So hopefully you’ve kept up with my blog so far. Everything I have been writing about has been leading down this direction. What is the future of social media? How will organizations and businesses adapt to new technologies, new platforms, and new ways of engagement? Well, I have no freaking idea. However, I will give my opinion on that matter but lets be honest, no one knows.
Who would have thought that Facebook, a platform which started out as social media site to legally stalk people would be such a great platform to build brand awareness?
Who would have thought that Twitter, a platform to anonymously hate post celebrities and politicians you disagree with, would become a great way to get a message or promotion out in front of customers.
Even Instagram, a platform designed to annoy people with pictures of your ugly babies, pets, and horrible food dishes, could become a great way to visually interact with consumers.
Social media has taken over every single aspect of our lives. It’s kind of pathetic. Here are some sad stats for humanity, but good stats for social media marketing:
86% of people use social media at least once per day, 72% use it multiple times.
People spend at least;
- 40 minutes on YouTube
- 35 minutes on Facebook
- 25 minutes on Snapchat
- 15 minutes on Instagram
- 1 minute on Twitter
In total lifetime numbers that is 5 Years and 4 months. Granted these statistics were from 2017 so I imagine they’re even higher now.
All that being said I understand the benefits of social media. Its a great way to reach out and interact with followers, build communities and increase your brand awareness. It allows you to be open and honest and have a two way conversation across the interwebs. However in the past 2-5 years I’ve begun to notice that social media is turning into a cesspool of waste. Everyone and their grandmother gets offended by everything. I could say something as harmless as: “I like frogs.” All of a sudden people are lining up with their pitchforks and telling me I’m a racist, a sexist, and proceed to plaster my personal information all over the internet in order to destroy my life because I said: “I like frogs.”
It’s getting ridiculous. I blame the media and others who push this sensationalized publishing in order to get clicks. They’re purposely angering people on social media in order to bloat their numbers of Engagement, Reach, etc.
This has allowed other things to creep into social media such as political propaganda and hate speech. Not only that but many social media sites have ridiculous and often confusing privacy policies which are also setting horrible precedents for the future.
Personal data across social media platforms is being sold off like an auction to 3rd parties and people have no idea. (I do, because I’m not an idiot and actually read the terms and conditions) Just look at the recent Cambridge Analytica catastrophe. Cambridge, a 3rd party, got their grubby dirty hands on 87 million Facebook users data without permission!
In a recent survey 1 in 4 Americans have deleted Facebook from their phones in 2018 and 42% have stopped using Facebook for weeks. It’s a mass exodus and I personally believe its only going to get worse. People are exhausted. People are tired of all this crap. Social media is a great way to connect, its a great way to build relationships, but its being bogged down in crap no one wanted.
All that being said, what does the future hold? New platforms will hopefully rise up. We need new avenues which are simple, focus on privacy, and squash hate speech. They need to get back to basics. Blah Blah, I’m sure you’re saying, “BUT THAT CRAPS ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT!” No it doesn’t. You shouldn’t destroy my life and call me a bigot because I like Frogs. Have some common sense, you sensationalist.
Marketers will need to be on the up and up when these new platforms begin to develop. They need to stay ahead of the curb and be ready to grow communities around a more simpler and easier platform. People are dying for a new way to share experiences, since the old guard of platforms are tainted and no longer share what they believe in. When these do materialize what should they focus on? That’s easy.
Focus on privacy. Let’s be honest here if you actually cared about privacy you wouldn’t be using social media. I digress. People need to feel safe. They need to know anything they share is safe.
Focus on being human. You’ll need to be personable. You need to embrace your humanity. People don’t want to faceless corporation. They want to know who you are, what you stand for. They’ll want to know you have their back, that you care about them.
Heavy focus on video. People are tired of anonymous posts. They want to see a face to back it up. Would you be so cavalier if people could see your face? People have more trust and more respect if you’re willing to share your stories and ideas with a face behind the camera so to speak.
Virtual Reality or Augmented reality. This is the real future. Put on some fancy glasses or a headset and be transported in real time. This will allow people to immerse themselves into your product or service and forget about all the noise going on around them.
Currently social media isn’t functioning the way it should be. Half the time I’m afraid to go on. It’s not even worth it to engage. Wasn’t that the point of social media? To engage with each other? It’s gotten to a point where people are afraid to have an opinion that differs from the majority. This stifles communication, creativity and interaction. There is no room for healthy debate or sharing new ideas or experiences. And if I do, that information is now being sold to the highest bidder.
Unless the major platforms clean up their act, they’re going to go the way of the dodo. I’m totally OK with this. I think new platforms need to rise from the ashes and show us what social media can really be. An interconnected world where ideas, comments, and opinions can be shared freely without the fear of being destroyed. A safe haven where interaction is paramount, and where our connectivity enhances our lives and makes the world a better place.