5 Trends That Will Define the Future of Social Media
January 02, 2020
Have you been seeing the future trends of social media?
Can you recall the days when online social sharing didn’t exist, advertisements were only in print and on TV, and cookies were just the baked goods your grandma would make on the weekends? These seemingly ancient days are far behind us as social media continues to evolve every day.
Social media has changed the very world we live in. With 3.499 billion active users worldwide, there are constant changes in social trends and interactions. A platform that was originally created for individuals to share their personal lives and communicate their thoughts has now become the marketplace of the future. Business opportunities are prevalent on platforms and now social media is drastically transforming the shopping industry.
According to Salesforce, 54 percent of millennials depend on social channels to research about products before purchasing them. But how has social media earned enough trust for millions of people’s purchasing decisions to be determined based on its insights?
Ryan Napierski, president of Nu Skin, says, "Today, people don’t shop the way they used to. They want the full experience: social proof, brand engagement, entertaining content, and shopping options. Social media provides those experiences better than any other channel.”
Social media has changed the world of shopping for half of an entire generation and if your business is smart, focusing on creating social media success should be a priority. Let’s take a look into the future of social media and how it will evolve:
A sneak peek into the future of social media
1. Video is everything
Everyone loves a good video. Studies show that videos are the form of content that trends the most across all platforms of social media. Around 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook, and this number will continue to rise. So, try not to get too annoyed with trending videos that pop up everywhere; we’re going to see plenty more of them in the future.
2. Trust is key
Rapid change and adaptability of social media is seen daily. As we enjoy the benefits of the user-friendly images from social media platforms constantly competing for our attention, we do so at the expense of our privacy.
Enforced rules are nearly impossible in this ever-evolving atmosphere of social media. With the lack of proper regulations, social media provides a free market of ambiguity and concern for its users. Cookies and countless other marketing tactics have conquered the platforms that millions of people use. Valuable information is collected through these marketing efforts and are occasionally sold to other companies. Data Harvesting is becoming an ever-growing issue and consumers are aware of it. According to Edelman’s research, 49 percent of consumers are not willing to sacrifice some of their data privacy in return for a more personalized shopping experience. The future of social media heavily lies in trust!
The battle for privacy across all social media platforms is prevalent today but will only continue to escalate in the future. Social media brands can acquire the results they desire by respecting the privacy of its users. Consider all the information Facebook knows about you. Do you feel like your information is safe?
3. Computers are out, mobile devices are in
The majority of the world’s population is transitioning to mobile devices. In fact, research from Ericsson predicts the number of smartphone users to reach 6.1 billion by 2020. Smartphones are becoming the focus of social media users. Within seconds people can find the hottest gossip in the news through Snapchat and discover what their friends are doing in the moment with Instagram stories. Just imagine the future possibilities of mobile-friendly social media!
4. Virtual and augmented reality is a social reality
The world has become fascinated with virtual reality, and businesses are innovatively capitalizing on the numerous possibilities. Today children are playing with VR devices while shopping with parents at the mall. Tomorrow we could see virtual reality become incorporated into social media.
Facebook has already made efforts to combine VR with its social media, and according to Hootsuite, social media apps will use augmented reality to boost advertising revenue in the future. Are you ready for this new digital age of social media?
5. Tell an ephemeral content story
What is ephemeral content? You’ve heard of FOMO, right? Well, this “fear of missing out” is as prevalent in the digital world as it is in the real world. Ephemeral content is the media seen on any social media platform for a limited amount of time. From Instagram stories to Snapchat filters, no one wants to miss out, and capitalizing on this fear is what makes a great story. With 62 percent of people interested in a brand or product after watching a story, it shows the power of ephemeral content storytelling.
Ephemeral content is advancing and will be the future of social media as long as users continue to build the right story. Stories are growing 15 times faster than posts and feeds. When you open Instagram and Facebook, stories are at the forefront of your attention. Our minds are naturally wired to want to see what our friends are doing at that very moment. Clicking and swiping through countless short stories shared by your network of friends is hard to resist because, well, you’re intrigued by their lives. The growth of ephemeral content will only intensify in the future and will continue to be a major part of social media. Will you be ready for the advancements of stories and ephemeral content?
How to be ready
The world is shifting and so is social media. To ensure a thriving business, brands need to be aware of social media’s changing elements. As social media users, we need to quickly adapt to the changes that are evolving on our favorite social platforms. It’s easy to fall behind, and difficult to move forward without planning for the future. But understanding the future of social media today can result in the successful utilization of social media tomorrow.