John Rampton writes about 5 trends he sees reshaping social media on Entrepreneur.com. He is a contributing entrepreneur who thinks it's not just social networking, now itÛªs social media. ItÛªs our media landscape. ItÛªs mass communication. And hereÛªs where itÛªs headingåÊand what it means for businesses, from "5 Trends Reshaping Social Media."
1. Social networks are becoming search engines.
"Eighty-eight percent of consumers online are influenced by reviewsåÊand online comments by other consumers. They areåÊlooking directly to sites like YouTube and Facebook (where every company has a presence), or in apps like Yelp. Pinterest, in particular, has a beneficial role in this shift: its market is largely dominated by women in their 30s with young families, a demographic known to do most of the shopping. The service is also shoppingåÊfocused, bouncing users from their tiles straight to company websites atåÊan exponentially increasing rate."
2. Facebook is moving toward an older demographic.
"According to anåÊinfographic produced by AdweekåÊusing data from eMarketer detailing the demographic trends in social media for 2016, Facebook is still leading the market among social networking, but itÛªs thereÛªs a projected 7.6 percentåÊshare increase among users 65 years old and older," Rampton wrote.
"ItÛªs predicted that in 2016, marketers going to amp up their advertising efforts to include even more targeted ads on Facebook using the information freely shared on their services. As for other social networks, the 25-to-35 year-old age group still maintains a stronghold across the board, although Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr are trending younger. There seems be little to no senior engagement with Tumblr and Instagram."
3. The future is handheld.
"This past March marked the first time the four leading messaging apps in the world has amassedåÊthe same amount of usersåÊas the top four social networking platforms. These mobile apps not only allow users to text and call long distance connections without paying long-distance fees, but it lets them construct a world where their favorite brands, publicationsåÊand services are consolidated into one personalized package that can be accessed anywhere," Rampton said.
"New services have discovered the impact of bringing their products directly to their customers via messaging apps: SnapchatÛªsåÊDiscover functionåÊlaunched with 11 major international publications to great acclaim and is planning for expansion."
4. Politics will play out on social media.
"As more and more social media users turn to Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the news (about 63 percentåÊof users), it has never been more important for political candidates and key global figures to engage online. Whereas in earlier years, a social media presence was a novelty move, it is now necessary to be active on Facebook, TwitteråÊand Instagram."
5. Big data is used to personalize, and culture is king.
"Internet marketers have never had this much access to information about consumer preferences. With big data comes an opportunity to personalize their services to suit each consumer, form relationships and create unique experiences. Products that do well are the ones that deliver not just a commodity,åÊbut a culture: either an incentive towards social justice, a mood, or inclusion into a club."
Social media is the new word-of-mouth and you need to focus on what's being said about your accounts. AudienceSCAN's report on Social Feedback Providers can help you! 6.9% of U.S. adults provided feedback directly to a brand through social media during the past 6 months. The gender divide is pretty equal among posters, so target men and women. 26% plan to attend holiday parades, which you can bet they'll be providing feedback on. 49% shopped at a locally owned business on Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Thanksgiving), so don't be afraid to ask them for GOOD reviews/feedback THIS year! Social Feedback Providers are 132% more likely than average shoppers to respond to ads on a social networks, and that's where your ads need to be!