The future is NOW! and this realization calls for a bit of self-reflection. How far have we been dragged desperately clinging to the coat-tails of Mark Zuckerberg and his social media posse? Where are the new niches and opportunities for greater engagement, reach and visibility? How can companies differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive social media space?
The future of social media – live video (and more video in general)
For any company fighting for attention in a divided media landscape, live video is the avenue du jour with the possibility of reaching large audiences. A recent example of a successful foray into this area is from fashion house Louis Vuitton and its live-stream 2017 spring/summer runway show to 600,000 + viewers worldwide.
Top 6 reasons why live video is the future of social media
Video is the most popular form of social media content
Global internet users consume video thoroughly, versus simply skimming it.
Live video is more engaging for viewers
Live video is typically unscripted and therefore more authentic. Viewers are also able to participate in the conversation while watching video content. Both traits make live video more attractive to brands trying to increase consumer engagement.
Mobile devices are on par with computers
Viewers can use a variety of devices to view live video channels.
Audiences are more difficult to target
Households are cutting off their cable TV in droves, and with fewer subscribers, audiences prove to be difficult to reach due to this fragmentation.
Millennials watch TV in a different way
Millennials stream shows on their phones to a greater degree than older generations.
Many viewers multitask by tweeting while watching a show
In this case, live video incorporates the show along with the commentary it generates in real-time.
In a report compiled by Buffer Social, new research reveals how marketers are using social media and how they hope to continue. Facebook video is definitely on the radar and 30% of marketers want to invest more in this area. Additionally, marketers cite the problem of lack of time and budget for production of video content. In this ranking, live video was third with traditional digital video content still being a priority. Live video is still on the cusp of mass adoption and only 26% of marketers have created this type of content.
The takeaway message is that marketers want to include more video in their marketing portfolio but are still having some trouble keeping up with the production costs. As more brands turn to video content, it will saturate new feeds and thus will prompt a similar ‘pay for reach’ in the same way as companies already do for sponsored static content.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Emer Schlosser, Social Media Manager for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. When asked about the future of social media within her company she replied:
“I think video will continue to grow stronger and stronger and that companies will find ways to be more one-to-one with Snapchat and WhatsApp here, WeChat and Weibo in Asia. At ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ we’re consumer facing and food-based so Instagram and Facebook are our ideal platforms. Facebook has better monetary boosting opportunities and I would like to see more of that on Instagram, plus the ability to link the user journey off the platform in a more straightforward way.”
Lessons for Others
Back in the early 2000s I thought MySpace would never go away (along with Tom’s friendship). Now there are lots of people who don’t even know who I’m talking about (Tom was everyone’s default friend on MySpace). This is my longwinded way of pleading the fifth and refusing to make a definitive claim as to how social media will morph and transform going forward. A lot of tumbleweeds flew by during my search for expert opinion so perhaps people in the field are not so sure either. We know social media changes quite rapidly and so it is likely that the next big thing will reveal itself imminently.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Name of Organization Contact: Emer Schlosser, Social Media Manager
Authored by: Sylvia A
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Masson, Neha (2016) Retrieved on March 26, 2017 from
Read, Ash (2016) Retrieved on March 26, 2017 from