Social media is itself as temporary as any social gathering, nightclub or party.
It’s the people that matter, not the venue.
So when the trend leaders of one social niche or another
decide the place everyone is socializing
has lost its luster or, more important, its exclusivity,
they move on to the next one, taking their followers with them.
– Douglas Rushkoff
I’ve made it a point—a fulfilled intention, if you will—to spend time with some very forward-thinking and trend-setting people. If you just take a step back and watch them interact with each other, you notice that they’re talking about NEW STUFF! Where things are headed. Where things that were headed somewhere have failed. Where they’re going next. Where everyone else should be headed next.
Stuff like that.
It’s very exciting and intoxicating and irresistible.
Because when you listen to these types of people what they’re really talking about is the direction in which they believe everyone is moving. They’re not guessing, for the most part. These innovative people are constantly studying trends so that they are where all the action is BEFORE everyone else!
Read that last sentence again—it’s a life-changing process for you to adopt.
As we begin to move into 2016, what are you doing to identify and understand the patterns that are going on around you?
Heck, what are you doing to identify and understand the patterns that are going on inside you?
So you must be asking: “Why should I care about magical trends in the first place?”
Well, perhaps Dick Clark—yeah, the guy who started American Bandstand—said it best: “I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.” You are in the Magic business. That means, among other things, your job is to transform reality and that, in turn, means you need to be able to discover and pursue and manipulate emerging trends in order to capture people’s attention.
Once you’re committed to finding and using trends to your magical advantage, the next challenge you face is: “HOW DO I FIND AND IDENTIFY AND THEN USE TRENDS?”
There are a number of tools available for you . . . I normally keep these for myself, but I’m going to share them with you so you, too, can be consistently and sustainably successful!
TOOL #1. Google Trends. https://www.google.com/trends/
You can use Google Trends to put in keywords from your area of interest. It will then provide you with the level of interest, worldwide/regional information, and even related searches.
TOOL #2. Alltop. http://alltop.com/
Quick disclaimer: Alltop carries THIS blog on its site. Take a look >>> http://inspiration.alltop.com/
Think of Alltop as a news aggregator—they call themselves an “information filter.” This is Guy Kawasaki’s marvelous site and one that I use all the time to spot and act on trends.
TOOL #3. YouTube Trends Dashboard. https://www.youtube.com/trendsdashboard
I’ll be you didn’t even know that you could use YouTube to spot trends! Video is huge today. That means it needs to be part of your trend analysis toolkit.
TOOL #4. Type the phrase “[fill in your profession, interest, industry, etc.] predictions 2016” into Google. http://google.com
The main search engine, itself, is an amazing way to spot and filter trends. For example, when I typed in “success predictions 2016,” the first listing was for the 2016 predictions for business (in a tech context): http://www.computerworld.com/article/3000335/it-management/forrester-s-top-10-predictions-for-business-in-2016-and-what-they-mean-for-tech.html
Look at what comes up: (1) Personalization is the new bar, (2) Small thinking on customer experience (CX) will destroy financial results, (3) Who leads matters more in 2016, (4) Culture is a critical path to business success, (5) Traditional companies stand up to disruptors, (6) Loyalty programs focus on participation, (7) Analytics becomes a key competitive weapon, (8) Digital dabbling is a fatal strategy, (9) Privacy is moving from niche to value prop, and (10) Operations becomes the nucleus of value. In one click, you’ve been given 10 topics to immediately consider. Any one of those, acted upon by you, will change the course of your business, marketing, and professional action items.
TOOL #5. Trend Watching. http://trendwatching.com/freepublications/
You can use the free version/offerings to get a lot of information. At the very least, take a glance through the topics and titles for a quick, comprehensive trend overview.
TOOL #6. Topsy. http://topsy.com
Here’s the cool thing about Topsy—it lets you enter up to three search terms and then it provides you with a graph. From that graph, you can see the top Tweet for your particular subject on a particular day.
TOOL #7. Pinterest. http://pinterest.com
Many of you will need to rethink how you use Pinterest (if you’ve even checked it out at all before). It is an amazing way to find trends in a very visual setting!
TOOL #8. Know Your Meme. http://knowyourmeme.com/
You’ve seen them. Memes. Those internet photos with funny/catchy sayings. Well, a meme is really more than that. It is a trend! KYM says of itself: “Know Your Meme is a website dedicated to documenting Internet phenomena: viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, web celebs and more.”
The situation is relatively easy to understand—you’re either a leader or you’re a follower. If you want to lead, you need to know what the cutting edge really is so that you can then choose whether to follow or act upon any of those trends. Using the tools I’ve given you, you can quickly get inspired, quickly choose to add a new direction to your life, and quickly increase your options.
Remember, you can also continue this conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.