10 Predictions For the Future of Social Media

Whether it’s a new technology or a growing need, social media is setting the precedent for how people will consume content and make purchasing decisions online. In fact, social media is already influences 78% of consumer purchase decisions, and that number is only set to grow.

Let’s take a look at ten predictions for the future of social media, and how they are affecting today’s marketing best practices:

Wearable Tech Creates New Experiences

We’ve long known that experiential marketing is an excellent way to engage consumers in a meaningful way. The introduction of wearable tech like virtual reality, augmented reality, and others are showcasing new ways to bring these experiences to everyone.

This became incredibly evident when Facebook purchased virtual reality headset creator, Oculus Rift, in 2014. They didn’t make this decision lightly either, they spent a cool $2 billion in this acquisition, showing a marked investment into this new type of technology.

At a surface level, wearable like these headsets can bring your experience to anyone, anywhere. That alone is an exciting thought, but wearable tech also encompasses things that can track data like heart rate, blood pressure, and plenty more.

Consider these ways that wearable tech is set to change the marketing landscape:

  • Today many people own at least one wearable device, but by 2020 the average consumer will own eight.
  • Wearable tech will allow marketers to collection massive amounts of data for the purpose of providing context and personalized experiences.
  • When used correctly, wearable tech provides an additional level of engagement and a more enriching experience overall.
  • Virtual reality can be used to transport customers to live events, regardless of their location.

Social Media “Buy” Buttons Become Commonplace

Since social media is so influential, it makes sense that “buy” buttons would be a natural addition to the experience. Despite this, buy buttons haven’t taken off for retailers, so what’s the problem? As it stands, these buttons aren’t adding anything to the experience.

To this end, buy buttons are simply being used to eliminate the step needed to visit the website and make a purchase, but they hold so much more potential than that. Yes, it’s important that we keep the experience in one place to keep the user’s attention, but these buy buttons should be part of a greater whole.

As companies begin to understand this, we’re going to see these buttons become a huge priority in terms of conversion optimization. Social media ads with buy buttons will look less like advertisements and more like landing pages that incorporate the same design elements used when making a website. They will provide some kind of value to the reader and utilize design elements that convince them to convert.

Here’s the major takeaway:

Start thinking about “buy” buttons as CTAs. How can we, as marketers, design social media posts that act like mini-landing pages?

The buy button isn’t going anywhere, it simply requires an evolution.

Social Media Crosses Into The Workplace

For years, businesses and institutions have done everything they can to stop people from using social media in the workplace, but this type of thinking has done a complete 180. Social media is now an integral part of the workplace, thanks to emerging tools:

  • Slack – this powerful little tool allows workers and businesses to collaborate and share information via text, gifs, images, and anything else. This instant connection and collaboration allows them to quickly and easily communicate without the need for internal emails.
  • Facebook for Work – While still relatively new, Facebook for Work provides a streamlined version of the platform that maintains all of the powerful connection features that businesses and professionals can use for collaboration purposes.

Here’s what you need to know:

Social media is powerful as a means of connecting people. These emerging tools can take that same connectedness and use it for a more productive workplace going forward.

All-Inclusive Platforms

Social media platforms are constantly expanding beyond what they were originally intended to do. Case and point: Facebook now has its own search algorithm. While it doesn’t quite hit Google’s 3.5 billion searches each day, it comes in at a respectable 1.5 billion on its own.

This has created a need for more solutions within the platform. A search engine is a great start because it removes the need for people to leave the site to find something. Combine this the Messenger app, and it’s easy to see how Facebook is trying to solve all of your problems with their solutions.

This points to a future where social media does a whole lot more than allow you to connect with other people.

Here’s what you should be doing:

Keep your ear to the ground and look for new ways to do more on social media. Familiarize yourself with new messenger apps and features emerging on the platform. Consider how these innovations can further streamline your efforts on social media.

Niche-Focused Platforms Grow Immensely

Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram have a very broad appeal. There are a variety of people and interests on these platforms, which can make it hard to connect with a specific niche or audience.

Enter niche platforms. These currently exist in a variety of forms, and marketers should absolutely use them for laser-focused targeting. These platforms don’t spend a lot of time in the limelight, but as mainstream platforms continue to diversify, it makes sense that these type of focused networks will have a higher appeal.

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