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The future of social media

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Another great presenter at the Social Marketing Conference was Mark Schaefer, talking about the future of social media.  The session was terrific, as much for the content as his speaking style.

Mark thinks there are basically three and soon-to-be four digital revolutions –

  • We started in the digital age with an emphasis on presence – think back to when we first heard of the World Wide Web.  Our whole goal at that time was to just get a website up.  It didn’t need to do anything; it just needed to be there.
  • Then the advent of search engine optimization.  It wasn’t enough to just have a site, now we needed people to find it.  SEO strategists started making lots of money on helping us get found.
  • Utility – So we have a site, we’ve been found and now we want to provide value and be useful when someone lands there.  Social media has increased this need to be useful.   Jay Baer talks a lot about this in his book, Youtility.

As we get to the end of each era, it gets increasing more difficult to be successful in the social space, so how are we going to deal with it?

Current numbers estimate that data will increase 600 percent by 2020 -- that would be the equivalent of six internets! With increase data comes increased noise – how can you standout in all that racket?

It is estimated that someone could conceivably consume up to 10-15 hours of content per day.  Mark calls it “content shock.” An average person has the potential of 1,500 possible stories popping up in his or her Facebook stream the moment they log on.  Yikes!

So if you are a marketer and you are using social to get your message across, how can you possibly compete with the 1,499 other posts that are out there?

Mark says you want to be first, be relevant and be timely.  Find an untapped niche and be the best you can be there. Never stop creating new and interesting content. And look for new ways to get your content shared.

Now for the fourth digital revolution?  Wearable technology, augmented reality, and filters. We’re not just going to be in social media with a few clicks – we are now going to experience it in a much more complete and interactive way than ever before.

Imagine the possibilities. What does marketing look like if there are no boundaries?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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