Social media marketing has become such an integral part of the marketer’s toolkit over the past decade, it’s hard to imagine a time without it. However, social media as an industry is still in its infancy and has a lot of growing and evolving to do. Considering we’ve only had mainstream social media platforms for less than 15 years, there’s no telling what another 50 will bring.
Unfortunately for many marketers, it’s difficult to imagine what the future of social media will look like because the industry has advanced so quickly. Should we pursue 360 video? Augmented reality? Or is that all hype and it’s best to stick to traditional text content?
To lend some fresh insight into social media marketing, we’ve asked a group of seasoned industry experts…
What’s the Future of Social Media Marketing?
Their answers might lead to a few changes in your strategy…
Jeff Lizik , EVP, Digital Marketing at Z Brand
“As we are seeing the move to video become accelerated, it is going to become a necessity for all in the near future. We are seeing an adoption of the most advanced form of advertising available to the masses right now. 10-15 years out, we have to be looking at what will that technology be.
Probably VR and/or AR. Whatever it is, the tech of the future is going to be our gateway to social media and the main means of marketing to prospects. It may even be something not yet invented.”
Ishveen Anand, CEO & Founder of OpenSponsorship
“The future of social media marketing seems to be leaning more towards influencer marketing because of how genuine that sponsorship can be perceived from the audience’s perspective. As we evolve to a more ad-run-world, people are getting annoyed with how many ads there are in every aspect of their lives. Influencer marketing is a nice break for ads, while still technically being an ad.
The best Influencer Marketers have developed these great friendly and familiar relationships with their audiences and a sponsorship is more seen as a friend recommended a product or service to a friend rather than the traditional exhausted sponsorship deal where it just feels forced.”
Vladimir Gendelman, Founder & CEO of Company Folders, Inc
“Virtual reality and augmented reality will be a game changers for both the consumer and marketer in social media.
People will not only get to view ads, but they will become part of it. This will allow consumers to get a taste of how that hot pair of sunglasses might look on them or how that new chair would look in their living room without leaving the house. It will be in marketers’ best interest to make sure these options are available to the consumers to stay ahead.”
Meaghan Thomas , Director of International Search & Social at MyUS.com
“By 2027, ad fatigue will be an even larger challenge than it is today. To cut through that blind-eye barrier, advertisers will need to get personal in meaningful ways.
You will now be the person that “sells” the product to yourself. As you’re browsing social in virtual reality, 3D ads appear. You’ll be the model, wearing the dress they’re trying to sell. You can move around the picture of you in the dress to see how it will look on your body. Not loving how it lays on your torso?
Cross out that midsection and more relevant dress will appear. A “buy it now” action results in the dress being delivered to your door in an hour – even if you haven’t shopped with that store before – thanks to instant, universal address books and payment methods. The future is all about meaningful hyper-personalization and ease of use.”
Laura Hall, Marketing Executive at Shiply
“Social media will become more fluid and will hold much more information about you. The current separation of each platform will change and shared information between platforms may become the norm.
Automation will allow marketers to make campaigns easily. They will be able to select their brand’s tone of voice and the topic, and the platforms will automatically be optimized for each platform, and full of personalization towards targeted groups.
There are likely to be some more social media platforms on the scene with different uses, perhaps there will be dating sites linked to your social media and matches made based on your social media activity alone.”
James Lester, Marketer at Alert1
“Moving away from smartphones to new gadgets and implants is the first step that we are likely to see in the next 15 years.
Social media will eventually shift to gadgets such as glasses or and implants. Augmented reality is the future of social media. Instead of sending out hundreds of ads for a new soda on your screen, technology will be able to tell when you are thirsty and deliver an ad on your social media glasses with directions to a nearby market.
Precision, accuracy, and instant gratification advertising is the future of social media marketing. The more of our lives people are willing to share the better marketers will be able to give them the products they want.”
Zachary Jarvis, Digital Marketer & Founder of Magnate
“The future of social media marketing is integration. Now, social media is housed in apps and on websites; in the future it will be in everything. Social media won’t be on the Internet, it will be the Internet. Communication, games, social media, experiences… they will all be part of the same thing.
You’ll play a VR game and see a movie you like in the post-apocalyptic wreckage. You seamlessly start watching the movie. Then your social feed shows an offer at a local restaurant. Three of your friends are close by, you call them and go, seeing real recommendations pop up in augmented reality. Content you want will appear in content you’re already enjoying.
Technology in 15 years will look as different as an iPhone 8 looks to a Nokia 3310. What will stay the same is people and our need to make genuine connections with them.”
Chloe Mitchell , Director of Influencer Relations at The Social Select
“Looking ahead in social media marketing, we will see social media influencers more closely integrated into brand teams and playing a much more significant role in the creative and marketing process.
While many brands are still having trouble entrusting influencers with creative control, we are beginning to see a shift towards more brands recognizing the incredible value that comes with allowing influencers the creative freedom to tailor brand messaging in a way that most authentically relates to their audience.
We are already seeing this trend with Viacom’s marketing group tapping Snapchat creator Shaun McBride to become a creative strategy consultant last month. McBride’s role will include creating original content as well as consulting on social media campaigns for Viacom’s advertisers on social platforms.
Late last year, CNN bought YouTuber, Casey Neistat’s social sharing app, Beme only to shut down the app and have Neistat build out a new division inside CNN where he will appeal to the younger demographic with high quality content creation and compelling video news.”
Morgan O’Mara, Marketing Manager at Shred Nations
“In a study from Pew Research, 62% of people get their news from social media, with 18% doing so very often. This shows that social media is rapidly moving to the top of all new sources. In the future, we can expect to see social media replaces many publications or see publications move to strictly social platforms.
Social Media Marketing will become a pay to play platform for businesses. It will move to mirror Google AdWords and compete on the local front. Social will become extremely targeted and one of the best way to reach your audience.”
Teresa Walsh, Marketing Executive at Cazana.com
“Social media will become 100% pay to play. We are already seeing this massively on Social Media giants Facebook and Instagram. Facebooks algorithm is making organic reach impossible for companies especially those with fewer followers/fans and making paid adverts and boosted posts critical to succeed.
Paid adverts are also dominant on other social media channels such as Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest. In 10 years time if you don’t have a Social Media budget you might as well get out of the game.”
Nicole Bedeau, President of BLPR Digital Strategies
“A decade from today social media marketing will be an experience integrated with offline marketing. In future all bricks and mortar stores will include a social media element for customers when they are physically in the stores.
We are already seeing this evolution with Amazon’s new bookstores. Perhaps customers will have to be logged in to enter the store or stores will conduct all of their sales transactions through social media platforms directly and will do away with cash registers or robust websites for payment.
The future of marketing and the sales process will be done on social media exclusively and phone wallets and virtual currency will become the norm.”
Shane Ragiel, Digital Media Director at Chacka Marketing
“The future of social media marketing has yet to be unlocked. In 10-15 years, marketers should expect to seamlessly track a user across every social platform to see the multi-touch interactions with their brands.
Currently, social channels are in proprietary silos, but once technology breaks these walls down, advertisers will see the impact social plays in their marketing mix.
From a user side, social media ads will become even more native and ad units will provide users the desire to engage. Users will also see more augmented reality in their social channels and be reintroduced to catalog shopping virtually, bringing products and stores into their homes.
By increasing the value to the advertiser, by seeing a complete view of conversion tracking, and value to the user, increasing the desire to engage online will continue to drive social media marketing’s place in advertiser’s mix.”
Simon Ensor , Managing Director of Yellowball
“Social media is an integral part of our lives and as advances in technology continue to be included as part of platforms we will see them further entrenched in everything we do. Social commerce will be what Ebay was for peer to peer selling, with users paying via what could quite easily be Facebook’s version of Apple Pay. Expect to see brands offering exclusive product releases to their followers, and only purchasable via their partnered social media platform!
Furthermore, we believe that augmented or virtual reality will give users an outlet via their phone or headset and as such do not be surprised if the larger, wealthier platforms continue to acquire companies in either the AR or VR space.”
Alice Bedward , Marketing Executive at Randstadmena
“Social media marketing is going to become more personalized, and at the same time, less human. In the next 10-15 years, AI and algorithms will lead the way with social media CRM, generating more relevant, more meaningful, and more personalized interactions between brands and users, which will foster long-term value-generating relationships. AI powered CRM systems will allow companies to effectively address the needs and concerns of customers almost instantaneously.
As fostering customer loyalty becomes more and more important through social media channels, chatbots that respond, evolve, and react to users in real time, providing custom experiences and information. Likewise, as AI becomes more developed and complex, capable of natural language, its functions will extend past chatbots, to creating articles, blogs, and social posts.”
Jake Braun, Co-founder of Kapok Marketing
“Within 15 years, social media marketing will have evolved drastically and in ways we can’t even predict now, because social media itself is still evolving. If we look back, social media itself only came into existence a little less than 15 years ago.
Given that, it’s virtually impossible to predict what it will evolve into. We may not even be using the same social platforms that we do now, or at the very least they will look totally different. What we can be sure of is that it will evolve substantially, and much like television advertising in the early years, we should expect inventory, competition, and prices to all continue to increase substantially.”
Jeremy Flinn , Founder & CMO of Stone Road Media
“It’s almost scary to see how the supply availability of social media marketing is diminishing the demand by consumer in today’s society, to let alone think about a decade from now. It will rove even more critical that the content used in future social media marketing will have to be extremely compelling and targeted to the audience of interest.”