Social media is a constantly changing animal. As it grows, develops and changes, brands need to be responsive to it. Even if it to compete with their competitors who have are receptive to its transformations, inevitably their strategies will have to be pliable and quickly ready to be enforced. Social media is not going away and will always be a form of communication, information getting and research for people and generations to come.
So, what are companies to do? They need to know where future trends are going and how it will impact them. Customers who follow businesses are looking for information. If your business does not put any out, someone else will. Conversations will happen whether your company is a part of it or not. A brand has to be on many social media platforms in order to be part of the dialogue and administer some control over it. Twitter is the top social media conversation piece with blogs and forums following in second. However, new tools will replace old tools, so a company needs to prepared for that. Remember MySpace? It fell to a far second to Facebook over the past few years. So as new media is created, companies must be ready to expand into these new ventures and be on the cusp instead of falling behind others.
As more and more companies get into social media and the ones currently there continue to expand, the need for consumer ratings to equate with ROI will become more and more crucial. With customers looking for ratings from other customers, the ability to readily show that is imperative. ROI of adding ratings to e-commerce sites is starting to become established, but it may go beyond that. Customers may turn away from sites that do not show ratings in lieu of others that will.
Companies have determined that one social media account is not enough. Whole Foods has accounts for each store as well as foodie groups. The more specified accounts will attract the attention of more customers overall. One account cannot contain all the specific information that many accounts can provide. Also, having more tailored accounts can create different strategies for those accounts based on age, interests, and geographical locations.
Cohen, Heidi (July 30, 2012), Social Media’s Future: 5 Important Trends [Research & Charts], http://heidicohen.com/social-media-future-5-important-trends/
Tobin, Jim (July 28, 2008), 5 Predictions on The Future of Social Media, http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-trends/future-social-media/