The Social Media Road: Where Does It Lead?

Candace Berner-Rubie    November 21, 2013

social media worldThe world of social media has quickly evolved over the past 10 years, becoming engrained in how people communicate and therefore presenting great value to businesses who can tap into them.

So as an organization looking forward, where will this social media ride take you?

While there is no glass ball that can tell us what the future of social media will look like, examining the current state of social media can help identify natural developments that could shape the future social media world.

Here are a few theories about what developments may appear in the years to come:

  1. Investing: Many businesses will increase their investing in social media and decrease in advertising.
  2. Separating uses: More social networking sites will be created that allow users to keep their personal and professional lives separate.
  3. Content filtering: Better filtering of content on social networking sites so users can customize what they want to see.
  4. Interactive features: More interactive social networking options that allow business people to communicate and debate in real time, and make message board/chat room-style communications possible, resulting in more dynamic business interactions.
  5. Transparency: More organizations will show an “unvarnished sense” of who they are and what they believe in, which will help gain customer trust.

Based on the Social Media Examiner 2013 State of Social Media Report, marketing expert Heidi Cohen outlines where the top 5 social media platforms are expected to head:

YouTube – Almost 70 per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube, the second largest search site.  Increasing your organization’s YouTube presence can improve your search engine strategy.

YouTube

Facebook – Ninety-two per cent of marketers currently use Facebook and 66 per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of Facebook.  As the only social media site in certain areas of the world, Facebook has a large reach that can be leveraged by your organization.

Facebook

Blogs – Sixty-six per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of blogs and 71 per cent of business-to-business marketers are more likely to increase blogging activities.  “Blogs provide an owned content platform”, giving increased value to the organizations that own them.

Blogs

LinkedIn – Almost 80 per cent of business-to-business marketers and 65 per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of Linkedin.  As a tool created for relationship building with prospects, customers, influencers, experts, suppliers and distributors, it offers organizations and individuals a great opportunity to connect and benefit from one another.

LinkedIn

Twitter – Sixty-four per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of Twitter.

Twitter

Now that you have some ideas as to how social media may change, remember that it’s important to re-examine your social media strategy on a regular basis and determine where you see the most value for your organization.

 

Lessons learned

  1. While YouTube is also a search engine, don’t discount it as a valuable social media tool.
  2. Businesses see the value of social media networks and plan to increase their use accordingly.
  3. Revisit your social media strategy every year and incorporate new social media functions where appropriate.

 

Sources

Social Networking Future Business Trends

Amanda Palmer: Proof That Social Media Is The Future Of Business

2013: The Future of Social Media

 

Submitted by: Candace Berner-Rubie – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.