Social media has been a marketing vehicle that has already had an enormous effect on the way companies do business. It has transformed itself in the last 2 years from blogs and forums to Facebook, Twitter and now Google Buzz. And it has matured to the point where marketers are no longer asking whether it should be part of their marketing mix but how and where they should participate.
More and more companies find social media is useful as a marketing and communications tool, but many companies also use social channels for sales, customer service, IT and more. Because of its development, we can see that the way consumers communicate and interact has fundamentally changed, the voice of the consumer is only going to get louder and stronger. And there will be even more changes in the coming years.
According to eMarketer towards to the future of social media, they pointed out that,
… as social media becomes truly integrated into all marketing efforts, the strongest business models in the future will incorporate analytics, the TV, in addition, will become more social as will search. Location will become more important to social media, and brand monitoring will increase in sophistication so that companies can begin to understand the “why” of consumer chatter as well as the who, what and when …
Ravit Lichtenberg, founder and chief strategist, Ustrategy.com, in an article in ReadWriteWeb.com, December 11, 2009 wrote, “Naturally occurring conversations will be utilized in product innovation and design, and companies will create incentives for people’s attention and engagement while repurposing and analyzing content and engagement in new ways that will deliver valuable input.”
When it comes to advertising, use the method of traditional marketing is antiquated and ineffective, thus, realize the engagement-based offers are the future of social media advertising. So don’t try to interrupt consumers, remember to make your offer seamless, and don’t distract them from a social media experience, instead, help them to enhance it. In the other words, if the problem with traditional advertising is that banner ads are distracting and detract from user experience, then the future of social media advertising rests on making ads part of that experience.
In my opinions, I think the future social media marketing is only going to continue grow, it has leveled the playing field for local businesses. It will get even more popular, more mobile, more exclusive, more global, and people will use lifestreaming platforms to add more context to their content. And social media popularity in less developed nations will rise up, which lead them to the ability to tie to developed business leadership/opportunities (mentors, investors, etc.).
The number of small businesses using social media as their main way to communicate with customers and propsects will also increase. With the right strategy, they can attract and retent of their customers and now can compete with the big boys.
There also a significant growth in the use of social media in the capital markets and investor relations. We will see an increasing number of retail and institutional investors are using financial blogs and social networks to communicate and drive investment ideas. They will understand the opportunity and importance of embracing these channels and engaging with their investors and stakeholders.
In addition, the “media” aspect will increase dramatically. Video is exploding on the web; more and more blogs include links to video content and as mobile devices expand the use of video, we will see even more video content in all aspects of social media.
Finally, social media will be united soon. There will be more people joining different types of networks on their hobbies, business interests and so on, so at one point a person would love to have all these networks in one (software, probably), and personalized, because soon with more social media emerging, people will not have time to check all their accounts at once.