Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat attract almost 33 percent of the global population today. This is a too big an audience for any serious marketer to ignore. In order to remain competitive and to satisfy their diverse user-base, these social platforms have been evolving each passing day. New features, new algorithms, and new strategies are being introduced daily. But which changes are more likely to impact on business in the coming years? In this article, we look at six future predictions of social media for business.
1. The Social Media User-Base Will Broaden
With old folks increasingly joining the social media today, it goes without saying that there will be a significant broadening of the social media usage by 2020. More and more users above 50 years are joining Instagram while teenagers continue flocking Snapchat and other trendy platforms. The Facebook Messenger app is also attracting a significant chunk of Facebook subscribers so it is the time that social media marketers started tailoring content for messenger users.
Africa and Asia, on the other hand, have seen a great improvement in their internet connectivity, with Africa alone registering a whopping 20 percent new internet users every passing year. That’s to mean that by 2020, marketers targeting the African market will be forced to fine-tune their social media marketing strategies so as to cater for the new online users.
2. Static Content Could Soon Be Phased Out By Visual Content
As it stands, an average social media user is likely to engage with a video or an image five times more than he/she would engage with a static piece of content. Static content with an embedded video has twice as big a chance to attract readers online than those without. And any online content that has a visual in it stands a 40X higher chance of being shared on WhatsApp than any other form of content. All these stats confirm one thing: Static content on the social media is edging towards its extinction.
3. The Need To Outsource Social Media Will Increase
Traditionally, outsourcing social media was something that big brands did who couldn’t afford the time to manage their social media pages. SMEs couldn’t see the need for hiring external social media managers. Some felt like they could handle the social media and still manage their core business pretty well while others didn’t see it as a worthy investment. This is no longer the case. Small businesses have realized that there is a huge potential on the social media that they may not fully benefit from without expert social media managers. Branding social media profiles, monitoring social trends, social media customer service, and content marketing are some of the many tasks that social media managers do for businesses. Going forward, no business will survive online without such a manager.
How will businesses be getting social media managers? The most viable route for SMEs and seasoned businesses alike will be to outsource. There are many top professionals, highly experienced staff who offer their services at a very pocket-friendly price.
4. The Rise of Social Media Stories
Facebook has employed sophisticated algorithms to filter the content that appears on their users’ news feed. This has, in turn, robbed marketers off the luxury they had of reaching their target audience through ordinary social media posts. What will be their escape route from this quagmire? Instagram and Facebook stories. Businesses that want to grow will have to focus all their effort on creating cultivating social stories so as to attract users to their ad posts, posts which may never appear on the news feed.
5. Social Media Influencing Will Evolve In A Big Way
Tactica said “Social media marketing is likely to completely shift to influencer marketing by 2020. The modern customer is easily convinced to buy a product through the word of mouth than through traditional ads”. There is a flipside to this though: How will advertisers know which influencer to trust with their brand, particularly with the increased cases of bought followers and comments? Companies will have to re-evaluate their criteria for determining who is a viable influencer and who is not, who is getting real followers and who is not. There are, indeed, very interesting times ahead.
6. The Rise of Live Streaming
People no longer have the patience to wait a whole day for primetime news; they want to get updates when and as things happen. Marketers who record videos or take pictures in major events only to post them after an hour will be losing a huge deal of online traffic. The only way businesses will be capturing the attention of their prospective customers is by adding live streaming in their radar. Facebook and Instagram have already introduced this feature, indicating that they too are acknowledging this new fact.
The social media is evolving at an alarming pace and so should you. To fully leverage the marketing giant that social media is metamorphosing into, you may need to outsource to some of the leading social media gurus to run your platforms.
We at S4DS have all the tech tools to integrate your e-commerce, replicated sites and influencers websites with your social media platforms and have a complete and market trend oriented service.