With the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, I took a step back to really look at my life personally and professionally.  I’ve been reading and reading AND reading and have had a bit of writers block recently. But, I’ve got my motivation back and thought I’d share some resolutions and interesting stats as we enter 2012 regarding business development, new technology and mobility.

HubSpot recently put out some ‘eye-popping’ statistics that I’m summarizing and sharing with you:

  • More than 3/4 of the total population will be online in 2012. 
  • Mobile internet users will reach 113.9 million in 2012, up 17.1% from 97.3 million in 2011. 
  • Smartphone users will reach 106.7 million in 2012, up 18.4% from 2011. 
  • Mobile shoppers will reach 72.8 million in 2012. 
  • Mobile buyers will reach 37.5 million in 2012. 
  • Tablet users will reach 54.8 million in 2012, up 62.8% from 33.7 million in 2011. 
  • In 2012, 76.4% of tablet users will be iPad users.
  • Facebook will reach 143.4 million US users in 2012, up 8.2% from 132.5 million in 2011. 
  • About 2/3 of web users will use social networks in 2012.
  • Mobile video viewers will reach 54.6 million in 2012. 
  • 88.1% of US internet users ages 14+ will browse or research products online in 2012. 
  • 83.9% of internet researchers will make at least one purchase via the web during 2012.

With all of those stats, it is truly amazing the impact and how quickly technology has moved when you consider the iPhone was launched in 2007, the iPad in 2010 and Facebook in 2006 (to the public). I mean, 800 million users on Facebook, 300 Million on Twitter and 120 Million on LinkedIn? These are numbers that you just can’t ignore.

So, after reading this and giving a keynote for the Philadelphia Bar Leadership Retreat, I thought it would be good to talk about some 2012 New Years Resolutions that you may want to consider personally and professionally for your firm:

  1. Get educated on social media technologies. Even if it’s one article a week and you sign up for one channel.
  2. Poll your firm, your employees, partners on their usage of social media and mobile devices.  You may get interesting feedback and be able to start some new initiatives.
  3. Get on LinkedIn, complete your profile and join one group.  Engage at least once a month with that group.
  4. Review or create a social media policy, educate your executives and then your employees.
  5. Take a look at what information in your firm currently exists in the “cloud”.  Are Partners emailing client info to their Gmail accounts? Are they using DropBox to share files? You might be surprised on what you find.
  6. Get a smartphone and download an app. You’ll learn in the process and be able to talk about it to your peers.
  7. Think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to your Associate Programs and Practice Communications.  There are 4 generations now in the workforce.  Traditional ideals will not put your firm at a competitive advantage over the long-term strategically.

If you can’t accomplish these yourself, delegate them, inspire others and most of all, remember that 2012 is not just another year, in my humble opinion (IMHO) it’s THE year social media and business development will define firms. Don’t let yours fall behind. 

As good friend of mine and webinar colleague, Samantha Collier, has posted the top ten most popular posts from her blog for 2011. Be sure to check them out!