Archive | March 2012

What Does the Future Hold for Social Media?

In this blog we are suppose to discuss how we see social media evolving. It’s hard to say what may happen because as technology shows us, things change in an instant, and we have to adapt to those changes. So what is the future of social media?

Social media seems to be everywhere these days. And as the author of Groundswell, Charlene Li, talks about how it will be embedded in every activity: “Transactions will be constantly rated and reviewed. Tags, supplied by ordinary people, will reorganize the way we find things. Feeds will alert us to any changed content, and feed readers will be as much a part of the online experience as email or browsers are now” (Li & Bernoff, p. 235).

Just researching the future of social media brings up so countless articles on everyone’s viewpoint of what the future holds. One cited several business men/women quoting how they view the future of social media (Rice, 2011):

  • “The integration of credible and relevant social media…will be viewed as strategy, rather than tactic. Because if brands are not fully embracing social in all its forms, you will have missed the bullet train and you probably won’t be able to get back on”.
  • “Companies will need to create one universal social strategy for multiple platforms that will serve a core marketing purpose”.
  • “Brands will learn how to put the personal before the profit, and in turn will actually generate a profit via social media. Social media will facilitate the expansion of word of mouth marketing, as people will see recommendations from their friends and family right where they are looking to make a purchase”.
  • “Many advertisers will be looking for more ‘grown up’ ways to participate in social media. Either social media websites like Twitter will break off to create more grown up ways of participating or new sites will pop up like LinkedIn but with a more Twitter or Facebook-like feel”.

Obviously there are several viewpoints to this subject.

So much information is being collected from users where we see, for example targeted ads. Well one way social media could be going is that “we will no longer need to search for information on the web as information will find us based on all this data which companies are collecting” (Noff, 2011). So based off of our likes, dislikes, interests, etc, information will be brought to us instead of searching for it, which will save a lot of time and energy.

Relationships and communication is changing as well as it is easier now more than ever to have a relationship with someone half way around the world. Relationships today don’t always mean face to face. You can have a lifelong pen pal, online only! “We will befriend and hang out with people from all over the world and all walks of life, all ethnicities and all beliefs, creating a worldwide melting pot” (Noff, 2011). This will help in understanding each other’s beliefs, cultures, languages, etc. Social media connects everyone in the world.

Businesses can change the way they view social media and customers as well. They will hopefully begin to “realize that social media is not about the number of people brands have in their communities, but rather the amount of engagement that they see on their page and the overall sentiment they faced this month as opposed to the last” (Noff, 2011).

I think what the future will definitely hold is more and more people will be online, including businesses large and small. Clearly, several businesses and several people are utilizing social media, but there’s still more that can join! A few tips Charlene Li has regarding social media for businesses are (p. 240-241):

  • Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity
  • Be a good listener
  • Be patient
  • Be opportunistic
  • Be flexible
  • Be collaborative
  • Be humble

One thing I hear people saying is that social media is just a fad and it will die out at some point like all fads do. A while ago I remember reading an article in which someone stated that this is just the beginning of social media; we still have a long way to go until this “fad” dies out. Do you think social media is just a fad that will die out one day?

There have been so many changes in social media since I first joined MySpace (I believe 7 or 8 years ago). It certainly has come a long way and we still see so many new and different social media tools added on a regular basis. It will be interesting to see what happens with social media. Where do you see social media going? 

Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Forrester Research.

Noff, A. (2011, June 14). What’s next in social media [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/06/14/whats-next-in-social-media/

Rice, B. (2011, November 1). The future of social media: 38 experts share their predictions for 2012 [Web log post]. Retrieved from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/the-future-of-social-media-38-experts-share-their-predictions-for-2012-085874