We were recently asked to give a senior Client some thoughts on what the future of social media looked like - here are the thoughts -- utop...

Futurescaping - dystopia or utopia?


We were recently asked to give a senior Client some thoughts on what the future of social media looked like - here are the thoughts -- utopia or dystopia for brands ?
1. Web 3.0 will be driven by social media – the future is all about semantic web where most info in search and networks will be driven from our friends and networks
2. Sharing data will only increase as people become willing to share more to get involved with social media more – FB connect is now 2-3 years old but developments with “like” everywhere and FB becoming the no1 referrer to many articles mean people have to be connected and are willing to share their data to be part of it. The flip of this is that there needs to be defined rewards for sharing and Privacy needs to be taken v seriously.
3. If Content is king aggregation is definitely Queen - as content proliferates across all areas (not just news but articles, games, competitions, apps etc etc and sharing is enhanced within social media people will want aggregation to make sense of it all and to guide their way through it.
4. Portable friends networks will become more prevalent as people want just one place to connect, connect, and socialise – FB are winning this game at present but who knows who might nail this one.
5. Influencer marketing will only increase in importance as consumer power increases and people want true recommendations coming real people
6. Location based activity will grow an grow – the success of Foursquare and Facebook Places is testimony to this and with the advent of RFID people will want to tell everyone where they are and expect appropriate rewards for doing so (this this only enhances the data story)
7. Mobile will continue to the touchpoint for social media – mobile is now 25% of all web traffic and as smartphones reach the mainstream mobile marketing will finally come of age (this only enhances location based developments)
8. Social media will become more pervasive as increasingly people us it to tell them everything that is going on from news to sport to gossip and recommendations – brands will need to have defined social media policies to cope with this including clear escalation procedures.
9. Social media monitoring will become the norm – connected with the point above brands will need to have ongoing listening services to know what is being said about them and their competitors and tap into the treasure trove of info in social media.
10. Social commerce will become the norm as people react to recommendations from friends and brands they will want a one stop place to browse, recommend and buy.
11. Finally the growth in social media I think will also beckon a new golden age of creativity as it becomes increasingly tough for brands to not only reach their consumers but to elicit a reaction – this coupled with the huge increases in tech developments and the challenge to make ideas work cross platform will drive better creative ideas and execution.

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