Where Next for Social Media?

Sauble Trading Post    November 12, 2014

Future SM

Title of Post:  Where Next for Social Media?

Organization Name:  Sauble Trading Post – Ice Cream Parlour and General Store

Industry: Tourism Sector Retail

Name of Contact:  Kim Mizen, Owner

Web References: Sauble Trading Post Facebook

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is HOW WELL WE DO IT.” ProjectRYF

The future is right here right now.  Experts predict the Internet will become ‘like electricity’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives. It will just become a way of life and we will hardly remember a time when we were not constantly connected.

No one really knows where social media will be in the future.  There is a lot of research projecting where social media will take society – many which contrast each other.  Nick Anderson, ProjectRYF.com shares stunning facts about how social media signifies a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.  The  research in “WakeUpNow – The Social Media Revolution 2014 – 2015” shares the following facts:

  • If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest in the world, behind China and India
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic  in the United States
  • Facebook added more than 200 million users in a year
  • The fastest growing segment of the Facebook population is women age 55 – 65
  • Over 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 30

This research is in direct contrast to ere.net The Last Social Network: The Future of Social Media, which articulates that we are entering a time of social fatigue. A recent survey from Pew Research found that 61% of current Facebook users have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more, and 20 percent of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.  This forecast predicts decreasing use and says “The honeymoon is over”. Among the top reasons cited for decreased time spent on Facebook are: it’s a waste of time; bored with it; content is not relevant; and just didn’t like it.

People are saturated with trivial, nonsense content.  What you had for breakfast doesn’t matter to me.  I have no free time – between full-time work, part-time hobby business, being a student, being a mother and wife, volunteering, gardening and chauffeuring a pre-teen – I don’t have time for useless content. This doesn’t mean that I am going to abandon social media. Overall, I know the time I spend in social networking continues to rise.  According to Nielsen Media I am not alone, social networking is up 38% over the previous year — more than any other online activity.

Google circleBut what I do know is that there are alternatives.  “Anti-Facebook” – Ello and Google Circles is building on our frustration of mass audience communication. People are moving to a more closed form of communication where we use our precious free time to engage with people who really matter.  I think we will see a shift in people building large Facebook friend numbers and begin to “un-friend” and end “fan” notification of people and businesses that do not add any value to our daily lives.

Social media is not a fad, it is a fundamental shift in the way we communication.  We don’t have a choice in whether we use social media, but we have a choice in how well we prepare to use the tools, how well we craft our messages, and when we choose to deliver content that adds value to the lives of our audience.  The attached audio file was prepared by a 10 year team member of the Sauble Trading Post staff who will help the family business stay up to date with new technology.

I invite you to watch my three-minute video filmed at Sauble Beach.  I share views on the using social media to shape the future of the Sauble Trading Post on-line, while we work to re-build our store on the shore of Lake Huron.

The key to the future is to stay connected, be flexible and willing to adapt as the social media landscape changes. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I will continue to look for ways to reach you via social media, but ultimately, I want to see your face, not your Facebook!  Let’s drink a coffee in the morning, enjoy an ice cream cone at sunset, share a hug in times of sorrow, and a laugh in times of joy.

Let’s meet at the Beach in May 2015!

Lessons Learned:

  • Nobody actually knows what the social media landscape is going to look like in the next 12 months
  • People will begin putting up privacy walls and reaching the target audiences will become more difficult
  • Privacy walls will increase the cost to reach target audiences and it will be more expensive
  • Canadian businesses biggest social media concerns are cost, complexity and risk
  • The fastest growing segment of the Facebook population is women age 55 – 65
  • Now is the time for controlled audiences, multimedia content and privacy.


‘Anti-Facebook’ platform Ello attracts thousands, BBC News

Digital Life in 2025, Pew Research Internet Project

Future of social media: why public conversations will go private, Weggener Edstrom

Internet of Things could be Big Brother, Waterloo Record

“Internet of Things” presents enormous untapped potential for Canadian businesses, Telus Report

Last Social Network: The Future of Social Media, ere.net

Small Businesses are Positive about Future with the Internet of Things, Globe and Mail, May 2014

Submitted By:  Kim Mizen, Sauble Trading Post

To Contact the author of this entry please email at:kimmizen24@gmail.com

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