The Future of Social Media

The enterprise of the future (whether private or public sector, large or small) will use social media extensively as a normal part of its day-to-day activities. Just as communication with social media is becoming something that we take for granted in our personal lives, so too will it become normal in our work environments.

The increased use of social media in individual functional areas of the organization is expected to merge as it progresses. This will lead to increased opportunities for improvement, based on exploiting opportunities for organization-wide collaboration and sharing of information.

Major U.S. auto insurance provider Progressive may be best known for Flo, its iconic spokesperson. Flo is the funny, friendly face of Progressive Insurance and one of the best known commercial spokespersons. Her official Facebook page has 4.5 million followers and she has appeared in Progressive ads since 2008,  https://www.facebook.com/flotheprogressivegirl/ The company wanted to take advantage of customers increasing use of mobile channels to interact with its brand. So Progressive used Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Cognitive Services to build the Flo Chatbot, currently featured on Facebook Messenger, which answers customer questions, provides quotes and even offers a bit of banter in Flo’s well-known style.

With brands increasingly disappearing from news feeds, ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories are key to staying visible and top-of-mind in 2018. By leveraging these features on an ongoing basis, users will continue to see your brand and can then search back to your profile to view more, like, comment, and tag, which will further boost your impressions by putting you back in their newsfeed and in front of the eyes of their following. In 2017, we saw Snapchat and Instagram stories begin getting access to linking. This has already caused a big splash in influencers driving sales through these mediums. “I expect marketers and influencers to find new and creative ways to leverage the creative, ephemeral, and highly engaging medium of stories to drive massive sales and traffic.” Says Sydney Liu cofounder of Commaful. Have you ever read a post by your favourite blogger, seen a product recommendation from them, and snapped it up right away? This is influencer marketing in action.By utilizing the voice of well-connected people in your niche, you can reach an audience that’s relevant and already engaged to make more sales. And, when 75% of consumers are more likely to buy something based on a reference on social media, it’s easy to see why influencer marketing is heating up.

„Beam me up, Scotty “, says Captain Kirk to his chief engineer, and the next thing we see is Kirk’s body disappearing from Planet X and reappearing on the starship. “Wow”, you think “I wish we could do that for real. The places I would travel to…..” Well, we are not there yet – but with the rapid development of electronic devices, Internet, ERP and the digital age in general, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could build a beamer that powerful within the next 10 years. A university in Germany that concentrates in IT systems engineering, already came  up with a machine that can scan an object, transmit it over the internet and rebuild it using a 3D printer in a new location. Imagine you can do that in retail: Sit on your sofa  buying a handbag with one click on your device and 20 minutes later it appears magically at your doorstep. Cool, right? But is it really that far off? No, to tell you the truth, it is not even considered to be science fiction anymore. We already buy things with one click, we just need to wait a bit longer than 20 minutes right now to receive the product. But wait – isn’t Amazon already testing delivery by drone? So who knows, the time of purchase to delivery in 20 minutes could actually happen sooner than you think. Especially when it pertains to your Amazon shopping experience.

Fashion company Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most recognizable and iconic fashion brands in the world. Founded in 1985 by the titular designer, the company has grown to encompass 1400 free-standing retail stores in 90 countries. Of course, like nearly all other consumer fashion brands in this day and age, Tommy Hilfiger relies heavily on online shopping to drive sales — and they’re on the forefront of social media technology to help them move forward.

I don’t know about you, but I do know that I can’t tell the future of anything, let alone social media. Trust me on this one, if I could, I would be super wealthy and be way more advanced. Unfortunately that isn’t the way it is, so your best chance with knowing the future of social media is to search and investigate new products on the market. After I did a lot of searching to determine what I would write about this week, I decided to go with the company that I believe has been a pioneer in e-marketing since the beginning. Constant Contact is an email-marketing program that helps small businesses succeed and excel in the online world. Back in the day when email programs were only used to view emails from friends, the people at Constant Contact knew there could be so much more to it. Constant Contact was founded as “Roving Software” in 1995 and set up shop in Brookline, Massachusetts. Randy Parker was the brains behind this very valuable marketing tool that helps small businesses succeed against the large businesses out there.

Shopping has changed a lot over the years from shopping online to wireless debit machines to credit card readers for smartphones and almost any kind of delivery that can be tracked. Did you ever wonder what would be next? Amazon designed and built a supermarket style store called Amazon Go that was created through advanced technology. The purpose of this store is to provide people a shopping experience without having to wait in check-out lines or be served by cashiers. Amazon Go was first launched for employees in December 2017 and opened up to the public in January 2018. If someone wants to shop at Amazon Go they first must have an Amazon account and the IPhone or Android app downloaded on their smartphones. This app is required to be downloaded for the customer to enter the store, as the customer enters the store they have to scan their smart phones to begin their shopping experience. Customers are provided with reusable shopping bags to use and leave with, there are no shopping carts or baskets for customers to use. The store is filled with many cameras along the ceilings that watch every move a customer makes. In addition to cameras, the shelves are equipped with weight sensors that sensor if an item has been removed from the shelf or put back. Every time a customer takes something off the shelf the item is charged to the customer’s account. The customer can always put something back on the shelf and it will be taken off their account. A customer can even return items after leaving the store. The store isn’t completely “staffless”, there are employees in the kitchen prepping fresh food, there are also employees around the store that restock and organize shelves to maintain the store. Another position that is still filled by humans in the store is checking IDs in the alcohol section. Once the customer is ready to leave all they have to do is walk out of the store. A few minutes after walking out of the store, the customer receives a digital receipt that shows the total of their bill. The Amazon Go app will also inform the customer with data on how much time they spent shopping.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “Internet of Things” — or IoT — at some point, and you might also be scratching your head figuring out what it is or what it means. IoT – the current ‘buzz’ term for connected or ‘smart’ devices, refers to rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. The IoT is connecting more devices every day, we’re headed for a world that will have 24 billion IoT devices by 2020. According to a recent report from Gartner, Inc., the number of connected IoT devices is forecast to reach 8.4 billion by the end of 2017 – up 31 percent from 2016. Here are some examples: Wearables (Fitbit) – that sends data on your daily activity to online servers, which could then be viewed on your smartphone. Smart Home (Amazon Alexa) – that learn and adapt to your lifestyle, adjusting temperatures in the home for comfort or energy efficiency. Smart TV (Samsung) – that can stream music, videos or photos from online services or other computers in the home. It can also interact with other smart devices, for example, displaying content from baby monitors and security cameras. So chances are, if your using any of these connected devices, you’re already involved with the ‘Internet of Things.’ These devices show how IoT can add convenience to our lives, and ultimately offer us more control over the things we interact with every day. How IoT devices work – Connected devices typically connect to the Internet through a home Wi-Fi network and router. These connected devices can sometimes talk to other related devices on the same home network and act on the information they get from one another. People can interact with the connected devices to set them up, give them instructions or access data, but the devices do most of the work on their own. All of this is made possible by tiny, embedded mobile components that allow almost anything to become ‘connected’. They rely on the always-online nature of our home and business networks, and often process data online via cloud-based software where huge amounts of data from many different users can be analyzed together. Internet of Things devices have an extremely broad range of applications across almost all industries, other benefits across a range of areas include: Engineering – An IoT device in an engineering plant can alert maintenance personnel to an… Read more »

Mention the brand Adidas, and people all over the world will think of those three stripes. The brand is synonymous with style and sport, and Adidas has done an incredible job of breaking into both the athletic and personal style retail categories. So how does one of the biggest brands in the world ensure that it stays on top? The answer’s easy: social media.

Data collection and artificial intelligence can be very disconcerting to social media users. Regardless of how consumers feel about the common availability of their personal information, it is often unavoidable when one chooses to participate in online activity. There are many well-know negative impacts of the publication of personal information; however, there is an almost endless list of positives available to consumers when their information is made available to technology. Google’s ability to reroute drivers proactively in the case of an upcoming incident helps drivers get from A to B as quickly as possible. how does it work? It relies on Google’s ability to monitor the location, speed, and direction of travel of almost all drivers, anywhere in North America, by tracking drivers’ cell phones in a passive, undetectable manor. This is a great example of how personal information being made public, and it’s combination with powerful artificial intelligence software networks, can provide major benefits to those who can tolerate the risk.

Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC) is a business that works to help build the food blogging community in Canada. Some of the ways they do this by sharing the content of Canadian food bloggers on their social media platforms, running a food blogging conference, and connecting food bloggers with brands to create sponsored posts.

When our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 17, our family was plunged into an unfamiliar and frightening world. Suddenly, we were learning about blood sugars, insulin-to-carbohydrate impact and hypoglycemia. Hardest of all was to watch her come to terms with having a life-threatening disease. To manage her diabetes, my daughter must measure her blood sugar levels throughout the day by pricking her finger and using a glucometer to test the resulting blood drop. Then she needs to calculate the amount of insulin she needs, based on her activity and carbohydrate intake, and inject herself with insulin four times a day. Sometimes, her blood sugar levels fall too low, putting her at risk of insulin shock, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. Of course, our family isn’t alone with this struggle. It’s estimated that more than 300,000 Canadians have T1D and, around the world, the number of children under 14 with T1D is growing by 3% each year. No one knows what causes T1D and, as yet, there is no cure. But thanks to a supercomputer named Watson, research into TD1 has taken a giant step towards the day when we may be able to predict and even prevent TD1.

Without doubt, the future of social media is growing, influential and ever-powerful. As the digital divide shrinks worldwide, more and more people are joining the billions of conversations taking place in the realm of social media. Social media is the place to be. Whether you’re looking to keep in touch with friends, find the latest trends, or learn about what someone thinks, social media is where this is happening! The world of social media is highly influential. People are turning to social media to learn about and get information on important topics, such as healthcare. Traditionally, healthcare was something that people relied on healthcare professionals, such as doctors, to learn about. With the advent of the Internet, and more recently social media, people are using social media to learn about healthcare. Social media has evolved beyond a platform used to share pictures and connect with friends. Social media is now a powerful influencer for healthcare and medical advice.  

Microsoft Corporation is one of the biggest technological companies in the world. So, when it comes to future development, they are always ahead of the game. Microsoft has integrated social media through the entire company and has even created social media management software systems. When it comes to their company, future development will only keep advancing because of the social media practices that have already been put in place.

The use of social media continues to grow at a rapid pace. Sometimes it feels like I just get used to a few social media tools and then all of a sudden, there are new ones to learn about and explore. Staying on top of all the possibilities can be daunting. I’m sure many of us wonder – what is the future of social media? Ash Read of Buffer, in an article “The Future of Social Media (And How to Prepare For It): The State of Social Media 2016 Report” describes three key social media takeaways to guide social media efforts for 2017 – focus on video, spend time on Facebook and use social media to pay attention to customer support. The article also focuses on objectives and challenges, insights for marketers, and social media role evolution.  

In 2005, Thomas L. Friedman wrote the best-seller The World is Flat. The book describes the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce, wherein all competitors have an equal opportunity. The book’s title is also an appropriate metaphor for the way many forward-thinking organizations are starting to view internal social media. More and more, we are seeing examples of how social media is being used to break down the silos of communication within an organization and level the playing field for everyone, from executive assistants to CEOs. Social media is opening the flood gates to free-form conversations about everything from business strategy to personal development to social advocacy. If social media is indeed the new world order for effective organizational communications, then, like Friedman’s book, that world looks increasingly flat.

Social media platforms are always looking for new and futuristic ways for their audiences to interact with one and other. Creating a social media platform that is more humanizing, more compelling and lifelike is exactly what Facebook is trying to accomplish. Oculus VR is an American tech company founded in 2012, by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, Jack McCauley and Nate Mitchell in Irvine, California now based in Menlo Park. It specializes in virtual reality hardware and software products. (Wikipedia, 2017) In March 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to acquireOculus VR for US $2.3 billion in cash and stock. In 2015, Oculus VR acquired Surreal Vision, a British startup focused on 3D reconstruction and mixed reality, stating that it could be possible for Oculus VR to develop products with the concept of telepresence. (Wikipedia, 2017) The company also partnered with Samsung to develop the Samsung Gear VR in November 2015, for the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. (Wikipedia, 2017)

Social Media Marketing has changed , more so then ever consumers are only communicating through facebook.  Today Facebook is one of the fastest growing, most well known, most trusted, and most valuable companies in the world. Its only rivals may be Apple and Google. .there are only 24 hours in a day, and the average person sleeps for 8.8 of them. That means more than one-sixteenth of the average user’s waking time is spent on Facebook.  – New York Times

Prior to Social Media one of the earliest types of advertising was through word of mouth followed by engraving or drawing images on a cave wall, those images told a story, and promoted ideas.   Early printing in the 15th (1401 to 1500) and 16th (1501 to 1600) centuries created a mark in advertising and companies were able to reach a wider audience. In the 18th (1701 to 1800) and 19th (1801 to 1900) centuries advertising was expanded to newspapers.   One of the first advertising agencies was set-up in Philadelphia in 1842 by Volney Palmer, the agency acted as a broker for newspaper space and later on they became a full service by offering ad-placement services and a full production that organized advertising by a target market and population.   In the 20th (1901 to 2000) century the radio was born and was part of a new era on advertising it offered a complete new way of reaching potential audiences. Followed by television which introduced a new type of advertising that was more visual than the previous advertising methods, by the end of the 20th century the internet was introduced to the masses and it became a valuable communication tool for businesses to advertise in a complete different way.   According to Visually technology and the use of Social Media and Internet has accelerated the pace in which people are able to connect, be engaged and be informed. Below is a list of the time frame it took for various modes of communication to reach 50 million users. Telephone: 75 years Radio: 38 years Television : 13 years Internet: 4 years Facebook: 3.5 years IPOD: 3 years Angry Birds Space app: 35 days   Many organizations still depend on word of mouth as the main form of communication mostly used in marketing and advertising initiatives. These companies are considered to be in the stone ages as compared to organizations that are using Social Media in a big way. A good example of a company that is using Social Media very well is FIFA.   FIFA was taken by surprise in the last World Cup in Brazil when 1 billion people attended FIFA’s Global Stadium, according to the current Deputy Head of FIFA Digital. Senior Manager – Social Media & Video, Alex Stone they began evaluating the data collected from the 2014 World Cup in 2015.   Based on the 2014… Read more »

Figuring out your content marketing strategy is, like many things, a bit of a dance: You make choreographed choices, pause, look backward, figure, and then move forward with a new set of designed steps, all in the spirit of wowing your audience and reaching the right people. This is certainly the case in figuring if and how social media will find its place in the future marketing strategies of organizations, across most industries. Deciding to ditch or dedicate your time to social media channels depends largely on assessing the successes and failures of its use in the past (and following suit with a similar or wildly different strategy, depending on your research findings). It also depends on your key objectives, goals, and measurable targets. Toronto’s Furniture Bank, a charity and social enterprise bringing gently-used furniture into the homes of people coming out of poverty, sees a hopeful future for social media in its overall marketing scheme in future. With goals to build brand awareness, strengthen relationships with partners over the social sphere, and market its charitable and industry events, the future is bright for social media in the context of this social enterprise. (Below: A personal story distributed on social channels on the impact of Furniture Bank’s work.)

Social media is spider-webbing into so many nooks and crannies of our everyday lives, it is a challenge to truly answer the question of “where is social media going in the future?” in a simplistic form. On one hand, the easy answer is, social media is going everywhere. For example, think of a recent time when you came across a product or app that you never thought of yourself and you say “ah…yes, that is a really good idea”…how many times has that included an accompanying app or tracking application? Social media is everywhere! There is nothing truer to that just described, to the wearables sector. From keeping a light eye on wearables through personal interest, I thought where Fit Bit and similar product is going was interesting; I also found Bellabeat, a women’s focused wearable of smart jewellery. I knew there was innovation and development, and I also knew there are apps that are built around integration with these devices. I thought looking at the future of social media through wearables would be interesting, but I had no idea how huge this space was. It was predicted (in 2016) that by 2020 that the wearables market will be worth $34 billion (Lamkin, 2016). This is up from a forecast in 2015 for the wearables market to be worth $25 billion in 2019 (CCS Insight, 2015).

It’s inevitable. The future of social media is going to be bigger and greater. I can’t say it is coming because it is already here, so if you are a business, company or person who isn’t signed up to one of the many social media platforms, you are already falling behind. So much happens on social media – the good, bad and ugly – but it is up to you on how you are going to use it and the contributions you are going to make to the greater conversations. People give social media a bad rap because there is a lot of negative that goes on with it, but truthfully, it’s how you interact with it, what you share, and who you interact with that makes the platform you choose really amazing. If you look for the bad, you’ll find it. If you look for the good, you’ll find it and hopefully be amazed at the power these channels have.

We’ve known this for a while now – humans have a need to be social.  They have a need to feel seen, heard and valued.  They have a need to connect with their fellow humans and a need to feel they are a part of something greater than themselves.  Social media platforms happen to be a perfect way to fulfill a lot of those needs.   Because of this, and the fact that it is open and readily available to anyone, it tends to attract people from all walks of life.  It is a mirror, reflecting back to us the behaviours, views, sentiments, predilections, fears, dreams, and values that are present in the collective human sphere at any given time.  Some of those things, when we see them, can cause us utter disgust.   Other things might inspire us to change, while others still might comfort us.  Social media seems to have become a very useful and valuable tool in self-awareness and personal growth. “Having knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses gives us the ability to use our strengths at opportune times and work on our weaknesses when we can. As we understand ourselves better, we can also understand others. Through this wisdom and understanding, we uplift each other.” 

“As more people use social media to tell the story of the future, the wants and needs of more people will be reflected” – Simon Mainwaring.  Although Mainwaring  is an award-winning branding consultant, advertising creative director, and social media specialist and blogger, no one can really predict the future.   Many people believe that Internet of things  will be an area of substantial growth.  Others have put much work in Artificial Intelligence. Although the future remains unknown, one thing remains certain – as technology progresses, so will advances in Social Media.

“The future is always virtual and some things that may seem imminent or inevitable never actually happen. Fortunately, our ability to survive the future is not predicated on our capacity for prediction, although, and on those much more rare occasions, something remarkable does come staring the future deep in the eyes and challenging everything that it seems to promise.”     Luke Robert Mason, Ethereal Summit, May 19, 2017, Brooklin, NY The purpose of this case study is to look at the future impact of social media on organizations. The premise is an expected progression of social media use integration with other integrated information technology–based systems will increase organizational performance. It is a popular opinion that despite enormous potential, most organizations have failed to capitalize on inter-stakeholder collaboration because the elusive but profound emotional factor, being able to trust partners without fear of exploitation, is an almost impossible obstacle to overcome in most existing business-to-business transactions today. The premise then is that the trust factor is likely to continue to be a hurdle in the future. The premise is that through social media integration, collaboration on improvements to product and process performance are possible at all levels and offer the opportunity for substantial benefits. The above are the premises behind the examination of the future impact of social media on organizations. Let’s first be clear: what social media integration platforms are being put forth to change the nature of knowledge work and management inside organizations? In 2016, products like Jive, IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter, Cisco Quad, Microsoft Yammer, Google Apps for Work, Facebook at Work, Facebook Messenger, etc. were indeed being used to improve performance and foster innovation. In 2017, Slack for chat, JIRA for task and issue tracking, CONFLUENCE for wiki, and GOOGLE DOCS for document editing and management are being integrated rapidly in transformative technology businesses. Social software integration will become a vital tool for transforming virtually every part of business operations, from product development to human resources, marketing, customer service and sales – in a sense becoming the new intra-operating system for the twenty-first century organization. But what if it is already recognized there are clear limitations on today’s suite of tools? And what about that small matter of trust – just what are the economic issues (apart from the ethical ones) about the importance of trust in business? Let’s define trust as the expectation the other party will… Read more »

It is safe to say that social media is one of the most talked about topics currently in the world and it doesn’t look to be fizzling out anytime soon. Social media platforms have gone from a place to connect with friends and family, to a regular social tool for organizations to utilize and maximize the many properties and capabilities it holds. Technology is advancing at an astonishing rate, and there is no telling what a social media platform will look like or what the functionality of it will be in the future. For an organization like Metroland Media, they are already behind in terms of implementing any kind of social media, so if they do choose to move forward with it, it’s possible for them to enter the social media world at a very different and confusing time. The real question is, will they?