Where Is Social Media Heading?
Social Media is evolving as the classic era of MSN, Orkut and Hi-5 has transformed into the present age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
In numerous ways this transformation has revolutionized the way people connect and communicate with each other. Compared to previous technology, social media has transformed much of the world into a global village by allowing users to communicate much of their daily lives in real time.
The consulting agency ‘We Are Social’ updates yearly their global collection of online statistics which gives us some valuable observations into the worldwide usage of social media. As of January 2017, they estimated that there are 3.773 billion internet users worldwide with 2.789 billion of those users actively using social media. Since a large scale proportion of the online population spend much of their time on social media, businesses around the world have been compelled to extend their reach into the virtual world and market to the vast audience pool presented.
This online marketing evolution has reshaped social networking platforms into thriving e-commerce marketplaces for small and enterprise businesses alike. In response, many social media sites have actualized their own commercial potential, by bringing about significant modifications in their functional paradigms.
Evolution is on the rise and it has become imperative for digital marketers to level up their social media game. Here is an insight into the latest trends that will steer social media in the future:
- Social Media Trends will Define the Way we Communicate
From scraps and statuses to live feed and stories, social media channels are in a consistent quest to transform communications. Aside from that, bots, AI, and analytics too will reinvent the ways people engage, interact and communicate through social media.
- Your Employees will become Your Social Representatives
Your employees will be your best ambassadors to represent your business on social media. Being directly associated with the businesses, their opinion and advocacy of the business is perceived as authentic and credible among consumer segments. Therefore, more businesses will train and engage their employees to raise awareness and promote the business in the social media sphere.
- Social Media for Customer Service
The spontaneity of networking and communications of social networks will be used to foster an instant an efficient customer service mechanism. For instance, Royal Dutch Airlines is efficiently using its Twitter handle to respond to queries, update flight status and resolve customer issues.
- Content will Transform
Textual content will maintain its significance; however, it will minimize. Innovative, rich and appealing media such as vines, GIFs, and cinema-graphs will enhance the impact and increase consumption and retention at the user’s end.
- Social Platforms will Compete on Similar Trends
Story-based updates that once used to be a prime attribute of Snapchat and Instagram have been incorporated into WhatsApp and Facebook too. Similarly, live broadcasts and 360-degree videos too have bagged immense popularity among social media users and have actually brought Facebook a cutting edge over YouTube. So, this is evident that any breakthrough feature introduced by a social network will become a social media trend. Therefore, it is essential for digital marketers to keep an eye on the tides of trends.
- Businesses will Only Target Selected Social Networks
Since a majority of social media platforms are trying to level up their game by introducing features, the strive to maintain your presence everywhere is likely to go redundant and might bore your audience. Smart business marketers will torque their efforts to maintain a strong and impressive presence on selected social platform, rather than the bombarding the same media everywhere.
In summary, it is evident that social media is here to stay and trends indicate that we are heading into a time where a company's social media management and online reputation can, and in many cases will, determine future success in the marketplace. Story based selling utilizing videos and live streams will capture a company's culture, goodwill and online presence allowing consumers to see them as the leaders in their chosen industry. Although it is difficult to make an exact prediction of which trends will successfully fly in the future, it is evident that businesses who do not keep up with the upcoming social media progressions will find themselves missing out on a critical and powerful internet marketing platform.
Joanne Farrell is a professional with over 15 years of sales, marketing and entrepreneurial experience. Her mission is to help businesses manage their social media and content marketing in a capacity so great, that her professional marketing team becomes an essential extension of your company’s current team.