As a social marketer, you are probably consumed by the demands of your workload. Your daily routine probably consists of taking hundreds of tactical decisions—big and small—aimed at enhancing your social reach, attracting new followers, likes, and comments, and improving the quality of engagement with your target audience.
Tactical decisions like whether you should buy 100 Instagram followers for your account or buy 50 Instagram likes for your latest batch of posts and updates instead are very important. Yet, this does not mean you ignore the long-term prospects of your social marketing strategy.
Change – No Hiding from it in the Virtual World
A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed a drastic fall in the number of young Facebook users—from 71% of Americans aged between 13 and 17 years in 2015 to just 51% in 2018.
Further, 70% of all teen users of FB belonged to households with an annual income of less than $30,000.
These two data points clearly shows that a youth-centric strategy focused primarily on FB is unlikely to yield effective results. And this is just about one segment of your audience—the youth—moving from Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat.
For your social marketing strategy to work in the future, you need to look beyond tactics and short-term decisions and focus on the strategic evolution of social media in the years ahead.
Technology is becoming more personal, more intuitive, and more user friendly. While virtual reality is yet to achieve its mass breakthrough, it is just one or two innovations away from changing the way we use technology.
Do you have ready social marketing strategies for deployment in a VR environment? If not, then perhaps you need to start focusing on how user engagement can be established and maintained in a truly virtual world.
Till date, social media was all human-to-human interaction with technology, social media sites, and devices merely serving as the conduit. Things will change when the combination of Internet of Things and Smart Devices start making their presence felt on social media.
Instructing your fridge to search for online coupons to maximise savings will be a lot easier than doing the search manually. In such a scenario, marketers may well have to engage with smart devices along with human social media users.
These are just two of the virtually limitless possibilities that may open up in the future. To stay unprepared would be sheer folly. So, look beyond likes, users, and followers, and focus on the long-term evolution of social media in the coming years.