The Past, Present, and Future of Social Media

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The Past, Present, and Future of Social Media

By: Bryan Erskine

                In today’s society we are continually connected to the internet. However, back in the mid 90’s many believed the internet was just a fad. Ryan Holmes points out in his article Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media that there was an article written in 1995 which has become infamous called The Internet? Bah! It was an interesting article where it essentially states that shopping online, and many of the things we do every day now online was all a fad that would never come to pass. Well, reality check, its come to pass. As we all know most people in today’s society cannot survive without the internet now and business have been impacted more than any other. Users expect businesses to have websites complete with pictures, menus, biographies, and much more. Whats more is that social media has been becoming more and more critical to businesses. Social media has been becoming the new marketing tool but is constantly changing.

                Social media itself is constantly changing and therefore marketing with social media is also constantly changing. Marketers are continually asking which tactics should be used with social media, what are the best ways to engage users through social media, how do I measure the return on my social media, how do I find my target audience with social media and many other questions (Stelzner 2015).  Marketers then also have to take a look at time management with all of these outlets for advertising how do you find time to hit all of the social media, website, and many other mediums? Automation is becoming very popular as well as organic media posts. Automation has had some backlash, however, as according to Nick Leffler in his article The Future of Social Media he states that “Automation is ruining social media” he goes on to say that “social media posts are automatically discovered and posted in a queue. One posted, replies and engagement are ignored”. This begins to then saturate social media with information on a product but does not allow for questions to be answered when asked because it is all automated and no actual person is paying attention to the posts. Organic posts are quite a bit more desired by companies as these are getting users who like the product to post on social media, Pinterest, and other areas how much they liked the product. These get shared between users and have no direct roots to the company other than the product they sold the original consumer. This, however, hits the other issue marketers have in how can you measure the return on organic social media?

                These trends then begin to make predicting the future of social media difficult. If we look at past trends in social media such as the death of Myspace and the emergence of Facebook what we will see in the future are more social media avenues for businesses to hit in order to get their product more widely seen. We will also begin to see different tactics such as more videos with shorter times to attract younger users who would rather watch a video than read and article. We will begin to see the continuing to utilize organic marketing as well as what appears to be organic marketing with Bot accounts to begin to push the organic ads to users in hopes to continue them in what seems organic. We will also see more paid ads in places they may not have been before. We may also see a large shift based on changes that may happen with the death of net neutrality. If users are forced to pay for social media there could be a drop in users wanting to pay for a social media add-on to their internet service.

References

Holmes, R (18 Nov 2015) Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media. Fortune.com, Time Inc. Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2015/11/18/businesses-cant-survive-social-media/

Leffler, N (30 Jan 2017) Changing from Media to Social. Exprance. Retrieved from: https://www.exprance.com/future-social-media-changing/

Stelzner, M (May 2015) 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Social Media Examiner, retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2015.pdf