Changes to the Social Media Industry

Written by Gabrielle Price

Social media platforms are ever-changing the way businesses communicate with their consumers. With these platforms constantly innovating new functions and affordances, diverse dimensions are constantly being added for the benefit and convenience of the users. For a business to be successful in this area, marketers need to be ahead of the game regarding trends and new functions!

Traditionally, media advertising was part of a one-way conversation; mainly focused on the business or company. It was a controlled form of communication that primarily published professional content full of formal language. This media focuses on finding new customers and prospects in the field, though puts less emphasis on retaining these customers.

Nowadays this form of advertising has converted to the modern social media environment, whereby customer retention is prioritised. With more active engagement and deeper analytics, this unstructured communication opens two-way conversations between the business and consumers.

Due to the increase in metrics and data available, businesses can track their performance and determine the success of their own campaigns. This feature allows for greater understanding of consumer behaviour, deeper knowledge into specific target markets and analysis of competitors.

This shift from traditional media to social media has drastically changed the way businesses market and communicate with consumers .

With the average person having 5.5 accounts on social media it is clear that it is a phenonium. In addition, studies show that typically an individual spends 116 minutes on these platforms every day – that’s the length of a full movie spent on these sites!

This growing trend has resulted in 91% of retail businesses having 2 or more social media accounts with the overarching goal to connect and engage with their consumers.Alongside this increasing usage, the data collection of this behaviour is also increasing with every click, view and sign up online being recorded.

This new form of technology contributes to data analytics, defined as the process of analysing data to draw conclusions and findings from the information. This data analytics allows businesses to tailor personalised advertisements to their target audience with the hope of increased engagement. If well executed, these personalised effects can further increase customers’ satisfaction with a brand.

To stay up to date on the insights, here are a few major changes that have occurred to social media platforms recently…  

  • As announced by Mark Zuckerberg, changes have occurred within Facebook’s news feed with users seeing more posts from friends and family. This shift will only make it harder for businesses, brands and media to connect to their audiences with less public content being seen.
  • Twitter is deleting a million account every day to decrease the amount of suspicious and spam-based accounts, thus companies may see a shift in their follower accounts. On a broader scale, this change has result in an 8% drop in shares
  • Instagram algorithm preventing branded content, primarily impacting small business owners with problems using hashtags

These three major changes to a few of the most popular social media platforms have stemmed from current social media issues including privacy, mental health concerns and the commercialisation of the platforms. For these reasons, it is increasingly important for the programming and data analytics behind social media sites to be used carefully for the wellbeing of users and the society .

With millions of active uses, social media sites play a clear role in mitigating their platforms to be a safe environment for all. The overview of current capabilities and the improvement of new technologies is the proactive solutions for these platforms to be safe for all. Ultimately, these changes highlight the need for marketers to focus on customer engagement and interaction when utilising the sites for business purposes.

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