Social Media: What the future beholds in 5 steps

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August 25, 2021

In today’s modern world, it’s the norm to check your timeline or feed for the latest cute cat video, see what your favourite celebrity is up to, or get updates from your go-to brand. Not only is this timeline used to absorb such information, but it has also become the central hub to network and digitally advertise your business to a mass of different audiences. With 57 percent of the world’s population using social platforms, it’s hard to stand out from the billions of other posts, meaning that it’s even more vital for businesses to predict new trends in order to position themselves successfully in a social media environment.

But what are those potential trends that businesses might have to adapt to in the future of social media? We’ve picked out a few areas which might become the next new trend.

 

#1 NFT’s

Lately, we all might have heard quite a bit about cryptocurrency and blockchain, but what has that got anything to do with social media? Well, potentially everything! Non-fungible tokens means that digital content on social media can be turned into a tangible media with value, meaning influencers, artists, and brands can distribute their digital assets to followers. NFT’s may even be used as a means to monetizing posts so that influencers can not only sell them to fans, but also to businesses.

From a digital marketing perspective, NFT’s could offer the potential to sell and promote products as well as digital content. A unique experience could be built to generate a branding experience using NFT-based social media to improve brand recognition, generate engagement, and help increase conversion and revenue.

 

#2 More and more products will be sold on social platforms

Since covid hit, more and more people have been purchasing items online, whether that be through Facebook marketplace, Instagram, or even WhatsApp – who have now integrated ecommerce on to the app. This new phase of online shopping has given consumers the opportunity to shop as they scroll, leaving more opportunities for marketers to push product. In fact, the evidence is already there, about 76% of people purchase a product after seeing it on a social channel, so why not make it easier for the consumer by adding that extra touch point? We can only imagine this new trend isn’t going to slow down and will become far more prominent within social media strategies.

 

#3 New visual social networking

Visual, or even solely-video based platforms, have had a sudden rise in the last few years. Instagram has introduced Reels, and Tik Tok has also made a huge impact and now has a total of one billion active users a month. There are several reasons why these sources of media is more attractive, a big portion of which being the user themselves, 86% of people want to see more video content from brands, and video actually produces 1200% more shares than text and images combined. From a marketers perspective, 87% of them said the videos produced a positive ROI, which is a significant increase from the response of 33% in 2015.

If video content isn’t already in your social media strategy, it needs to be. There are simple and straight forward ways of getting started with video content, Instagram Stories or Reels are a great place to start and see how your audience engages with them.

 

#4 Influencer, influencer, influencer

Influencer marketing has been used for a long time. Consumers take to social media to find information about products, and more often than not they’ll look to their favourite social media personality for advice. Having such a high following, influencers are able to reach a larger audience, knowing what type of content works and what produces engagement.

There’s no need to have a big budget either. Nano influencers have a following of 1,000 to 10,000 and micro influencers have 10,000 to 50,000. These affordable influencers are more likely to accept gifting, which is an added bonus for businesses. Ultimately, as social media grows and expands, so do the number of influencers, which means that in future it will be worth having several smaller influencers under your belt.

 

#5 SM & Augmented Reality

We are already using AR in our day-to-day lives through Snapchat filters, Instagram stories and even on our scheduled Zoom calls. Snapchat has started using AR as another means of interaction for its users in the form of shoppable augmented reality. In the future, this could have a big impact on businesses and how they can show their product to potential customers as other platforms start to expand their AR capabilities further. This could be in the form of AR live events or even virtual shops that customers can enter and buy products in an AR environment. The possibilities are endless!

 

Overall

These are just a few of the possible trends that will shape the way social media grows in the future. It’s easy for businesses to get absorbed into the mass of social posts, so it’s important to create a strategy that has an edge on your competitors. Ultimately, depending on your chosen strategy, social media can and does work! It may just need a little tweaking to get it right for your business.