Social marketing will enter a very exciting phase in the new year. The name of the game will be the same but the theatre of operations will be quite different.

As we have seen in 2017, social media marketing has become more location-based, mobile and personalized. These are the three unique aspects that will help redefine social media in the future not just in 2017.

Social technologies will remain at the heart of people that are connected to the Internet. Still, social media marketing remains the most effective way of engaging with the populace and has become an integral part of the marketing mix of businesses big or small.

Social media has become a significant contributor to our personal and business life. I know only one person in my circle of business and personal friends that still doesn’t have a social media account on Facebook! Even my mother of 80 years has a social media/Facebook account and she uses it more than I do. lol

So what will become of social media marketing in the new year? How would a technology that changed the way we connect with each other change our lives further than it already has?

Will there be new technologies that will make or break the leaders of the social media world?

What will the future hold for us as a species as we become more socially connected, albeit in cyberspace? And by this I mean irrespective of the depth of those online connections. Because let’s face it. The majority of my online friends are not exactly my closest friends and I’m certain that is the same for you.

Social media entertainment boom

For the first time in human history, around a billion people saw the Gangnam style video on YouTube in 2013. A billion! That’s absurd.

Entertainment and your popularity will be defined on how you are received in the social media space. More shares and more views mean that social media will shift its focus to become an entertainment powerhouse and social media marketing will have to refocus its attention in coming up with content that is not only text-based, but more on engaging videos and audio.

This means that there would be a paradigm shift away from traditionally watching television to watching online. And more specifically, I imagine that this will shift closer to social media platforms. Imagine watching a new blockbuster movie that’s just come out on the circuit…..but now you watch it through Facebook at the same time your friends are watching it and commenting amongst each other just as you normally would in a movie house.

It will also mean more people wanting to have their music and TV shows all accessible from within their social media accounts.

Social television

As we have become more connected with social media, we will be watching our television through social networks. Sites like Hulu will be more integrated with social media sites to deliver their content where the eyeballs are spending more time.

This will make social media marketers scamper for places on content delivery sites and the social media sites jockeying for position to get consumers attention. As television becomes more social, so too television networks will see more rationale behind audience reactions and commentary happening more and more in real-time. The largest shift in online marketing will be the far superior marketing analytics available to, say a television network, streaming your favourite show via Facebook. They will be able to aggregate demographic data to levels never seen before.

Targeted news

Social media marketers will have to realize that the news will become more personalized and targeted. How the news will be delivered will depend on the reader. This personalization of the news is not new. It has been the norm since there were news aggregators on the Internet. What will make this Internet news a success is the fact that it will allow more social interactions to happen in real time and pushed news items will be targeted to your individual interests. I plan to immediately turn down the number of negative news items put in front of me. Come to think of it, I look forward to the control I’ll have on, not only the shows and movies I watch, but also the type of news I choose to view.

What will become of the next wave of social media changes and improvements? What will your social media channels look like in the next 3-5 years?

I think more challenges and essentially more “complex” challenges await for social media marketers in the new year.