Many of us have long since adopted social media as a part of our lives, and now it seems weird to think about it as something new, a phenomenon, yet it still is. Over the course of just a few years, a dozen of niche sites serving small populations have turned into tons of applications and platforms that link people all around the globe.
It’s natural to think of these formations as continuing to exist in their usual forms – despite redesigning its layout and new platforms appearing from time to time, for an average user Facebook looks pretty much the same. Yet it seems that social media is just now unfolding into its adolescent years and is about to find itself for the first time.
Social platforms still have a long way to grow, and marketers need to be ready to embrace those changes if they want to survive. Let’s not get lost in the niceties of how often we could post, or what the next modish app might look like. Instead, let’s talk about possibilities for social media’s next step of evolution. What lies waiting down the line in the field of social media marketing?
More on social media trends of the current hear here: https://bizprofits.com/blog/top-7-trends-rule-social-media-marketing-2016/
We all can see one platform coming to monopolize the social media landscape, just like Google came to dominate the world of online search. For now, the social media front-runner is obviously Facebook, so we’ll use Facebook to demonstrate how this could go.
The social media giant has already bought its major competitor, Instagram, and it’s only natural that it will try to acquire more platforms soon enough. Eventually, these individual platforms could merge into a single all-in-one social experience. Although it could take years to achieve this with minimal user unsettling, it’s still a possibility.
More and more social media platforms are now starting to reduce the organic visibility of brands and companies, instead profoundly prioritizing the content coming from individual users. Despite turning this as a way to make the news feed more optimized for a common user, like Facebook did, one of the major outlying effects here is that brands will have to have to pay more to continue attaining the same level of social reach. Gradually, social brands may see their organic visibility cut so dramatically that paid advertising becomes the only way to achieve considerable reach.
Social media platforms are starting to recognize the demands for customizability and individualization in their user bases. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are giving their users more control over the types of content that appear in their news feeds, as well as the ability to change the way their feed operates.
Soon enough, social media platforms may take it up a notch, giving users the power to create and manage their own systems of content supply, or even adapting on the fly to fill the individual user’s needs.
More on changing the news feed algorithm of Instagram here: https://bizprofits.com/blog/how-the-latest-instagram-algorithm-update-will-affect-the-marketing-strategy-of-brand-promoters/
In abrupt contrast to the “monopolization” scenario, there could be a larger degree of niche segmentation when discussing social platforms. Snapchat is a great example – it allows users to send photos and videos with a lot of customizations, contributing to a very particular social need.
Experts of this niche could become high-demand specialists since they would be able to provide fresher experiences than their massive, sluggish peers. This would mean an even bigger diversity of platforms on the market, with more focused user bases for each one.
Many of us have been including VR and AR in our predictions for the future of social media for a few years now, and while it’s not getting popular in the social media networks yet, there are all chances it will someday bear a great impact on the social media world.
In a nutshell, virtual reality will be able to take social media to a place with amazing benefits, and give people new ways to experience the world around them. It would dramatically transform the way we interact with each other.
Last but not least, social media might start to flow into other spheres of digital interaction. For example, Facebook has already started to integrate features like instant articles, digital assistants, and even search into its app to stop users from leaving and using other apps on their gadgets.
Finally, there may be more social media apps branching out into new features and services, becoming one-stop stores for everything you’d want on the internet. Again, this would take a lot of time to develop, but it would be priceless for the platforms themselves.
Social will become a constituent part of the “fundamental marketing discipline.” As its impact grows stronger, more and more companies will fully steer their marketing efforts towards social channels; intrinsically, social has a great potential to become not just one of the channels but the channel.
Of course, these seven possibilities aren’t meant to be conclusive, all-or-nothing things; that is to say, some of them will develop, and some won’t. Maybe social media will progress in one or maybe a handful of these directions, or perhaps it just will stay the way it is now. It’s hard to say for sure with so many ambiguous options in the limelight, but we bet at least one of these changes will thrive, and when it does, we’ll definitely need to change the approach we market to our customers.
More on using social media for affiliate marketing purposes here: https://bizprofits.com/blog/attract-more-instagram-traffic-to-your-prelanders-with-instagress-automation-software/
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