“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
This old adage, by French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, is especially true of social media. It has allowed us to pursue long-standing activities in new and innovative ways.
As technology becomes more ubiquitous and connection speeds soar – the future looks bright for the sector. Join us now as we travel down the rabbit hole and take a look at what 2013 and beyond holds for the social web.
- The New News
Print media is seriously ill, if not dying out, and this is reflected in the way we interact with news. The days where a small group of publications fought viciously over the attention of highly-defined demographics are long forgotten. The rise of niche publications has turned into a sort of rule 34 for news – meaning there is now an online publication for any conceivable taste.
We’re increasingly being asked to directly getting our news from like-minded people on social media channels, and this trend is only set to continue. This isn’t necessarily a good thing however, and we could be at risk of creating increasingly closed circles of information – creating an inherent bias, and closing ourselves off from new and external sources.
Action– If you are a news outlet, expand your audience by creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Post news items, encourage people to tell you what is going on in their industry, and utilise the channels to find industry relevant news to write about.
- Social Customer Service
Whilst the majority of big-name brands now have a presence on social media – the uptake of such channels as a customer service tool has been inconsistent. Organisations that do use them in this way seem to be enjoying success – indicating the trend could be here to stay.
Although it is a relatively time and resource-intensive activity, companies that maintain a social presence but don’t respond to customer service issues are painting a bad impression. Similarly, those that do respond (even to the most inane of queries) are demonstrating they care and are willing to go the extra mile.
Action– If you don’t currently have a Twitter or Facebook account, set one up. Then, employ a dedicated person to check the accounts regularly for messages. If someone has tweeted you a customer service query, you NEED to respond within 24 hours. No buts- even if it is the weekend. Simply set up alerts to notify you, so you know when to respond.
- Social on the Go
The global smartphone market is exploding and alongside social and geo-location, it is creating a perfect storm of technology. A future where mobile devices aren’t more prevalent is inconceivable, and Google’s recently-unveiled Project Glass could serve as an indicator as to where this trend is heading in the coming years.
Both Facebook and newcomer Google+ have been keen to jump on the geo-location bandwagon and are now offering brands and businesses the chance to link their web presence to their brick-and-mortar stores. It’s safe to assume this juncture isn’t a dead end, and network operators and businesses alike will be increasing their efforts in this area in the coming years.
Action– Is your website smartphone-friendly? Can consumers access your website via their mobile, on all browsers? Encourage your staff to check-in on Facebook when they come to work; can consumers be entered into a prize draw if they check-in at your business location?
Here are some great examples of big brands using geo-location as part of their marketing initiatives.
How is your business utilising the social media platform? If you aren’t currently taking advantage of channels like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, you need to get your bottom in gear. 2013 is all about creating, optimising and marketing content, mobile marketing and social media.
If you haven’t started any of these digital trends yet, get your pulse on the trigger and get going!
(Images courtesy of Shutterstock)
This article was provided by Custard, a leading marketing agency in the North West that specialises in the latest, most effective marketing techniques. Visit the site today or speak to the experts- we’d love to hear from you!