Everywhere you turn there’s a plethora of content talking about the dos and don’ts of social.
This in itself exemplifies the challenge facing social media and marketing today – the deluge of content being created and pushed (note: not necessarily shared).
Bombardment Brings Barriers
As we keep being reminded, content is supposedly the fuel of social. The premise is that by providing material sought, valued and shared by your audience, you circumvent the barriers that exist for traditional ‘interruption’ marketing activities.
This once sound strategy though has become a victim of its own success…EVERYONE is now creating content resulting in the quality being delivered coming down and down. Audiences are being bombardedwith poor, irrelevant content. Think of your own feeds, how much of it do you actually consume and value?
As a consequence the content platforms, as well as consumers themselves, have put filters in place to sift for only the most interesting, entertaining and informative content. In essence, they’ve put the barriers up. We’ve gone full circle to having to create impact with our content to ensure that it cuts through the clutter…to interrupt!
Startups Take The Lead
So what does this mean for the future of social media and marketing?
My view is that as new technologies are developed around social listening and targeting, both the value of the content itself, and its relevance to the context in which it is delivered, will increase considerably.
The big social brands are focused on this, but I also see startups playing a crucial role – they’re the ones identifying new problems to solve, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Just the shear volume of startups that I come across who are innovating around social makes me believe that they hold the key to improving the experience for audiences, and the impact for social marketing practitioners alike.
Yet, this is just the start – the real revolution is around the corner.
The Redefinition of Context
What social is and means will be redefined with the next wave of the Internet Revolution – the “Age of Context”.
The ‘internet of things’, wearable computing and underlying technologies such as cloud and big data will change our whole pattern of behaviour and engagement with each other, and the world around us.
Take Google Glass and think of the social applications this one device can bring.
For example, London-based startup Glass Fit Games are developing an augmented reality exercise app for Glass that allows you to run, cycle or even ski against virtual representations of your friends – just imagine what this means for the Nike+ community.
Greater unification of the real world with the virtual will merge the context of all our social engagements to give more relevance wherever, whenever and with whomever we’re interacting. This will be the new age of social.
Companies and brands that embrace and leverage these new innovations will create a whole new level of relationship with customers, and with it develop new models for marketing and business.
Watch this space.
Find more insights on social marketing for startups at John’s blog – get2growth.com
Image Credit: Wikimedia, LoicLeMeur