When tools were finally downed for 2011, this little Director needed a few things in order to get into serious holiday mode. The sound of Slade blasting from the stereo (I blame my husband and his English heritage), a couple of glasses of sparkling and most importantly the deactivation of all social media apps from my smart phone. This meant I could no longer be lured into Facebook or the Twitterverse – I was truly on vacation.

While this caused a few chuckles in the office on my return three weeks later, it goes to show how pervasive the digital media is in our existence. Where we once logged onto our computers and consumed content by going to individual web sites, Facebook and other social applications are now aggregating content directly to our back pockets via our mobiles.

Resistance is nigh impossible unless you down tools – and few of us are doing that.

There are now 800 million active users and close to half of these people access Facebook regularly via a mobile device that’s 350 million people tapping away at a cafe near you. Word-of-mouth has moved online and Australians are leading the world in social network use while coming a close second in the uptake of smart phone technology. (There are now close to one million Australians on Facebook who are 60+ and over one million if you include fifty-nine year olds).

Our consumption of mainstream media is still prolific – but when it is consumed online it has greater power. Instead of the ‘see the ad – go to the supermarket – remember to buy’ process of old we get information sent to us wherever we may be and the ability to make the purchase right there and then – or respond to another kind of call to action.

We Australians create a heady mix; the most prolific social networkers on the planet with a sizable penchant for smart phones. This ultimately gives the greater Australian audience the power to make decisions about a lot of things a lot of the time. It allows us to send feedback on the tram, advocate in the waiting room and buy holidays on the couch. No wonder I needed one!

Is your organisation ready to leverage the opportunity? Make 2012 the year to test old assumptions and make decisions with confidence. It is the year of both the dragon and the pocket.

Kate Crawshaw is Ellis Jones’ Director Engagement. Contact Kate to develop a social media strategy that fits in your back pocket.

image credit : Brad Sissom