What’s Next? Social Media Strategies to Reach Out to the Next Generation of Consumers
The day will come when Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and the current collection of Social Media platforms will be regarded as yesterday’s news…as the archaic ways people communicated and shared experiences “back in the day.” What will augment or supplant the universe of Social Media we are familiar with today? What will be the next-gen social sharing sites? What will one-time Facebook fans “like” in the future?
According to some trend-watching experts (sources 1, 2, 3) whose perspectives inform our stretch to divine the convergence of consumer trends and new technologies, the future of Social Media will encompass:
- Ever increasing usage of visual information – infographics, memes, symbols, and GIFs – as predominantly text forms of communication fall from favor
- The widespread adoption of live streaming, the foundation of which is occurring now with the advent of Facebook Live
- The evolution of predictive marketing, using data mining and artificial intelligence to push consumers up the buying and brand engagement curve
- The ongoing tension represented by the public/private nature of sharing information for the world to see
A picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and that may never be truer than when promoting brands in the future digital market-place. The ubiquity of smartphones that feature excellent photo and video-taking capabilities – coupled with faster digital data transmission speeds – has helped transform many Social Media sites into visual galleries. Users of these sites can see what is going on in their world before they read about it. According to Kissmetrics, Facebook posts with photos generated 53% more likes, 84% more link clicks, and 104% more comments than updates that consisted of text only. A study by Socialbakers found that three-quarters of all Facebook posts published by brands contained photos. GIFs have become such a critical element of Twitter’s culture that the platform added a GIF button for ease of use.
Marketers are monitoring how their brands are being portrayed through user-generated images; computer vision and artificial intelligence help companies navigate this visual information explosion. The volume of visual content is constantly increasing, and is changing faster as users demand more tools to create and share pictures, videos, and their digital offspring. According to Buffer’s “State of Social Media 2016 Report,” 83% of marketers said they would create more video content if time and resources were available. Forty-two percent of marketers chose live video as their preferred option, behind blog posts (57%).
Facebook’s launch of live streaming video will push the format into the mainstream and normalize its use, spurring growth of the format across multiple channels. Individuals will use the platform to share their experiences, and brands will use live streaming to provide “exclusive” access to events and personalities. Blab is an emerging live streaming service that makes live, public video chats with up to four people easy to do.
To date, marketers have traditionally tried to serve offers to people who have taken an action, like visiting a website. In the future, brands using artificial intelligence based on mountains of data will be able to discern what decision-making stage the buyer is in, predict the next stage they are willing to go to, and promote ads that will push them to the next stage of the buying cycle. Social media especially lends itself to application of “predictive marketing” tools.
“Immersion” enables users to integrate social media more deeply into their daily lives. The explosion of mobile devices, apps that encourage “checking in,” geographic tags, and the development of virtual reality technology all promote immersive experiences. New and more seamless ways of interacting with consumers will continue to blur the line between social media and the “real world.”
We’ll see more niche platforms gain popularity (this year saw the rise of Snapchat and Periscope) and the field of mainstream social media platforms will widen even further. Businesses will experiment with niche platforms like WhatsApp, YikYak and Kik, especially if they hope to reach the under-30 market. Users are choosing their platforms based on what is interesting to them (for example, photographers prefer VSCO to Instagram). Brands will follow suit, choosing where to place their efforts based on where their target customer spends her time on social media, rather than trying to have a presence on every platform.
The next-gen social platforms can’t just replicate the success formula of others. The world of Social Media confers competitive advantage to size, number of members. The big get bigger and the second tier go out of business. Who uses Myspace anymore? A new entry must deliver something distinctly new and different and better for it to have any chance of commercial success. And the established business models need to continually improve. Facebook is continually improving and growing its base and reinforcing its dominance. Alternatively, Twitter, a company that seemed unstoppable a few years ago, appears to be on a negative trend because it doesn’t offer anything that other platforms don’t offer as well.
Carter says the social media platforms of the future will have to walk the precariously fine line between public information sharing and the need for user privacy. This has been an issue since the advent of social media, but it has become increasingly problematic for users who do not want to expose private information to individuals and organizations with bad intentions. Tomorrow’s social media platforms will have to find a new way to marry these two ideas together in a way that keeps users happy.
THE INCREASING SIGNIFICANCE OF PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION In our heavily-loaded-information era, global players deal with a large amount of information in their daily lives; they produce, process and s......Read more
The 2020 Annual EL/WLA Marketing Seminar, held in London, saw a vibrant mix of senior industry figures and speakers from leading-edge agencies and consultancies combine to create a dynamic event for the assembled international delegates....Read more
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have a dramatic impact worldwide, EL has produced an overview of operational continuity elements that could be – and many of them already are – implemented by individual lotteries to enhance their capability of an effective response....Read more
“Reflecting on 11 years at the European Lotteries’’ | An interview with former EL Deputy Secretary General Jutta Buyse
Since 2016 Jutta Buyse was the Deputy Secretary General of EL and represented the Association in the Brussels office since 2009. During this time, Jutta led the public affairs for EL and experienced historic moments for the Association at European level....Read more
At a time when digital communication is rapidly evolving and social media is one of the biggest sources of new, it is increasingly important to distinguish fact from fiction. The objective of this year’s EL Seminar was to focus on ‘‘the good, bad and the ugly’’ sides of communications....Read more
Since 10 January 2020 Sebastian – Iacob Moga is the new General Manager of the C.N. "Loteria Română" S.A., being appointed to this position by the Board of Administrators....Read more
EL has become a reliable and invaluable advocate for the role of sport in society and it has lent its backing as a ‘Supporting Partner’ to the SPIRIT project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme....Read more
A partnership for society: EL and ENGSO commit to enhancing the role of grassroots sport in 2020–2021
EL and ENGSO, the European Sports NGO are further extending their partnership with a new two-year agreement (2020-21)....Read more
Italian operator Lottomatica uses a range of programmes and tools to promote gender balance and offer personal and professional support for female employees....Read more
Due to the recent outbreak and rapid spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19, the EL Executive Committee has taken the decision to postpone all EL seminars and events until 1 July 2020. It is further decided that the EL Industry Days will not take place this year due to the uncertain situation....Read more