Is Social Media Still Growing?
by Amy Lignor
It was in 1999, Bill Gates wrote a book titled, “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” Within these pages, the man who became the computer world’s wizard made massively bold predictions that, at the time, sounded ridiculous and outrageous to those who read them. But when you look at how the social media realm has grown over the past few decades, it is important to take note that not only did his predictions from 1999 come true, but they are also responsible for seeing social media continue to grow by leaps and bounds to this day.
“Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.” This was one prediction that was scoffed at by many who, of course, had their own ‘reasons’ for why this would not occur. Now, of course, you can easily search for a product on Google, Amazon, and a slew of others to get different prices for the same product. More and more sites are coming about in 2017, allowing comparison shopping across all industries, adding to the growth of social media.
Gates also stated: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”
What should be a shock to anyone out there is that any ‘professional’ came out of the woodwork back in 1999 to say Gates was foolish about this prediction. However, experts did. What do we see this day? The list is long. From Smartphones to smartwatches to actual headphones you can wear while driving to check your news, email and more – technology and social media joined together and exploded.
From constant video feeds that are now installed in homes that actually inform the owner of who visited while they were away; to the inventions of Facebook, Snapchat, and a million more, Gates hit the nail on the head with all of his “bold” predictions back in 1999. And each and every one of these products and services that were created made social media a ‘must have’ for consumers and businesses.
If you are a seller of products or services, social media is a must. From having websites to setting up businesses on Facebook, to social advertising across all networks so your product or service will most likely end up on Pinterest – and other avenues where consumers are speaking to each other – social media is a winding road that the businessperson must learn and utilize in order to grow their company.
It is a fact that Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and tons more have already called out to two billion people across the globe, with even more signing up on a daily basis. They are even searching for smaller social networks where they can become members. What’s behind all this is ‘smart advertising.’ With smart advertising in 2017, businesses view purchasing trends to create advertisements tailored to the consumer’s preferences. Advertisers are utilizing all of this new technology to target users based on everything from click history to personal interests to purchasing patterns.
Social media is not only still growing in 2017, however, it remains to be one of the fastest changing industries out there. The social media trends that have dominated 2017, thus far, include the world of social messaging. Over-the-top messaging (OTT) and SMS messaging are what millennials prefer when it comes to communication. Over 60% are more loyal to brands that engage them via social media channels and it has been estimated that two billion users will be messaging through OTT apps by 2018.
Another social media area that is growing bigger this year comes from businesses taking advantage of the huge audience base found on social messaging platforms. As more brands start to realize the value of social messaging compared to regular social networks, they are making more and more effort to make sure their presence is known by all consumers.
Social media is also changing in 2017 with the explosion of live video. YouTube was built on this premise, but now social media is taking it to the next level by offering content in real-time. Social videos have been responsible for a lot of growth on Facebook this year, and even news sources are citing Facebook Live videos when covering major events.
Chatbots are also becoming the next ‘big craze’. Artificial intelligence that allows people to have a conversation with someone else, Facebook integrated Chatbots within Facebook Messenger, and businesses are now using them to communicate with customers. Because of the latter, these Chatbots are already helping businesses improve customer service by being able to quickly respond to all comments and questions. Fast, efficient and brief, the popularity of Chatbots in 2017 is growing exponentially.
With each day bringing new inventions and entrepreneurs to the marketplace, social media shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Source: Baret News