Social media is dead! Long live ‘social’ media

Social media is dead! There, I’ve said it. Controversial I know and maybe it’s the heat or my impending holiday. But, as I pause for thought in 2018, it is my inexorable conclusion after surveying the media landscape.

We’ve got increasingly poor returns from organic content on social media (https://blog.hootsuite.com/organic-reach-declining/), the algorithms are incorrectly skewing the content we see in our newsfeeds, influencers are increasingly no more than peddlers of product placements while Facebook and LinkedIn are fighting over who can be the bigger data platform.

Just over 11 years into the social media ‘revolution’, the format has turned into something like the TV programme Big Brother. At first it was exciting, fresh and genuinely engaging. The people on it were either interesting members of the public or proper celebrities.

Over time, the content on it got ever more shocking and tasteless, the contestants more downmarket and the viewing figures for the programme plummeted, prompting a change of channel.

So it is with Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram - I deliberately leave out Twitter which, whilst still algorithmic is still true to its original principles. These sites are filled with more and more marketing-driven puff, algorithm-busting content and people desperate for attention - either personally or professionally. The result, I believe, will be less and less engagement.

Where next then? With billions of users of sites worldwide and seemingly every human being over the age of 6 weeks welded to a smartphone, what is the next stage?

The answer is? Yes, you’ve guessed it - ‘social’ media. The next phase of the social media revolution is that we take the best bits from the social networks and we employ them in a more sophisticated manner. Looking into my crystal ball I see:

 

·      A resurgence in the role of the website. More user-friendly than before and looking more akin to Instagram than Wordpress, they will still have a vital role to play in engagement.

·      A rise in social messaging sites being used as micro social networks. That marketing team group you created? This is effectively a private network for people to engage with one another.

·      There will also be more use of Private Groups as people try to cut through the narcissists and algorithm-friendly marketing blurb.

·      More control over influencers and more scepticism about what they are blogging or vlogging about.

·      More under-the-radar networking. Many Gen Xers and certainly Baby Boomers are getting sick of the Millennial malaise of ‘look at me, look at me, look at me’. Much quality networking is done without being in full view of the world.

·      Some form or return to traditional marketing and sales methods. Communications is all about using a variety of tools, then testing and measuring to see which works best at what time.

·      A more measured approach to social networks. This includes understanding Twitter lists and social dashboards, being clever with content, targeting people one on one and really understanding audience needs.

 

In many ways, nothing has changed. You still need to have:

 

1.     A decent digital and social strategy

2.     A growth mindset and thirst for innovation within your business

3.     Great and engaging content

4.     A willingness to engage with your customers

5.     An understanding of advertising

6.     Control over your data

 

In a nutshell, DNAsix® - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02dN2Vs3Gak

 

Of course, I could be completely wrong. I’d love to find out what you think though and fully expect to be challenged!

 

Stay cool folks!

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