Wesley Belden: The future of social media

marketingSocial media is changing the way we communicate every day. Communication is becoming more passive as opposed to being active. Social media has shifted the way we communicate with individuals and institutions and the way they communicate with us.

Instead of an immediate phone call, you can read social media messages when it suits you at your leisure. This trend is also illustrated by the overwhelming adoption of images to tell stories on social media, but the reluctance to use video.  Viewers can tend to find videos invasive because time must be allocated to watch the video, from start to finish in a linear fashion to understand the content.  Photos are viewed and internalized in a much more passive fashion.

It will become increasingly important to understand the activity of one user across multiple social media platforms. In the same way that the cloud syncs my phone, laptop, and tablet, social media will have to sync user’s content across all social platforms, so users can seamlessly join into socially based activities online. This is going to become more important as we begin to see online properties that traditionally have not been considered social media make that transition.  Netflix for example can very easily make the jump from merely displaying video content to becoming a destination where friends can remotely watch tv together.

As social media becomes more expansive, there will have to be new ways to organize it into silos of relevance, such as grouping content based on overlapping meaning. Social media posts about someone’s dinner should be grouped with social reviews surrounding restaurants.

Social media is evolving from social graphs of history: Facebook timeline to instantaneous representation such as Snapchat and Twitter. For businesses this implies that their social media needs need to represent the here and now. For example, airlines that have put together “real time solutions teams” in order to provide social media customer support. Musical artists put together social media streams updating continuously to show you exactly what the world is saying about them right now.

As we live our lives day to day, people better get used social media and how it influences what we do and how we communicate every day. Get comfortable with social media and its various uses and applications because social media is becoming a more and more important aspect of our daily lives as we communicate with each other.

Wesley Belden is the CEO and founder of Waffle, a website that lets you manage all your social media accounts in one place.


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