Social media was the latest new thing; it first became popular with technology early adopters and millennials. Overtime, social media user demographic has changed, including older ages as well. The excitement is no longer from its creation, but that it has actually become a useful tool in the marketplace. People started using it for personal updates but now realize it has become and will continue to be used for business applications as well.
Going “viral” used to be a main focus and now gears have shifted towards creating meaningful engagement. Content marketing through social media enables companies to inform their customers about whom they are and what products and/or services they offer. According to Larry Kim, “Content is king;” brands are able to share images, videos, infographics in addition to traditional text-based content quickly, at a low cost to a large audience. Social media plays a vital role in content marketing; which is a driving force behind industry thought leadership. Positioning a company as a valued resource center for information builds credibility. This combined with brand awareness can help achieve sales opportunities. It allows companies to engage directly with consumers and learn about them and their opinions on their brand.
According to Chris Marentis of iMedia Connection, there will be a huge shift is data collection through social media in the future. Big data will be even bigger; the connection and reporting capabilities for companies. Connecting personalized customer information with the power of social media allows for real time data collection. This will aid in customer service and also allow companies to reach consumers real-time with offers as they walk into a store. Currently, much of the interaction data is closed in social media, making it hard for researchers to get a comprehensive view of a consumer.
Overtime, this will change; data will become for commoditized as platforms open their site information. According to Marentis’ article, author and social media writer Mark Schaefer estimates “that by 2020, data will increase 600 percent, 75 percent of which will be created by customers, not businesses. Finding ways to mash up and use these data will create huge opportunity.”