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3 January 2011 Tombras Sees the Future in Social Article

“Tombras was recently featured in an article about the future of social media. The full article is below.

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Carly Harrington: Media Managers Eye 2011

By Carly Harrington – Sunday, January 2, 2011

At least once a day but usually much more, I visit sites such as Twitter and Facebook catching up on news I missed, conversations among virtual friends and a whole bunch of randomness.

Some may see it as a waste of time, but for me, it is nothing short of amazing. I crave information and conversation, and social media aptly delivers. It is a powerful tool that can be leveraged in so many ways depending on your needs and wants.

Last year saw many people and businesses put aside their skepticism and embrace social media. If 2010 was the year social media went mainstream, what possibilities does 2011 hold?

Here’s what some Knoxville-area communication professionals had to say.

Gavin Baker, director of digital media for public relations firm Moxley Carmichael: Increased usage of smartphones and tablets will create connected consumers who will interact with where they are and each other in new ways. Facebook and Twitter feeds have led to information overload. As a result, niche communities will grow in demand as quick access to the conversations and information we want to be part of becomes the primary focus. Businesses and customers will begin to place greater emphasis on the feedback they receive from social networks as empowered customers make it clear that they want to be interacted with on their terms.

Laura Bower, director of public relations and social media for advertising/marketing firm The Tombras Group: Facebook Connect will transform the single-user login. More websites will allow user access without a dedicated account. Instead, users will log in through their individual Facebook accounts to like and share content, making it easier to interact with brands. We’ll experience the rise of “augmented reality” as we move closer to the “fifth sense” PDA.

Augmented reality apps like Dragon Dictation for voice-to-type and WordLens for camera-to-type will digitally enhance our real-world experiences. Mobile devices and apps will ride the wave of 4G adaptation by digital providers to offer faster video- and photo-sharing services, and video conferencing via phone regardless of model.

Nicole VanScoten Denton, public relations specialist at digital marketing firm Pyxl: From adding social media to their marketing budgets, to bringing on staff or hiring an outside marketing/communications firm to support the content creation, to becoming more serious about measuring it and how it affects the bottom line, 2011 will be the year social media gets serious. More businesses and consumers alike will pick up on the location-based phenomenon that really began in 2010. We’re also only scratching the surface of how QR codes can be used by businesses. We should begin to see some really unique uses.

Zane Hagy, CEO of z11 communications: We’ll reach content overload as more folks join the social media frenzy because they continue to think they have to do it, even if they don’t know what “it” is. This will be a catalyst causing the savvy communicators to move social media forward as a communications tool by focusing on the message. What we’re seeing online now is the modern equivalent to cave markings. How the messages are crafted and presented will start to shift. Businesses that were early adopters into the social media frenzy will find themselves putting more focus on actual return on investment. Deeper analysis of social media activities will spur change in behavior. Rather than seeing social media as a “magic bullet,” companies will work it into existing public relations and communications strategies.

Mark Schaefer, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and adjunct marketing professor at Rutgers University: The hottest trends will be mobile apps – watch for a lot of creativity to be unleashed here – as well as integration with traditional media, social influence scoring, group-buying sites and the debut of augmented reality. I think privacy and the threat of government Internet regulation will continue to dominate headlines in 2011.

Business writer and The Bottom Line columnist Carly Harrington may be reached at 865-342-6317 or harrington@knoxvillebiz.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/knoxgirl75.

The Tombras Group is a 260+ person, full-service advertising agency with a digital mindset. In the brand-building business since 1946, the family-owned agency serves national and global clients. In 2015, Tombras was recognized as Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, and in 2016 it was ranked by Palma Consulting as Independent Agency of the Year. Tombras connects data and creativity for business results. Offices are located in Washington, D.C.; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville with headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. More information: www.tombras.com.