Social, Mobile, Video: The Future of the Internet in 2:18

2015.

For followers of the Chinese zodiac, it’s the Year of the Sheep (which officially begins tomorrow, Feb. 19); for the scientifically inclined, it’s the International Year of Light. For anyone hoping to reach today’s digitally driven consumer, it promises to be the year that social media, mobile technology and video take over the Internet.

That may sounds like an overly bold statement but as author, speaker and founder of Socialnomics Erik Qualman demonstrates in the above clip, the trends are already well underway. As he says, “Mobile and social aren’t emerging; they’re merging” and, increasingly, the medium that connects them is video. Here are three steps you can take to make sure you’re don’t get left out of the mix:

Hit record: According to Cisco, video will constitute 80 to 90% of all Internet traffic by 2017, so it’s no exaggeration to say it’s taking over the online world. Naturally eye-catching and easily shared, videos boost engagement, build positive brand image and generate higher clickthrough rates than other media. On RealSelf, doctors who post a good selection of videos generate more patient contacts than those who post few or none.

Go mobile: It’s official — the days of desktop dominance are over. People are using smartphones and tablets to access web content so much that mobile usage now accounts for an astounding 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S. Mobile video constitutes an ever-larger portion of that time so it’s important to ensure your videos provide relevant information, offer a personal touch and maintain high-quality standards.

Think young: From engaging in social media to adopting a mobile-first lifestyle to redefining brand loyalty, Millennials are leading the way to the future — and dragging their elders along with them. (As Qualman notes, more than 50% of world’s population is now under 30 years old.) If your practice is built around facelifts, they might not seem like an important market but the commentary on RealSelf shows at least as much interest in Botox, breast augs and BBLs. Connecting with these consumers now offers the best chance that you’ll still be connected with them in the future.

Put it all together and the takeaway echoes what Qualman said about social media in general in a previous video. Updated to account for more recent developments in social, mobile and video, the ROI is that your business will still exist in 5 years.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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