Ah, the future. We all want to know it. We want to get a ‘jump on the competition’. We want to ‘be ready’. I get asked all the time, what’s the future of social media? Where is it headed? What will be the next big thing? I’ve been working in social media since social media was born, so I guess I’ve seen the way the tide works and I’m as qualified as anyone to look into the proverbial crystal ball. Right or wrong, here are my thoughts on where the future of social media is headed in the coming years.
- We are going to stop talking about social media. It’s a marketing channel, like other marketing channels, it’s not a new thing anymore. It is a way to communicate with your customers. Its finally just going to be part of your marketing mix.
- Social media communities will become more and more niched. The ‘big kids’ of social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have a broad base, although you can ‘find your tribe’ via these channels. I think we’ll see more communities specialize in particular interests, like Musical.ly.
- I think we’ll continue to see one to one communities grow, like snapchat and What’s-app. Places where people are not sharing with everyone, but with one or a select few.
- I predict all the data from wearable technology, and our phones, will begin to merge with our social profiles so when we are marketed to the ads will become more personalized and customized. I think we are so close to being able to predict consumers’ needs and insert the solution in their feed seamlessly so they don’t even realize it, and purchase right then and there with the press of a button.
- We will see advertisers who ‘get it’ create content that is difficult to tell its advertising. It will be creative, engaging and consumable, and likely video. Maybe even with VR technology. As users consume the content and immerse themselves in the environment they’ll want the product they see and be able to purchase on the spot.
- Social media ‘vacations’ will become more prevalent. People are really feeling the addictive quality of the ‘like’ and the interaction. I believe more and more people will choose to truly disconnect from social media as a means of relaxation.
- Visual communication will reign supreme. With Millennials being so aesthetically driven, and Gen Z so tech savvy, we’ll continue to see video, live streaming, and beautiful imagery. People communicate in pictures now, gifs, video and emoji’s.
Will my vision of the world come to pass in the near future? Maybe. Only time will tell. What do you see when you look into your crystal ball?
Posted by, Lisa Rogerson, VP of Digital at initiate-it, a digital first, full-service agency located in Richmond, VA.