ items.


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