Do you know anyone not using social media? Five to ten years ago, most people could say yes, but today the answer is generally no. Or if they do know someone not using it, it’s just one or two people at the most. It’s remarkable to think how far communication has come in just the past few years. We have new social media sites, mobile capabilities seem endless, and consumers are staying connected with companies in ways unheard of just five years ago. Social media itself has come a long way, but so have companies who utilize social media in their marketing strategies. Future implications for social media marketing include: real time, customer-centric, mobile usage, searching, and tracking data.
- To start with, consumers are finding out about news and events almost instantaneously through social media. When the blackout occurred at the last Super Bowl, I just happened to be away from the TV and when I came back I noticed the stadium was black, so I immediately went to Facebook to find out what happened. We’re in an age where people want answers immediately and want to be able to interact and be part of live events. Companies are beginning to use innovate and creative tactics to reach consumers with live brand social experiences such as flash mobs and live promotions. A study in the UK found that 37% of consumers would join a brand’s social media page as a result of a live brand social and 49% are more positive about brands that do so (Taylor, 2013).
- Social media needs to be all about the consumer. After all, without them social media would not exist. Companies need to get in the habit of thinking of their social media audience as potential future customers or referrers of future customers (Leaning, 2013).
- Smart phones and apps are becoming an everyday norm with more than 50% of U.S. mobile phone users now smart phone users (McDernott, 2013). Companies now need to think about consumers that can access social media and websites through their phones or other mobile devices. Content needs to be altered to fit small screens and low capabilities. Apps can be designed to bring more engagement and interaction between the consumers and brand.
- Social searching is becoming a trend as well. Companies need to include keywords throughout their social media site in which consumers might use when searching for the company or product. In fact Facebook just recently announced they will now make hashtags clickable and searchable (McGarry, 2013).
- How can a company really know if their social media strategy is successful? Fortunately today companies have many options available to track their data. This includes sites like Google Analytics, HootSuite, etc. All of these sites track and analyze various aspects including, likes, comments, click through rates, how many views, etc. This type of data can really help companies today in that while comparing it to sales figures, it can show whether social media is having an impact on sales or just brand awareness. Companies can also tailor their strategies depending on the results. If they notice certain features are not getting any likes or comments, companies can try something else to generate more engagement. Companies can also find out what consumers are saying about a brand or product by searching social media sites. One tool this can be done on is Social Mention.
Want to know what social media platforms are being used the most by companies? Here’s a list of the top ten marketers plan use in 2013.
Social media is a part of our everyday life and companies are now aware of this fact as well and are able to communicate and engage with consumers in a variety of ways. It’s been interesting to see how far social media has come within the past few years, and it’s hard to believe what they’ll come up with next.
Leaning, B. (2013 March 13). The future of social media marketing according to HubSpot’s CMO. Retrieved from: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34257/The-Future-of-Social-Media-Marketing-According-to-HubSpot-s-CMO.aspx.
McDernott, J. (2013 May 28). A majority of U.S. mobile users are now smart phone users. Retrieved from: http://adage.com/article/digital/a-majority-u-s-mobile-users-smartphone-users/241717/.
Taylor, J. (2013 May 22). Are live experiences the future of social media marketing? Retrieved from: http://oursocialtimes.com/are-live-experiences-the-future-of-social-media-marketing/.