Last week was all about the future of search engine optimization becoming more about the people. This week is a similar theme but for the future of social media. It’s going to become more about the people.
So, less media more social.
Social media up to this point was looking less social and more media every day which is a problem for its future. I see complaints and people discussing the lack of humanity behind social media.
The other day I read somebody’s experience where they read an interesting Tweet asking a good question. Naturally this person responded to the Tweet but never got an answer back. The original Tweet was just an automated message from a business account that wasn’t monitored by a person.
That’s not very social.
So, let’s look deeper look into how “social media” looks in the non-social era.
How It Looks Now
Social media is missing humanity. Even on Facebook which is arguably one of the more social of the social media networks there is a lack of humanity. Many accounts you’ll find with news, memes, ads but little conversation.
This is especially true when it comes to business accounts. It’s not easy to find content that engages and interests on a business level.
Social media is often driven by:
- Big Data
Those three things are extremely impersonal and don’t create a good environment of engagement. Big data and automation are the two worst enemies to engagement. Automation more so than big data.Media, automation, and big data aren't the primary way forward in the future of social media. Click To Tweet
Automation is ruining social because a lot of companies are taking the complexity out of social media with it. That means social media posts are automatically discovered and posted in a queue. Once posted, replies and engagement are ignored.
If someone replies to a business post and never receives an answer, that doesn’t reflect good. Nobody is going to follow an account that’s treated as a one way street nor are they going to engage again.
That’s not the type of impression you want to make on potential customers.
Where is the future of social media headed then?
The Future Of Social Media
You probably already have your social media profiles completely filled out and maybe are already established. You may have started posting social media posts for your business.
Maybe you’ve found that interaction with your posts isn’t good. There are better things to share on your social media accounts than just company-centric posts.
Whatever you’re posting, it needs to be more about people. There is a place for automation and big data but all social media profiles should be monitored at least daily.
If someone interacts with your post it’s best to reply to them and continue the engagement. It’s a compliment when someone interacts with your business on social media, make sure you reciprocate. There are things you can do to show a personal side of your business too which improve your social presence even more.
There won’t be any success in social media without having conversations with people.
Where Conversations Happen
When you’re just getting started on social media, it’s hard to figure out how to reach people and where conversations are happening. It doesn’t have to be that hard, though.
Sometimes you just have to go out there and find people who need help. There are lots of places where you can go online to find real conversations happening and not just mindless posting of information and ads.
There are many Facebook groups on any topic you can think of. It may take a bit of looking, though, because a lot of groups are just people posting ads for their business. Look for the groups that do not allow ads. That’s where you’ll find real conversations.Conversations happen with people, make sure you find them and keep them engaged. Click To Tweet
No ads means you also can’t post ads for your business but that’s not a bad thing. Growing your presence in the group and becoming a helpful member will help establish a relationship with your business naturally.
Sometimes you can be helpful and eventually a good time to bring up a service or product you offer happens naturally. That’s when you make a real connection because you haven’t been trying to sell the whole time, just help.
You can find real conversations on social media in groups on the following networks:
Those are the major networks with groups on almost any topic you can dream of. There are even special niche social media networks that may offer better access to potential customers for you. Here is a list of 10 good niche networks for small business marketing.
Groups are going to become more important than ever for having conversations with people but there are other big social media up comers.
Live video made a huge leap forward in the last quarter of 2016 and it will continue to grow in 2017. Meerkat (now defunct) started the live video revolution in 2015. Twitter quickly ran with it by creating Periscope and has continue to refine it.
More recently Facebook entered the live video streaming arena in April 2016 with an announcement from Mark Zuckerberg. The last few months have been explosive for Facebook Live Video. You’ve probably seen an ad or two on TV.
It’s also a great marketing opportunity for businesses because there’s a huge audience out there waiting to engage and learn about you. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with your customers (and potential customers!) on a more personal level.Live video is a great way to make a personal connection with customers and reach new ones. Click To Tweet
You don’t need anything special to take part in Facebook Live which is the best part. If you have a Facebook account and smartphone then you have a marketing powerhouse available to you.
If you haven’t checked out Facebook Live yet I urge you to check out their page and start thinking about what the possibilities could be for your small business.
Improve Your Presence
Personal connections are the way forward whether it’s being present or showing who you are on live video.