Our day is populated with up-to-the-second news of what president-elect Trump will do next. This timely case study does raise the question…as powerful as social media is today in our private and business lives, what does the future hold for this platform?
Before I look to the future let’s briefly look back.
In my youth the word “social” meant going outside to play hide and seek with my friends. In my 20’s “connected” meant you owned a thing called a “Portable Bag Cell Phone” which weighed 8 to 10 lbs and was an affordable alternative (at $1800) to the “flip phone” which retailed for nearly $3,500. For Star Trek fans the flip was almost a must have! Then came the internet as we know it today and the mainstream platforms of digital connection were exemplified by email and blogging. Fast forward to Feb.4, 2004: Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room.
At present the business, marketing and political landscape looks bright. But what does the crystal ball say?
The marriage of two words “social” and “media” became a union of global significance.
Today, people of all ages are gaming online and wearing Fit-bits or Nike shoes that send valuable data to marketing and development agencies. This data helps marketers understand what we like. It gives us opportunities to enter contests, receive information about products, and get up-to-date news on our interests. So far it’s been a good relationship for both sides.
But now, as mobile devices come to be considered an appendage, iPhone and Android users are freely providing another gateway of their daily habits by giving data mining companies more information than ever before. If one thinks about it…when was the last time you were stopped by some one at the mall with a clipboard asking you survey questions? Or what about those annoying telephone surveys calling you just when you’re about to have dinner? Through our devices, GPS , and the use of Twitter and Facebook activities, we are allowing marketing firms anonymously into our lives. Companies like 140 Proof acquired by Acuityads on August 11,2016 specialize in tracking the trends and trendsetters through Twitter. They accumulate our data called “marketable segments” and then assemble and present it to their clients.
“We’re already starting to see a shift …a global decline of Facebook users. More people are becoming disenchanted with Facebook. These people dislike the paid ads appearing in their threads. Fear is also a factor as evidenced with the “social media mob” mostly driven by the results of last week’s US elections. They’ve either moved to another platform such as Instagram or Twitter. Others have left social media entirely.”
Mark H, Senior Programmer/Analyst, Acuityads, Toronto
Social media also plays a very important role providing us information on our sociopolitical decisions and opinions. The world first witnessed the power of globalization and social media for political gain when Barack Obama used Facebook in the 2008 election. The evolution of technology and algorithms tracking our social media habits have become even more sophisticated. Marketing and political campaign managers unprecedentedly used marketable segments as a form of social media herding. Using social media to communicate responsibly has generated a lot of concern and media conversation.
“There is potential concern that social media is actually fragmenting different groups, politically and socially,” Dr. Kathleen Stansberry, PhD in Social Media
Lessons for Others
The question lies: will social media continue at the same strength? Will the river of marketing data continue to flow using the platforms as we know it today? As we have seen in the past… will there be a new trend in the way we communicate? The answer is no it will not be the same and yes it will change.
The shift is already starting to take place, what will it be? Wearable technologies, voice command appliances, back to email?
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Dr. Emmett Brown (Back to the Future, 1985)
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5 Big Questions From Donald Trump’s 1st Week as President-Elect – ABC News By VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
Barack Obama and the Facebook Election – USNews.com By Soumitra Dutta and Matthew Fraser Nov. 19, 2008
Social media potentially fragmenting groups after election, expert says – Fox 8 News November 9,2016 by MELISSA REID