Social media is a changing force. It not only makes marketing easy, it also increases a brand's visibility. There are various things that will shape the future of social media. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality is anticipated to facilitate major improvements on the various platforms. Businesses might also have to use smart ways to engage with their audience in the near future. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners their thoughts on the future of social media and here's what they had to say;
#1- It just got started
Believe it or not, social media marketing is just getting started. The advancements in targeting and data are making it easier for marketers to create ads and more beneficial for consumers to watch/read them. For instance, you can run YouTube pre-roll ads targeted to people based on what they've searched in Google. Talk about relevancy! Good data is knowledge and knowledge is power.
Thanks to Dylan Pilon, Cloud 9 Marketing Group!
#2- Bright if only entrepreneurs can emulate bigger brands
The future of social media for entrepreneurs is very bright – but only if they begin to visually mimic bigger brands. As the divide grows and big companies encompass follower numbers in the millions along with gigantic advertising budgets, small companies can fall behind without outstanding visual branding. National and global companies often have a flashmark – a logo symbol without text for use on social media profiles, like Apple and Nike – and users have learned to equate those simple, bold marks with brand quality and trust. Entrepreneurs will benefit from that by using a flashmark as a profile picture on social accounts instead of the full logo like in years past. The result? The small business will look like a big brand, but have the customer service and warmth that users love and expect from a smaller company.
Thanks to Debra Carpenter, Flashmarks!
#3- It will be about building relationships
The future of social media will continue to be about building relationships between the consumer and brand and ensuring that these relationships together are transparent and authentic. Consumers will know that by visiting the brand's social platforms, they will be able to not only have their needs met and issues resolved, but have an understanding that the business is able to anticipate why they are coming there and assist them one-on-one as they would with a physical interaction in-person.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#4- It's going to be relevant for years to come
Social media is going to be relevant for years to come as a marketing tool. There will be major changes. Platforms will continue to limit organic reach so it’ll be more and more important to pay to play. Professional influencers will continue to play a major role but they’ll move towards long-term partnerships with brands as opposed to one-off campaigns and work hard to measure and report the ROI of their services.
Thanks to Daniel Ndukwu, KyLeads!
#5- Taking of strong stands on one side of a potentially controversial issue
One of the more prominent changes I've recently noted is the strong growth in pick your poison types of posts. By that I mean, people and even businesses are taking a strong stand on one side or the other of a potentially controversial issue – usually, an issue where someone is bound to be ticked off at the stance you've taken. People aren't so quick to be bland or boring when posting anymore – no more shades of gray. I see more and more businesses taking strong political or social stances and it does lead to higher engagement metrics. Should everyone be doing this? Probably not, but I do predict a growth in social media marketing campaigns taking this very approach.
Thanks to Brian Winum, MAXPlaces Marketing, LLC!
#6- An AR and VR World
The near future of social media is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Companies like Amazon are already promoting the ability for customers to use augmented reality on their Amazon app to make purchases and see how an item will look in their home. Museums and tourist destinations are using virtual reality to give potential visitors an opportunity to see what their visit will look like to encourage more travelers. Customers will start demanding more personal shopping experiences before making a purchase and the technology is now there to deliver it to us.
Thanks to Andrew Selepak
#7- It will be the most personal form of marketing ever
As a millennial who started her own business at the age of 19, I think that social media is one of THE most important marketing tools today. When I launched my business, Aunt Flow, a few years ago, I immediately went to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market our socially-conscious period products. Honestly, there were times when I was balancing the business with multiple side hustles, and our marketing budget was simply not there. Social media was our solution to that. In the future, social media will most definitely be used by any business who wants to seriously connect with, and sell to, a younger demographic. Not only will social media provide the most personal form of marketing ever in the near future, it will translate brands' values and voices in such a way that it will feel like a friend is asking you to try a product or service.
Thanks to Claire Coder, Aunt Flow!