The business marketing world is always looking for the next big thing in social media. While social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rule the internet today, it’s only a matter of time before some new innovation comes along to woo away users.
In order to future-proof your marketing, and have an edge on your status-quo loving competition, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on the latest social media trends.
Twitch. The success of livestreaming service Twitch caught almost everyone outside of the hardcore gaming community by surprise. On the surface, Twitch seems like little more than a place for people to watch other people play video games, making it easy to dismiss as a niche platform. But this misses the point, as Twitch’s real appeal is allowing real-time communication between viewers, as well as the content makers. It’s an ideal platform for a generation raised on the shared experience of playing video games together. How big is this trend? The Twitch live stream of the 2013 League of Legends championship drew 32 million viewers, while Game 7 of the 2014 World Series drew less than 24 million. It’s hardly surprising that Amazon paid a reported $970 million for Twitch in 2014.
Wearables. Prior to the release of the first iPhone in 2007, the idea that practically everyone in the developed world would have access to the internet via a palm-sized computer/phone hybrid would have seemed far-fetched at best. Having a viable marketing strategy for reaching people through these devices, particularly through social networks, would have struck most marketers as ludicrous. Now, a company without such a strategy seems woefully behind the times. The same principle will almost certainly apply to the next generation of tech devices, from eyewear-based platforms like Google Glass to the coming range of iOS and Android smartwatches.
Internet Of Things. In the coming years, the biggest users of shared, social media-like networks may not be people, but the things those people own. We’re rapidly approaching an era where refrigerators can keep track of your frozen food supplies, and can send you an alert when your milk is about to go bad. Such a smartfridge could even make an online grocery list, and perhaps be empowered to order food on its own. This could mean that marketers of the future will need a plan to pitch goods and services directly to devices (or at least automated user preferences) rather than the users themselves.
Big Data. As people slowly become more comfortable with their social networks knowing more and more about them, the ability for marketers to target segments with extreme precision across social networks and other online platforms will only increase. With a huge range of data to pull from, and the ability to drill down to the level of individual users increasing, marketers will soon be able to create plans for reaching extremely specific segments that will make even the most targeted Facebook campaigns seem like blunt instruments.
Better Analysis and Reporting. Most reporting tools for online and social media marketing are frustrating for an average marketer to use. At the moment, this is still manageable, as most marketers are only active on a handful of channels, and only need to instantly comprehend a few key trends to make decisions. But what about an era where today’s “mobile” data is broken into a half-dozen distinct subgroups ranging from smartphones and tablets to smartwatches, smartglasses and other devices? It often takes days of work by an IT staffer to integrate content from a CMS with the APIs from social media dashboards, for instance, which is the first step towards seeing the real results of your social media marketing efforts. Future platforms will need to easily integrate all kinds of social-media related data, parse it in meaningful ways, and then provide human-readable reports for real-time strategic planning.
When new channels, such as livestreaming, wearables, Internet of Things and the flood of other data starts pouring in, the companies with the best looking and most easily accessed data will have a huge advantage. As a provider of just this kind of platform, we believe SumAll is ready for the challenge as these new marketing opportunities come online.