Cast your mind back to 2008. Myspace was at an all-time high with 75.9 active million users and your main worry in life was whether or not your profile looks better than your friends'. The words 'hashtag' and 'timeline' were unheard of, and times were much simpler.
Now fast forward just over a decade to the present day. Feels like you just stepped out of Marty McFly's time machine, doesn't it? Social media has blossomed so rapidly that trying to imagine what to expect 10 years from now is an almost impossible task.
Here are the growing trends that will influence the future of marketing on social media.
From public to private
With more and more of our private information being stored and managed digitally, it's no wonder that we're becoming wary when it comes to data privacy. In 2015, the number of people using private messaging services (such as WhatsApp or Messenger) exceeded the number of people using social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook for the first time - and the gap is widening.
Many are starting to question the need to constantly update their peers on their life and activities, and wondering where this leaves them with regards to protecting their privacy. Facebook and Twitter are notorious for online bullying and harassment, and more and more people are choosing to share their moments selectively, rather than on a wide social scale.
As a result, new marketing opportunities are appearing on the horizon. Facebook (WhatsApp's parent company) has already announced that next year, WhatsApp will implement advertising in the status tab of the app. Needless to say, this is just the beginning of private messaging apps becoming monetized.
Influencer marketing isn't dead!
Unfortunately for our sanity, the age of beauty blender reviews and 'how to' videos is only on the rise. By 2020, influencer marketing is on target to become an £8 billion industry. Mainly targeting millennials and Gen Z, the power of influencer marketing is growing across a variety of platforms.
Influencers are becoming more product-savvy, researching the right things to say to their audiences for a more direct form of targeting. Those that were discovered to be toxic or troublesome are gradually losing their platforms, and being replaced with trustworthy and authentic alternatives.
Micro-influencers continue to be popular with businesses, due to their powerful impact on specific audience niches. With content less likely to be driven by sponsors and more steered by the product, audiences will be happy to take recommendations from people with whom they've developed a relationship of trust.
Chatting to chatbots
If you're looking for a simple and effective way to reach out to a brand, odds are you'll turn to a chatbot. An artificially intelligent friend at your beck and call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's been estimated that 80% of brands will use some form of chatbot for their marketing platforms by 2020.
The quality of their consumer interactions is a vital factor in how many modern businesses are perceived, and chatbots has made it easier than ever to foster open dialogue. In many instances, human interaction is unnecessary as chatbots are able to answer consumer questions promptly and effectively.
Chatbots powered by AI are the future of social media marketing. Imagine being able to converse with your audience while monitoring each individual conversation and extracting mass data, all simultaneously! It's clear that chatbots are here to stay.
For brands and businesses, social media is only going to continue to prove its value as it continues to develop. What is certain however, is how powerful it is in targeting the right audiences and propelling your business into the spotlight.
The future of Google
If you can believe it, Google Ads is almost 18 years old! In almost two decades, it has become the only important platform for standard keyword-based advertising. Currently, targeting is based on related keywords, advanced demographic information and the websites your audience has visited.
However, in the future, it is expected that ads will be based on intent and behaviour, as most searches will be automated or anticipated. As a marketing agency in London, we expect advertising to become more audience-based, with greater insights into who has visited your website achieved through personas.
Google is also beginning to home in on the growth of voice search. By linking up with an Amazon Echo or Google Home, advertisers will be able to note what users are searching for or listen to, and target their ads accordingly.
The popularity of these voice assistant bots is steadily growing, with more than 100 million Alexa devices having entered circulation since their introduction - and we believe the future for voice search is bright.
Copyright 2019. Featured post made possible by The Good Marketer