Social media is on the cusp of something catastrophic, and we need to start preparing today for the future.
It is clear that with the over-saturation of social media that the ways in which we are seen by our market are changing. They changed from traditional media to social media, and they will change again. Here, I’ll take you through some of my thoughts on the forces of that change that may impact us in the coming years.
- Mental health
Generation Z are without doubt the most tuned-in generation in terms of mental health awareness. A lot of this stems from social media and the cultural shift towards supporting mental health campaigns, individually, and in the corporate world. The term ‘mindful drinking’ is also gaining popularity, in reference to how Gen-Z manage their alcohol intake to benefit their mental health. I predict similar trend will soon take hold on social media and we will have to be ready for when Gen-Z start limiting their social media use.
With this in mind, we need to be increasingly careful about the content we create. I predict that brands will soon be judged by the quality of their content and the value it brings. Think of it in food terms. Your content should be a well-balanced healthy meal that supports the body, rather than a bag of sweets that gives short term pleasure but brings disease.
While we all choose to some degree what we see on social media, it is becoming an ever-crowded place for businesses to get their content in front of their audience. Increasingly, brands need to pay for coverage, and while the highly targeted nature of social advertising is extremely useful, it will only increase as more and more brands do battle for our attention.
What this will mean is that more and more of marketing budgets will need to go on reaching only the audience we want. That skill will become more in demand, and brands will be socially and financially penalised for misplacing content.
3. Real-world experience
In a world where everything is available on-demand and digital experiences are now standard, those who make the biggest impact on our attention will be the people who master blended digital and real-world experiences. The pandemic created a market for digital concerts for example, and they will continue to some degree making live-events premium experiences.
That goes for marketing too. In a world where everything is digital, going in the opposite direction with highly-targeted creative paper and print campaigns, I believe, will become the ultimate way to get attention.
Social isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but if we’re trying to get the attention of our audience, we really need to start thinking outside the box. As Marty Neumeier said “When everybody zigs, zag.”