Nothing on the Internet has changed as fast or as frequently as social media. From the mid 1990s until around 2008, we witnessed extreme evolution, but it was painfully slow when juxtaposed against ’09-’13. In these past four or five years, social media has dramatically changed, giving us mobile options, easier and more attractive interfaces, and far more options.
Social media will continue to change, with different social networks trying out different things. Some of which will stick and become the status quo, others will flail around wildly and burn out quickly. Below, we will look at some marketing-specific changes you should expect with social media, and how you can handle them.
Things to Look Forward to in the Future
Concepts in general are starting to become far more pervasive throughout social media than anything concrete (i.e. keywords and terminology surrounding a product). Think the low-carb craze that swept the world a few years ago and continues today. Keyword and targeted advertising was used to stress that specific genre. Though as social media advances and becomes far more collective and visual, conceptual marketing will take on more importance than text-based context. For instance, short video clips, infographics, memes, and other visual images will paint the picture of niches rather than written content. Jumping on the image wagon now will help you adapt better to concept marketing.
Crowd-based media will become the norm. We see some of this already with Wefeelfine and Twistori, and other similar projects. This deals far more with a collective group on social media than individuals, and soon that will be the most dominate market demo – a herd of people coming through. Facebook and Google already have groups, and these features are very popular. Before long, traffic will move around social media in these groups and collective sharing will take precedence over individual sharing.
Okay, so we’re already seeing this today. But it’s only going to increase. A site like Facebook already has Graph Search, which helps marketers find out pertinent information about users. Soon, however, all social media sites are going to have this type of centralized data for all their members. What Google and Facebook are doing now is only going to increase. Soon, you won’t be able to log on without sites understanding your preferences inside and out. As a marketer, harnessing this data will make or break your campaigns. Get the hang of Graph Search now so you’ll have a feel for looking up group stats in the future.
Sharable, Searchable, Lasting Content
Content is also going to change. It’s changing already, to be sure; and while content is still king, what’s important now is what’s able to make the rounds through groups of friends. Trending and viral material that has lasting power is what’s going to be the most important once the group dynamic begins to truly dominate the market. If your material isn’t worthy of sharing and can’t stay relevant for more than a few days, it—along with your brand—is going to die on the vine. Creating content that plays well to crowds will be vital.
Social media is going to change in many ways as time moves forward. It’s an inevitability. How these changes relate to marketers in social media is the important thing to focus on. Layouts and features are going to change constantly. New sites are going to trend up, while existing sites trend down. Such is life. What’s important for you, however, is to focus on where social media is going in a business sense.
Image Credit: jasonahowie
Simon Campbell, a writer from a Facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter.