Friday, March 27, 2015

The Future of Social Media?

In an article published on iMediaConnection last May, a media and marketing blog, author Chris Marentis laid out his 5 predictions for the future of social media, or as he implied "the true merits" of social media. As time goes on, he argued, and social media becomes more universal, the most valuable aspects of social media will become more apparent. He predicted what these will be:

  1. Social Media will make big data bigger - OK, we could have guessed this one. This isn't so much a prediction as it is an observation. As we know, Facebook's push toward Messenger and the amazing Facebook Connect function have given Facebook vast amounts of data on users' locations, usage behavior, and more. This kind of data collection is only growing as more apps and social media sites link up and share information. 
  2. Mobile Entertainment is on the rise, and social media will become part of that new ecosystem  - Again, ok, not a big jump. Netflix and Hulu already try to share everything I watch on Facebook with my friends...
  3. Marketing programs will reintegrate - Specifically, this is referring to the fact that more of an effort will need to be paid to the integration of multiple marketing campaigns and channels running at one time. For example, it will become more and more important that messaging reinforce itself across platforms - digital, print, tv, etc. - and be backed up with complementary and well executed social media marketing. This makes sense, since social media is where the loyalty and brand community is actually developing. 
  4. Content marketing will grow - I think it is easily predicted that content production will increase as more people are introduced to environments where they are encouraged to publish content. However, Marentis specifically predicts that there will be a new market for simpler and better designed content management systems (CMS) as well. This is an interesting one.
  5. The power of your network will deliver - Social media networks will become more valuable and will be necessary for entering markets. However, creating a respectful relationship with your following will also become vital, and privacy concerns will take center stage. Marketers will need to be careful to not over- or misuse their followers' information lest they face a real and present danger of social media backlash.
Some of these are more observations than predictions, but the points are valid nonetheless. We have already seen that in the cases of privacy and big data, there have already been huge moves forward in these predicted directions for the industry. While I think we could definitely add some more predictions to the list, maybe I should start investing in CMS tech companies...

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