Social media marketing is evolving in so many ways that it is now almost a necessity for businesses and marketers to integrate social media into their daily marketing activities. The name of the game is becoming (and staying) connected to your audience, building trust and relationships. In the past few years, sites like Twitter and Facebook have risen to the point of becoming household names. There are now tons of applications geared towards social media. All of this begs the question of what the future of social media will look like. Here are a few thoughts.
Traditional marketing used to be about forcing messages onto people, using interruption methods, and hoping that your funnel did all the hard work and grabbed a few who were genuinely interested. But things today are different. We are all getting much better and blocking out unwanted marketing. It is easy to ignore email, we all have pop-up blockers, and it only takes an instant to leave a website or click the back button.
Instead of these ‘old-school’ methods, the future of social media will involve more permission marketing. This means that marketers will actually produce valuable and interesting content that can capture and hold the attention of an audience. It means asking for a re-tweet and being confident enough to know that your content is worth it. This also means personalizing our marketing and messages to suit the interests of our audience.
Instant and Real-Time:
Marketing can no longer be slow and clumsy. With all of the social media choices available, the future will become more and more real-time in nature. Future social media marketing may mean having someone watching—and responding to—the Twitter tweets and Facebook posts as they come in. Possibly organizing “live” events where you and your marketing team are engaged in direct interaction with the audience. This will involve more planning like having a schedule or an editorial/marketing calendar. But it also means being flexible enough to respond to the latest news, happenings, and trends.
The popularity of social media is increasing, not only in the US but all around the world. Millions of people use social media every day, with something like 2,310 tweets sent every second. As more and more people come online, things will only become more cluttered and chaotic. As marketers, we are perhaps a bit used to this type of chaos. We know that the need to stand out is genuine. The way to do this is by being remarkable. Of course, this is a process. It may involve improving the quality of your content, placing more effort on creating viral content, or even making things more consistent across all of your brands and channels.
Social media is certainly an exciting and challenging world. This will only continue in the future. Smart marketers will increasingly focus more and more on direct engagement and planning their social media marketing efforts.