17 May A Look Into the Future of Social Media Marketing
It’s hard to believe that we’ve provided social media marketing services for 15 years now. As the original social media agency in the United States, we have seen social media platforms grow from small startups into some of the most influential companies today.
As social media continues to evolve, so does marketing on these platforms. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the current trends in social media marketing and make some predictions about what the future might hold. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of social media marketing and how this field is likely to change in the next few years.
The Current State of Social Media Marketing
One of the most important things to understand when developing a social media strategy is that the social media marketing landscape is continually changing. What worked yesterday might not work as well today, and what works today might not work as well tomorrow. This just means that marketers need to be constantly adapting their strategies to stay ahead of the curve, understanding the shifts in consumer behaviors and platform preferences — one of the reasons why one of our core values at Ignite is #AlwaysLearning.
While each social platform varies in popularity with different demographics, it’s important to consider the broad reach and scale these platforms provide brands as a whole. Research by Datareportal on January 2022 Global Overview states that more than half of the world now uses social media, amounting to over half (58.4%) of the population.
Social Media Users are now 93.4% of Total Internet Users
The average daily time spent using social media is 2h 27m
The average social platforms used each month is 7.5 accounts
Having these statistics, it’s imperative for brands to invest in social media marketing appropriate to the opportunity these channels provide to reach and engage with potential and existing customers.
Leveraging the most recent social platform data, brands should take time to refresh their channel strategies, exploring new channels that may have increased in reach. While popular social media channels like Facebook have held dominance on the market for some time, we’re starting to see more increase in usage on channels like Instagram and TikTok growing at an impressive rate.
Other platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are also not to be forgotten, as they provide unique opportunities for brands that should be re-considered. The trend of using multiple social media channels will continue in the future as audiences become more fractured and difficult to reach through any single platform.
What The Future Holds for Social Media Marketing
In an ever-changing social media landscape, staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. But what does the future hold for social media marketing? Let’s take a look.
Social Media Will Become More Complex
As new channels rival Facebook’s dominance and different consumer segments continue to leverage social channels uniquely, social media marketing strategies will inevitably become more complex.
While some platforms will rise in popularity, others will wane in ineffectiveness. Facebook, for example, has already seen a significant leveling off of usage (although it remains number one for now), and its advertising effectiveness has been hit with the iOS changes this year.
To be successful, brands will have to re-visit channel strategies to measure the effectiveness of paid social and organic efforts, while also taking an inventory of content production – weighing the right content frequency and content formats to ensure success on new channels.
Drive to Personalization
The future of social media marketing also lies in personalization. In the past, social media platforms were used primarily as a way to broadcast a message to a larger audience. However, future social media platforms will be more focused on providing a personalized experience for each user. The one-size-fits-all messaging doesn’t cut it anymore.
For instance, Facebook has long used artificial intelligence to customize the newsfeed for each user. This means that users will see more of the content that they’re interested in, and less of the content that they aren’t interested in. As a result, social media marketing will become more targeted and, ideally, more effective.
In addition, future social media platforms will be more interactive, with features that encourage users to engage with each other and see more of the content they find engaging. This will create opportunities for brands to connect with their customers on a more personal level, which could make quality community management and content development steeped in audience insights the two keys to building a differentiated brand on social.
Engagement Makes a Comeback
Engagement has always been a key metric for social media marketers. However, this has caused the advent of paid social media to steer many marketers to seek more performance-based metrics; website traffic, conversion, and attributed sales via social media. With the recent changes to the iOS privacy features, social platforms will begin a shift back to the metrics that can be captured on the platform.
With the challenges that iOS has put upon the social networks tracking off-channel actions, we believe that platforms and marketers will begin encouraging user engagement actions on-platform. Not only does this keep users on their platforms longer, but it also builds a valuable audience to re-target ads. Through building engaged audience profiles, marketers will be able to target people who have engaged with a brand’s content. This could help bring users down a sales funnel in a different, potentially interesting way.
Creator-Driven Video Will Draw More Attention
As social media marketing continues to evolve, video-based feeds are becoming increasingly popular. With the high cost of video production, and more businesses competing for attention, it’s going to be difficult to get your content seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in it. One way to overcome this challenge is to focus on creator-driven videos.
Creator-driven video is video content by social media influencers and celebrities. This type of content is more likely to be seen by potential customers than traditional advertising. In the future, we expect that more businesses will focus on creator-driven videos to stand out from the competition and attract more attention.
Furthermore, it’s likely that video-based social media feeds will become the new norm in social media marketing.
AR/VR Integration Continues
One trend that is poised to have a major impact on social media marketing is the integration of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
AR and VR offer businesses a new way to engage with their customers and promote products or services. Imagine being able to virtually try on a piece of clothing before you buy it, or being able to see how a piece of furniture would look in your home. This type of immersive experience isn’t only possible with AR and VR technology. It’s also becoming more affordable as technology continues to develop.
In the future, businesses that are able to integrate these new tools into their marketing strategy will be in a strong position to connect with their target audience in a more engaging way.
It’s the Era for Influencers
One trend that shows no signs of slowing down is the rise of a new breed of celebrity — the social media influencer.
While some businesses are hesitant to work with influencers, there’s no denying that they can be incredibly effective at reaching new audiences, promoting products or services, and developing social content that fits the social platforms.
With that said, we believe that influencers will continue to play a major role in social media marketing. Brands will partner with influencers to reach their target audiences, but also to create content that educates, entertains, and inspires.
In the era of social media, influencers are here to stay. Businesses that embrace this reality and seek to leverage influencers as content creators will be well-positioned for success in the future.
Platform Diversification Will Gain Momentum
Social media marketing continues to be a key driver of business growth across industries. Platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram provide brands with an ever-growing pool of potential customers. In order to stay ahead of the competition, today’s brands are diversifying their social media investments in a wider range of platforms.
By this, social media marketing is more effective once it’s spread across a larger number of channels. Brands can reach a wider audience and drive efficiencies in their social media marketing efforts.
While this may be the case, it’s important to note that platform diversification comes with its own set of challenges. This includes the need to maintain a consistent voice across all channels and the difficulty of measuring return on investment. As such, brands need to carefully consider whether platform diversification is the right strategy for them before making any decisions.
The Social Media Landscape Will Continue to Change
The social media landscape will continue to change, it will never end. Platforms will come and go, new ones will emerge, and old platforms will seek to reinvent themselves. Marketers will need to remain agile and continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape. They’ll need to experiment with different platforms and figure out which ones work best for their brand and their audience. By staying ahead of the curve, brands can ensure that they’re using social media in the most effective way possible.
The future holds many exciting possibilities for social media marketing. We can’t wait to see what the next fifteen years have in store for us.
Let’s help you future-proof your social media strategy, contact our team of experts or request a proposal today, and let’s get you started!