That’s a question I recently received from a friend over dinner. In fact, another question followed,
“What will you do when it (social media) goes out?”
So, what will YOU do when it goes out? Will social media cease to exist?
The short answer is in fact, no.
And I’m not saying this because I’m protecting myself in the industry but simply because it’s true. Sure, statistics from multiple sources such as this suggests that the acceptance rate of social media is now shifting towards the east from the west but does this mean that social media is reaching a plateau?
I suggest otherwise.
Let me start by saying that social media is not new to begin with. It has been present ever since communication began, now spiced up with technology allowing communication to take place a whole lot faster and well, faster – on different mediums.
Why ‘Social’ media then?
Interestingly, Wikipedia defines social media as “[Social media] includes web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals”, “forms of electronic communication” on Merriam-Webster and on other sources, “consumer generated media”.
This can only mean that social media has been with us before the days of social network giant Facebook and will only come to an end when consumers stop communicating (social) and decides to no longer share information (media) with one another.
Technology will evolve but communication remains.
What we are experiencing and looking at today is the evolution of technology. Social networking sites may not last the next 10 years, maybe even the amazing Google Glasses will not last but will it come to a point where communication ceases? Will consumers today let go of their privilege to communicate directly with brands and the ability to share consumer insights with one another?
Having that said, brands today face a challenge no different than before, that is to keep up with technological changes – not the technology in itself, but on how to manage the technology to the brand’s advantage. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next 10 years.
What about you?