One thing that is a known fact is that our social media landscape is constantly changing. Why is that? Well basically it’s because technology is constantly evolving which means that anything reliant on it must do the same or die out. People either love or hate social media but the fact is, it’s a resource that every day people use, and brands must follow suit or fall behind. Though there are those who may hate social media there are presently 3.80 billion people using social media worldwide since the beginning of 2020. I’m sure that with COVID-19 those numbers have continued to climb because of the quarantine and a lot of people staying home or working from home. 5.19 billion people use mobile phones globally with user numbers up by 124 million (2.4%) since the beginning of the year in 2019. The numbers below don’t lie, social media is here to stay.
I feel that the changes are due mainly to changes in human behavior but also because as I stated above technology is constantly changing and growing. The changes in human behavior come in the form of people wanting brands to be health conscious (fast food industry) … fast food brands are launching new products and drafting health-related communications strategies. Then there are the those who want brands to be socially conscious such as Ben & Jerry’s stand on racial justice. There are of course a myriad of issues that consumers wish brands to follow these two are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are a few trends that I feel will be up and coming in the future with social media (although there are many more, I’m sure these or the ones that I’ve focused on):
Continual growth of social media and its platforms.
Heightened privacy and security (huge boost in data management).
AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). AR takes the real world and projects virtual, computer-generated augmentations to enhance the user’s experiences. VR a 3D dimensional computer-generated reality that users can explore as if they are in the real world.
Video’s will be used across most platforms (Cisco stated that by 2020, 75% of the mobile traffic will be video).
I think the future is definitely bright and fun with the addition of Augmented Reality along with Virtual reality being added into the mix because it will add to the consumer experience. Mixed and augmented reality, in particular, are proving effective in allowing consumers to engage with brands and interact with products like never before.
The question that companies need to be asking themselves according to TTEC, With these numbers continually growing, the question isn’t whether to embrace social media; it’s “How can I effectively leverage social networks to enhance the customer experience and gain valuable insight?” Indeed, that is the one thing that small and large businesses need to look at social media. How can they make it better for their consumers and how can I use the information gathered for the company’s benefit? Two questions I will leave you with is:
What trends do you see for social media as technology expands with consumers and businesses having to explore with it?
What brands do you follow on social media?