Social media marketing: Where is it headed?

Social media is seemingly the greatest marketing strategy since the advent of the thirty second radio spot. But where are we going to go from here and is this as good as it is going to get? What and where is the next giant leap in technology going to take us in this connected world of ever increasing augmented reality?

Where are we now with social media?

While businesses are doing their best to get to grips with the social media band wagon, individuals within specific spheres of expertise are grappling with the same social demand that social networking is placing on them.

Audiences are demanding an immediate response to the most inane of questions that could easily have been found with a simple Google search, but social media’s “always on” attention consuming profile means that many advanced users and businesses are spending more and more time having to ensure that they are responding to queries rather than generating value rich content and indeed running their businesses.

While there are great online reputation management tools all over the internet; from the free lightweight tools such as Google Alerts; through to the more advanced and paid for services of Radian 6 and SaidWot, sometimes the sheer volume of queries and the management of a reputation becomes too large for an individual who needs to split their daily focus in many directions.

What is the extreme?

Gatorade’s social media monitoring has been taken to new levels of interaction. In the company’s headquarters they have installed a state-of-the-art social media listening centre. The centre boasts 9 large LCD screens with real-time data being displayed around the clock.

The data covers the sentiment around the brand in social mentions as well as which blogs and posts featuring the brand are trending.

This level of data allows Gatorade to truly be in touch with its audience and their needs and wants from the brand. This information is then translated into further product development and brand enhancement to ensure that Gatorade remains one of the leaders of energy drinks in the world.

When is this too much?

The way that the social media platforms are interconnected does leave a lot of room for improvement. I will explain with the following analogy. Each social media platform is like an island in the sea; and the sea in this case is all the content that is being generated around the world.

Aggravating this metaphor even further is that each island that exists has villages of people.

In other words, an “expert” in South Africa (village) on Twitter (island) is not necessarily seen to be an expert in Australia on the same matter. There is no connection currently between these two villages. Further to that, this expert may not be seen as an expert on another platform (island); even though there is a sea of content connecting the two.

What this means is that we have these pockets of expertise that are not interacting and sharing knowledge and growth. We are surrounded by a sea of content, when we need a sea of context.

In my opinion, and that of a few other industry players, we “need” a platform to underpin each of the islands of information to share knowledge and expertise.

This will in turn create a true sea of context that will allow social platforms like Foursquare and Google+ to be especially powerful; as it will then be leveraging on creating a singular profile around each user as opposed to a fragmented image.

When we get to this place, where each social platform allows users to share their profiles across platforms, then we will enter a new age of social media where demographics take on a whole new meaning and online reputation management will become a science that can look at an entire persona.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.