Channels for expression have moved from physical to digital. Consumer and business communication today is instantaneous, documented, and shareable. The digital citizen responds to content more than ever before, content that is distributed ever more widely. Depending on the platform of broadcast, all content can instantly become social, which is one of the major reasons why social media is so universally powerful. This fact has not only changed the way we live, but also the way we do business. In the spirit of the recent Social Media Week NYC, we include an outline of a few specific business functions that social media has disrupted, and how they will further evolve.
Social Media is the language of the new millennial (loosely defined as younger than 25) more so than for any other demographic. Students often know more about celebrities than their country’s history. But that just as aptly speaks to social media as an effective medium for education as it does to a disinterest in scholarship. Real-life snapshots of the modern comedy and naiveté of the new generation of adults is becoming the new social religion. The new millennial — some of which make up the unskilled labor force — responds more effectively to gamification and social cues. This affects on-the-job learning through both onboarding, employee upgrade process, and general performance maintenance. The future of Learning Management Systems, especially in the form of workforce management, will be powered by social cues that are distributed over social media channels. This innovation will begin most tangibly with young unskilled employees, for example in QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants), and expand with the segment size, catalyzing the acceptance by the legacy millennial and existing generation of workers.
Social Media also empowers marketing technology, leveraging the digital connections we each have to the Internet and each other. Banjo aims to track the world via 35 billion blocks of social content and community, which can be tapped for the latest news and events through social media, providing a snapshot that marketing firms and ad agencies can use to determine their rapid response. We recognize that the digital citizen is not only more responsive to events, but also more sensitive to branded content. Large players in the advertising and media industries are just now becoming more reliant on online engagement data and eschewing gut-driven brand metrics. Customer outreach through social media is also increasingly valued now, as shown by pioneers like Msg.ai. The value of social content has risen exponentially in the last decade and will only accelerate. Within the next five years, we should see the more firms like Big Spaceship that provide B2B marketing technology and services enabling the tracking and measuring of social media. On the other side of the coin, content creation and channel curation are increasingly important to businesses, shown by the success of companies like Newscred, TrackMaven, and Crowdcentric, and the efficacy of evolved social media-focused agencies like Vayner Media. The vision of the future is one driven by quantified digital media and data, with marketing and management mediated by specific metrics on custom SaaS platforms. Just like the evolution of people into digital natives, businesses are transforming, and both entities are becoming a full-fledged digital community formed by social media.