Flickr / Photo by Jeff Djevdet.

Decoding the Three Biggest Buzzwords in Digital and Social Media

Digital moves at a hyperactive pace. With trends coming and going constantly and saturating the way users interact on the internet, the only way to keep up seems to be by focusing heavily on buzzwords and general trends. But buzzwords are dubbed as such because they have lost their clear meaning and now require more cautious usage. In 2017, you should know the background of the following three buzzwords in particular:

1. Innovation- Known by some as “the buzzword of the decade,” the word innovation has been used in abused across business models and disciplines.

  • What it means- Innovation refers to the ability to solve a current challenge to streamline performance. In a world where constant iteration is necessary and interconnectedness is a global phenomenon, innovation allows us to stay competitive, push new initiatives and disrupt (a similar buzzword) the way in which we operate in our world today.
  • When to use it- In the marketing world in particular, innovation is being used more to refer to data-driven intelligence. The modern marketing mix does not only take into account digital and traditional methods of outreach and communication⸺it now integrates data, profiling and predictive capabilities to more deeply connect with people across markets.

For example, IBM’s innovation team is thinking past the modes of innovation (like voice recognition technologies) and setting its objective to deeply analyze and augment experiences for customers through Artificial Intelligence. Audiences will engage with such experiences (brands, apps and services) that define innovation to be an opportunity to optimize product and marketing to enrich relationships with audiences.

2. Millennial- One of the most common terms when it comes to discussion of emerging audiences on social media, Millennials have become an answer (and often a scapegoat) to explain the phenomenon of digital media today.

  • What it means- Millennials are a layer of today’s population that was born between 1982 and 2004. These individuals are considered to be digital natives ones who are comfortable with emerging means of communication like social media and have specific tendencies that hold the internet at their core. As millennials grow in purchasing power, their likes, dislikes and trends will become increasingly important for brands to hone in and capitalize on.
  • When to use it- It’s important to note that using the term millennials is unavoidable. However, overusing the term to explain why brands market themselves in the way that they do is the more critical error. There is a spectrum of a variety of individuals within the millennial population that can not be generalized and instead, should be segmented (more deeply by age, region, gender, psychographics) to understand how to better engage online.

3. Authenticity- In terms of corporate or personal branding, a discussion of authenticity and personalization almost always comes to the surface. But remember, knowing the importance of authenticity doesn’t instantly make you or your brand authentic.

  • What it means- Authenticity refers to the awareness of oneself and the projection of this awareness across digital channels and audiences consistently. An individual or brand’s ability to be authentic prompts more tangible success like higher engagement, more followers and ideally a higher return on investment.
  • When to use it- The best time to use the term “authenticity” is when we can quantifiably deem something as such. Brands and individuals who are seemingly authentic on digital should be stacked up, analyzed and used as an example to show how a strong and clear brand voice cuts through the noise and resonates with digital and social audiences.

Take authentic influencers in the Social Media space like Brian Fanzo for example. Since joining Twitter on 2012, Fanzo has purposefully delivered information that is both valuable and engaging to his over 107k following and has diversified his authenticity strategy using video, podcasts and written content to make that impact last.

Buzzwords may come and go, but your understanding of them will last forever. Regardless of the newest trends in digital and social media, deeply understanding the context and correct usage of today’s most hype-worthy phrases will keep your brand’s strategy in check.

Flickr / Photo by Jeff Djevdet.