We are a full decade into the use of social media as a communication tool, so it seems semi-unfair to call it “new” yet in many ways it clearly is.
Facebook has only been the dominate social media network for about seven years; Twitter came along just a few scant years ago, but together with Facebook it reaches nearly one billion people every day.
So, what is the future of social media? Streaming video technology is certainly gaining ground, and the on-demand nature of everything web-related is being expanded upon every day. People are not only continuing to join social media in record numbers, they are expecting more from it.
From a marketing perspective this is still a new frontier; A new frontier with an ever further reaching boundary. Just when you think you have mastered your environment, the environment changes; the rules change and the game changes and everything changes.
As a comparison, television began with small black and white sets. It went to color sets in about a decade and changed little for the next two decades until high-definition sets began to take hold.
What is next for social media is still anyone’s guess, but simply understanding there IS something new just around the corner will definitely give you an advantage.
When people mention social media most will think of Facebook or even Twitter but social media is continually evolving and even out growing traditional forums. Social media is becoming all engulfing entering every area of our browsing from casual browsing to general search. In 2010 there was a perceived social frenzy leading to social search gurus to declare a new dawn. Some experts belittle this evolution. Maybe 2010 was too soon but I think that new dawn is coming!
The lazy attitude to social media I have encountered during my working life can be summed up in two words small minded. During my time in advertising I felt that social media campaigns boiled down to having an advertisement on Facebook. That was being social, it was something you could simply buy off the shelf.
Social browsing is the best way I can describe how traditional social media is influencing how we use the web. There are very few channels remaining that haven’t been touched by social media. Google SERPS now feature social features. Every blog and almost every news article encourages you to post to Facebook or Twitter. There are now dedicated tools like Klout to measure just how social you are.
Facebook and Twitter are both vying for top position in this social sharing releasing a number of really cool plug ins and add ons for user sites. While currently it seems like Facebook are stealing a march with their developer tools, there is another giant about to enter the fold.
Google is ready to launch their +1 product. How that will play out, its too early to say. What is clear is that Google is beginning to include social popularity in their ranking algorithm and that is a real game changer. Traditional SEO specialists will need to embrace a new horizon.
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