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Evolution Of Social Media – How The Future Of Social Marketing Is Shaping Up

Guest Post by Sara George

Social Media

[http://i.imgur.com/LmuMIQ2.jpg] (Social Media)

Do you feel amazed at how much change social media has bought in the last couple of years? Right from rudimentary marketing methods to advanced online marketing and business strategies, social media has created an aura where companies can tremendously improve brand reputation.

Evolution of Social Media

Most of the marketing gurus recall that it was in the late 90s and early 2000 when social media started to develop. And they knew that this two-way digital marketing aspect was going to be phenomenal. According to Brian Solis, who is a principal analyst at the Altimeter Group, brands as well as business are two different entities interconnected with each other.

In his first publication ‘Engage’, he clearly provides tips which assist people in business and marketing field to become more sociable. He even states that things have changed after the release of his first publication and technology has started to accelerate. He feels being sociable has become a part of the business process and the same is with digital transformation, mobile, and clothing.

To clearly highlight the changes that have taken place from the publication of his first book and today, Brian designed an infographic called ‘The Wheel of Disruption’. This infographic displayed all things which disrupted industries, along with the emphasis on marketing, brand and engagement.                                                                                  

Significance Of Experience

Online marketers feel that for many brand strategists, marketers, and executives; experience is an important thing and it translates differently to different people. From excellent product design to great customer service, all factors lead to providing an experience. Everything that occurs when you purchase, use, shop for or have certain issue with something is nothing but moments that lead to providing an overall experience.

Online business must be able to design and define experiences as a major part of their business as well as branding. This can help in creating good relationships and such experience can be used to provide a competitive advantage. While there are certain savvy firms who take efforts to define a customer experience, a brand experience and a user experience; still all these efforts are disparate. So, by default or design, experiences are disconnected.

Business Doing A Decent Job With Experience

Many experts feel that there are firms who are the pure example of holistic experiences. They contribute to the moments of truth and this displays how the holistic experience looks like. Disney created an international experience using the fairy tale Snow White and Steve Jobs was quite meticulous regarding the design for a connected ecosystem in terms of Apple’s experience. These are certain examples of what holistic experience feels like.

In his books, Brian gives a brief explanation of how much importance holistic experience carries. He describes on how Telstra  stitched together physical and digital aspects to provide a better customer experience. Also, he discusses on how LEGO took the services of anthropology consultancy ReD to become aware of the behavior of their customers and re-designed their entire business in order to cater to the people whom they want to reach. Basically, he feels what each of these firms share is nothing but human-centered approach for their marketing, product and services.

The Moments Of Truth

When you relate marketing to engagement, you are describing the moment of truth. Here you are taking someone’s attention and giving them yours. This provides you an opportunity to do something which is not only productive but is useful as well as great. And the future of business lies in optimizing the four moments of truth.

The Zero Moment of Truth is the discovery process. This happens when someone wants to know certain things. Social networks, Google search, review websites, etc are some of the online procedures used to know what people are searching for. Basically, in the Zero Moment of Truth, businesses hand-hold and engage someone to the next level.

Now the First Moment of Truth occurs when people include you (i.e. the brand or business) in their final decision-making process. This is where presentation or packaging line up, marketing and customers purchase your products and services.

The Second Moment of Truth is when someone gets whatever they have bought. Are the customers happy? Do they communicate with customer support because they need something? Are they checking out for some alternative means to use the product or not? These are some of the questions that crop up.

Finally, it is the Ultimate Moment of Truth. Here, the overall experience of the customer is evaluated as inconsequential, bad or fabulous. Now whatever the experience is, it is going to be shared, irrespective of whether it comes back in survey or on a social network.

Virtual World

[http://i.imgur.com/ogbokvu.jpg] (Virtual World)

Brian feels that if you start to compare each of the Ultimate Moment of Truth of the customer to your brand promise, you are going to see either a disconnect or great alignment. Disconnects makes you know where to do enhancements, improvements and corrections. Sometimes, the Ultimate Moment of Truth of a person (i.e. what he or she shares) can be the next person’s Zero Moment of Truth. So, it means that the four moments of truth are quite significant.

Most often people share their bad experiences and marketers have to get into the business of positive reinforcement where they reward individuals who share positive experiences. Brian gives an interesting example of this positive reinforcement where a UK cell phone provider did not have required customer support agents.

To counter this shortcoming, they introduced a strategy where they rewarded customers who replied to the queries posted by people on Twitter and other social networks with free data and minutes. This lead to the creation of a community consisting of people helping others and this became the firm’s brand experience.

Brian clearly states that the common theme in most of his books is about Digital Darwinism, the notion that society and technology is going to evolve. People have a choice – do nothing, compete for the future or compete for the moment (which means keeping up with trends). It is important for businesses who want to survive to see how these trends are going to play over time and how people’s behaviors and expectations are going to evolve as a result of it.

Emerging Platforms

According to Brian, the year 2016 will be the year of live video and experience. Smart marketers will understand and make use of them. People like Brian Fanzo and Joel Comm are not creating their own communities. They are showing and teaching marketers on what can be achieved with such channels. In his latest book ‘X: The Experience When Business Meets Design’ Brian talks about mediumism.

He defines it as putting an inordinate value on any new channels without taking into account on how to add value to it and knowing about the people’s culture present in each of the networks. The emergency of live video is both an opportunity as well as a channel for marketers. This helps them to connect with individuals in natural and intuitive way.

Current Immersive Technologies To Look Out For

Facebook has started to experiment with Facebook 360 and Brian feels that there are still other incredible 360 orb cameras which can capture things and activities in real time. All it requires is a video architect to combine them together to create a new experience and new worlds. According to Brian, 360, virtual reality and immersive videos are the major factors which show the importance of experience architecture. Unless one immerses themselves into something which is incredible, these products will not be amazing.  

Winding Up

Social Media has bought a tremendous change in the past few years. It has provided avenues for business to increase customers and followers as well as create brand recognition for their products. As time passes by, more firms will be involved in social media and it will become one of the common tools that businesses will use.  

Author Bio:

Sara George is a social media writer at iDigic.net who also contributes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly centered  around social media and are widely followed by readers from all over the world

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