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What Will Social Media Be Like in Year 2015?

Social media is no stranger to change. The web-phenomenon is constantly evolving and we see new trends, attitudes, platforms, and technologies affecting it everyday. As someone who has held several roles in digital marketing including: community management, SEO, and content marketing. I have never been more excited to see the spectrum of possibilities that social networks can take our industry. Below are some of the trends I hope to see happen in the near future.

Multiple Hyper-Connected Clusters Become the Norm 

As more and more parents enter Facebook, teens exit and spend time on other social networks. This creates a gap in the mainstream social platform and produces a sub genre of emerging social networks: Linkedin, Intstagram, and Pinterest are gaining relevance because of this migration. With early adoption being their main advantage, these fledging social platforms have begun breaking down the ecosystem into minor, yet well-connected clusters. As this trend continues, we will see more networks arise, all of them vying for a niche in the social market.

Social + Local + Mobile

As our mobile devices become more powerful, so does the social sphere. Social Media will naturally transform itself into a local and mobile-based platform. Take literati.org for example, a parenting lesson turned into the latest fad-meets-hashtag from the Instagram community where users take pictures of the trash they recycle and it shows their collective impact across the globe. This web app started as a fisherman trying to teach his son a lesson about recycling but soon became a civic activism movement that transcends borders. What’s a better example of social, local, and mobile success? As social media evolves, new fads like this will start locally and then spread around the globe.

Increased Transparency Allows Users to Become Producers

With several platforms to choose from, users will be self-appointed leaders, sharing their experiences across dozens of social media platforms. The users can put themselves on blast, and promote themselves through different channels to garner attention from everyone in their social spheres. Who doesn’t love to be in a photo or be turned into the center of attention, even if only for a few seconds? With more and more ways to reveal your activity online, users can contribute to their social sites quickly and easily, giving users the freedom to expose themselves. This of course will change how brands see themselves and act online.

Brands will Proliferate and Stagnate

We’ve all seen this: as more and more brands join the social media wagon, there’s a point where brands create a ‘herd effect’. They all look and sound the same, sharing almost identical pictures and posts. With this widespread brand homogeny, the winners will be those that can leverage their expertise across social media along with their authenticity. The trick is putting highly specific and targeted resources to good use, and producing unique and compelling content for those targeted audiences.

Real Time Iterations Through Emerging Applications 

In 2015, the social spectrum will be broader and have a farther reach. Escaping from the constraints of one specific network, interactions will happen simultaneously across multiple social platforms. Publishers will have to shift their strategies towards more open and collaborative networks. Unda.me, for example, is a Vine meets Whatsapp mash-up. This quick messaging app allows live commenting of posts by users. Forget the boring Disqus threads, now both readers and authors will be able to interact with each other using snippets of audio and video. As apps like this catch on, social networks will be forced to adapt to easier, cross-platform collaboration.

Social Becomes Legitimate

It’s not about a brand sharing cute pictures of cats anymore. It’s about the c-level executives using social media to introduce themselves. It’s about the admin staff and the newest intern sharing their feelings towards the company through their social networks. No more grumpy cats. The future holds legitimate ways of utilizing these platforms. Vine, Snapchat, Google+ and Youtube will become the go-to resources for quick, corporate communication. As more and more users log-on, business will be forced to integrate social networks, and new media will finally be taken seriously in the corporate world.

The trend is obvious, although social media interactions may change how companies and brands present themselves, the principles of social networking will remain the same. Be relevant, stay current and remain authentic. After all, it’s about being social, right?

 

Author Bio:   Isaul Carballar describes himself as a natural born marketer and storyteller. He loves nerding out about everything related with online marketing. When he is not discovering music, he can be seen biking through cities and off-road trails. He is currently an independent online marketing consultant.

Note: This submission is part of series that features blog entries from the Viralheat Blogathon on August 1, 2013. 

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