Social media platforms will continue to play a key role in both consumer communication and creative forms of brand marketing in 2022.
On the back of Covid-19’s push for global digitization, over half of the world’s population now interact with at least one form of social media platform after the web saw a 5.1% increase in social platform users in just 2022 alone.
As we embark on a platform-dominated tomorrow, experts have predicted that Social 2.0 could only be around the corner. Following the adoption of Web 3.0 closely, this new era of social media creation and consumption is set to transform the marketing ecosystem in the next few years.
From platform monetisation to an immersive UX experience, let’s have a closer look at what the future of social media holds for both its users and content creators as we discuss the changes we expect to see from Social 2.0.
Overview of Topics Covered
Deconstructing Social 1.0
(Image Source: Business Insider)
In the time that we have seen Web 1.0 become Web 3.0, we have also seen the exponential growth and ongoing development of social media.
In the beginning, primary social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were seen solely as networking sites, where the currency earned was in the form of followers, large networks and social influence.
Also known as Social 1.0, creators and consumers that interacted with social platforms were faced with limited opportunities to monetise content and build brand awareness through popup clicks. Instead, markets worked hard to build consumer-based communities, before redirecting them to an adjacent platform in order to convert sales.
For consumers, social 1.0 felt like a free ride. With a firehouse of content at an audience’s fingertips, social platform interaction only increased. However, while social 1.0 may not have monetised on consumer clicks, we were unknowingly paying with our data.
From interests and preferences to location, age groups and professions, all data submitted to a social 1.0 scene was recorded and sold to the highest bidder, making for a future of personalised ad placement and a lack of public privacy.
As we head towards a new social 2.0, can platform developers and emerging consumer demands change the status quo?
What Changes Will Social 2.0 Bring To Social Media Consumption?
Social media 2.0 will be all about control. Consumers want to control the use of their data, and brands want to control the content they consume.
As new platforms take centre stage in the wake of the post-pandemic push for digitalisation, consumer favourites such as TikTok will drive the evolution of Social 2.0 in 2023.
From a newly immersive user experience, a wide demand for hyper-personalised feeds and the leveraging of AI/machine learning in data collection, the social platforms of tomorrow will be intertwined within all areas of our lives.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the changes social 2.0 could bring to the table.
The Birth Of Platforms
While social media sites used to be the home of networking, social 2.0 will see a future of creative platforms, rather than socializing spaces. With so many social applications/spaces to choose from, social media platforms will become more niche, rather than presenting themselves as a generalised social arena.
Each platform will have some sort of functionality built within it, from video-based creation on TikTok to gaming-based content on Twitch, to work-based communication on Slack.
Each social platform now has a purpose, in turn segmenting audiences into niche, targettable demographics. From Instagram to Linkedin, there are many platforms businesses can utilise.
The Monetisation of Social Media
This brings us to the monetisation of social media platforms. As we move into a future of purpose-built platforms, these no longer come at no cost. From subscription-based services to the monetisation of brand and influencer-based content, social 2.0 has transformed into its own e-commerce industry.
On the back of Facebook’s switch to Meta in 2021, which gave us an insight into what the future of the metaverse might look like, it’s no surprise that social platforms are following suit, and bridging a pathway into a new virtual reality.
Social platforms users can now send and receive money when creating and consuming content, in a similar way to how we buy and sell physical items in the real world. In fact, with TikTok’s creator fund, and Twitch’s subscription-based service, many digital natives now rely on social platforms as their primary source of income.
As you can see here, there are now a number of ways to monetise a social media platform. As we step into social 2.0, we will be sure to see more brands than ever dominating this feature, with paid advertising, content as a product and a mix of subscription-based services.
The clever thing is, as social media becomes more intertwined with our physical lives, many users will be forced to pay for services, in order to simply stay in the loop with their favourite platform trends.
What Does Social 2.0 Mean For Marketers?
For marketers, social 2.0 has been both a blessing and a curse. While content monetisation has been a key player in boosting site conversions and brand awareness, the competition has all but tripled for consumer attention, especially in the wake of the post-pandemic e-commerce boom.
With more than 4.7 billion consumers on social media, monetising off of social 2.0 is no longer about simply putting out content, but knowing who to target.
Here are some of the key changes marketers must address when creating their 2023 social strategy:
- A Demand For Interactive Content
According to Sprout Social, 46% of consumers want to see interactive content from brands they engage with.
In order to keep engagement levels high in a competitive environment, the active consumer must be challenged and encouraged to perform actions when interacting with your content. The key here is to create content in line with platform trends/formats and move with each technological development, such as AR, VR and AI in the world of social 2.0.
- The Importance Of Social Listening
Social listening has also become crucial in the world of social 2.0. With demographics constantly growing and segmenting into new niches, brands must ensure they are targeting the right audience to see conversions.
The key here is to gather data from brand mentions across a number of social platforms, consumer feedback and, of course, platform trends. Creating content with this in mind will make it easier to target your demographic and not fall flat.
- A Chance For Copywriters To Shine
Social 2.0 will be more competitive than ever before. In order to stand out as a brand, you need to make sure that both your social and site content are optimised for accessible engagement.
Social 1.0 has taught consumers to be fast-thinking and ever-changing. With platforms such as TikTok displaying content in 15-second snippets, modern-day audiences have short attention spans and are not afraid to bounce when they get bored.
This is a chance for copywriters to get creative with their content creation. Make sure that both site and the content copy is simplistic and snappy and provide the consumer with a call to action almost immediately.
Could There Be A Social 3.0 On The Horizon?
It’s no secret that the social media landscape is constantly growing. On the back of Web 3.0 developments, and a push for a technological future, social 3.0 could be just on the horizon.
As social media platforms continue to become key players within a normal day-to-day experience, it’s time to start setting social media goals for your startup.
Social 3.0 could tip us towards a more digitally immersive future. As the popularity of the metaverse grows, the future of social media is likely to be connected to completely virtual reality, when consumers buy, sell and experience all physicalities from the real world.
It’s only a matter of time before social media is no longer part of our lives, but instead a driving factor and an alternate digital reality in which we live.