As social media evolves, we often take a close-up look at specific changes happening on certain platforms. But if you're putting precious sweat-equity into keeping your marketing strategy current, it's helpful to step back and see the big picture of where social is going. These are just a few social media changes that are on the rise across many networks.
1. Payment Features
While Snapchat's Snapcash grabbed the attention of users and marketers alike, it might not be the only social media company vying for the privilege of handling your cash in the future. A feature buried in Facebook's Messenger app would allow payments between friends if activated. (And Apple Pay and Google Wallet are already battling for dominance in the mobile payment market.)
2. Demand for Real Privacy
Users are getting increasingly disenchanted with the illusions of privacy on social networks. Facebook continues to update its privacy settings and offer users more options, but sells mountains of data to advertisers. Repeated hacks of Snapchat has resulted in supposedly disappearing pictures reappearing around the web. The boom in popularity of anonymous networks like Yik Yak and Secret show that users want to share without sharing themselves, and there's no sign of that sentiment going away anytime soon.
3. Mobile Becoming Even More Popular
Two-thirds of smartphone and tablet users are accessing social media from their devices. That along with the fact that more than one billion people will use mobile as their only form of internet in 2015 is enough to keep mobile top of mind when creating your strategy by offering easily consumed content that displays well on these devices.
4. Visual Content is King
Instagram and Vine are growing at a breakneck pace. Why? The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, making pictures, video and infographics easily digestible content that tell a richer story about your brand than words alone. This type of content is also more easily shared by your following. People do what works, so expect visual elements to explode on social in the near future.
5. Advertising Keeps Growing
According to Business Insider, social media ad spend will reach $8.5 billion in 2014, and is expected to rise up to almost $14 billion in 2018. As different networks continue to pop up and as analytics, data, and reach continue to improve it's easy to see why marketers are putting more of their eggs into the social media basket.
Now that you know how social media as a whole is changing over time, you can adapt strategy to get the most return on your efforts. Creating mobile-friendly visual content, advertising where appropriate, and putting a premium on privacy are just a few ways you can stay on top of the ever-evolving social media landscape.