Wondering What's Next For Social Media?
25% of the world’s population uses social media, although individual purposes differ hugely. Consider the difference between the teen connecting and messaging with friend on Facebook and the ecommerce entrepreneur who is looking to drive traffic to his site and improve his SEO rankings. But today’s teen is tomorrow’s customer, so maintaining and improving one’s marketing presence on social media will be a never-ending process for the foreseeable future. This leaves many to wonder – what’s next for Social Media?
Improving marketing presence in 2015 will certainly be on the minds of many and will likely involve the following:
Purchasing Power and Ease
Scommerce, or social commerce, it’s called, and the wise ecommerce entrepreneur will get on board quickly. Consumers want ease in purchasing. While they may read your ad on a social media site, if they decide to purchase, the traditional method is to link to your site in order to do that. 2015 will change things up! Social media sites will offer the option to make a purchase instantly, right there, in real time, without leaving the site at all.
We’re already seeing a lot of this. I access my Facebook home page, and begin reading the latest post from my friends. As I scroll down, ads appear from ecommerce retailers from whom I have purchased in the recent past. In 2015, the effort to bring infrequent and long past customers will come in a targeted way, and businesses will be able to “target” those specific individuals, perhaps with individual discounts and special offers on products or services that directly relate to what they have purchased in the past.
Greater use of Mobile Advertising Campaigns
As social media sites become more sophisticated in knowing where a customer is physically when s/he is on a mobile device, advertising campaigns will use geofencing and geotargeting more and more, and it will be set up to occur automatically, offering specific ads, sales, etc. for a business that is close by. So, if Starbucks has a frequent customer who is currently within the vicinity of one of its establishments, and that customer is on a social media site with his mobile device, Starbucks can advertise a new flavor currently being offered at half-price!
Think about how compelling some television advertising is. Why? There’s a storyline; there’s video; people are engaged with one another. Now think about Snapchat, Vine, or Hyperlapse. Marketing campaigns that develop great video ads and run those ads on such social media sites as just mentioned, will have the great advantage of a storyline and people engaged with one another. Look for this advertising medium to explode in 2015. Humorous and creative commercials are compelling!
Private Advertising (With Boundaries!)
When we check our email or go on Facebook and check messages, we are interacting privately with our friends and colleagues. It is more intimate than a post, and makes us feel as though we still have some privacy, even on the web. Smart marketing professionals have thought a lot about this and this thinking will drive advertising campaigns that involve private messaging with their customers. While this strategy will necessarily involve moderation (no one wants to keep opening private messages from the same company offering new product/services, sales, discounts, etc. – eventually they will simply delete them). But moderate use of this, along with targeting customers based upon prior purchases, will probably prove quite successful.
Of all the uses of the Internet, social media is by far the most popular, and it will continue to be so. People need to interact with one another, to express themselves, and to engage in conversation, even if it is less personal than a phone call or a face-to-face encounter. Use of social media for marketing has become one of the most effective tools “out there” right now, and 2015 will only see this venue increase, probably exponentially. In their fervor, however, and in their increasingly sophisticated practices, businesses must keep in mind that there is a line between great marketing campaigns and harassment that they do not want to cross.