In light of all the recent Facebook changes regarding paid advertising and reach restrictions, I tasked myself with putting a piece together on what the next big social media platform would be. Will it be Twitter or Instagram to surpass Facebook next? Could LinkedIn have more of an impact on a consu.....
Half way into my piece I highlighted the entire page and hit delete…
No one, and I mean no one, can truly predict what the next big thing in social media will be. If an “expert” tells you that they know what the next big thing will be, simply plug your ears and walk away. They are full of it.
Facebook just had its 10th birthday this year, Myspace, arguably the first major social media platform, launched in 2003, making it only a year older than Facebook. To put that into perspective, Facebook would essentially be a fourth or fifth grader if it were in the U.S. public school system (most likely at the top of its class, and Myspace would be a preteen that hit peak performance in 6th grade.)
An industry expert is defined as someone who has worked or studied in a field for at least 10 years or has logged 10,000 hours behind a specific subject. That would mean that no one, and I stress again NO ONE, is a true expert.
Working with a number of national brands on their social media campaigns on a daily basis has in no way made me an expert, but it has given me insight as to what might be lacking in this space. Below is a list of three things that marketers would benefit from, with whatever the next big social media platform might be.
Price = Free
Currently, marketers of small businesses are frustrated by the lack of reach that Facebook allows. Facebook was once the best friend of small businesses because it was a free place to promote and interact with fans of the business. Now, many small businesses need to budget for an additional expense on top of what they might be paying an internal person, or agency, to handle. Facebook has turned from friend to crooked mayor. They let you build your building, but they own the land and now it’s time to pay that luxury tax.
Business and Consumer Friendly
Facebook mastered the connection between business and pleasure. The balance of personal interaction between businesses, consumers, friends, and colleagues is what made Facebook perfect for everyone. Twitter and LinkedIn are moving in that direction, but have not quite hit their stride. Instagram, for the most part, has a long way to go.
Marketers, frankly, don’t need to know how many people their post reached or how many people’s walls the post landed on, without them paying any actual attention to it. They want to know how many people clicked on it and how many took a step beyond that. Did they go on to visit the brand’s website, or make a purchase based on the post? Relevant analytics is something all social platforms are moving toward, but whatever the next big thing is, it should get rid of the fluff and offer only the most relevant data right off the bat.
Again, I am not an expert; I just read and study social media on a daily basis. I work with business leaders and top level marketers from Monday through Sunday and I hear a lot of complaints and cheers depending on how well-planned their strategy is. I do not know everything, but I do know that social media is changing extremely quickly. Business and marketing are changing extremely quickly. It’s not for me to decide, but I hope whoever is working on the next big social platform reads this and doesn’t forget about John Smith down the street who owns John’s Candy Shop –who doesn’t have a larger budget to spend on something he is not an expert in.