The Evolution of Social Media

If you’re in the business of growing your social media following, it’s important to stay tuned to the evolution of social media. Like any sport or business, social media is rapidly moving from trend to trend.  This coming year will be no different.

I had a teacher in grade school who told us cities like New York and Chicago began to run out of room to build, as the Industrial Revolution gained steam.  She added that their solution was to build on top of the current infrastructure (aka skyscrapers).

That’s exactly what social media is doing right now at this moment.  It’s the internet building upon itself through new platforms.  If you think about it, the first form of social media was the AOL profile.  In essence, it was a really really basic Facebook profile.  Next came MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and there will be more.

The moral of this story is that things change rapidly. Stay up on the current trends in order to anticipate where to focus your efforts.  While there are many different strategies to employ, below are some points that can help you find your path.

For those in the personal/business finance space: Between social media and the recent success in the Fintech industry alone (i.e. payment solutions, invoicing, etc), there is a lot to keep tabs on in the coming year.

Social Experiments (Pun Intended)

With any social platform we utilize, the ones who profit the most are the ones who were there first.  Were they lucky? Some, yes.  Others, maybe a little.  To be an original in any movement, you must create your own data and take a calculated risk.  The only way to do this is to experiment.  This is a crucial part of idea validation, where there isn’t much data available.

Rather than waiting for some hotshot podcast to come out telling you what to do, you can find out yourself!

Let’s use conversion rates as a basic example.  One way to know if Snapchat converts followers to sales more than Twitter is to launch equal campaigns at a simultaneous time.  Doing so for a prolonged amount of time will deliver results.  Follow what those results tell you and repeat the process in order to spot your own trends.

Getting Past Your Fear of Video

The days of hiding behind your keyboard aren’t exactly over.  That being said, it’s time to show your face if you want to make some headway.

People like video! The recent Forbes article, “5 Social Media Trends That Will Dominate 2017” says:

“Social videos have much more engagement than any other content format, and have been responsible for a lot of growth on Facebook”

Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live is where clicks will be waiting for you in 2017.  Time to face your fear!

Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live

If these three statistics don’t make you start recording yourself in the next 10 minutes, you may be in denial.  Fair warning.

Social Media Resources

No matter what we are involved in, it’s always wise to find the top voices in the respective field.  They not only keep us motivated, they provide us with a model of success.

  • Gary V is one of the most influential voices in the field at the moment.  When he speaks, people listen.  His latest podcast is called “The GaryVee Audio Experience.”  It will be a mix of keynotes and short rants that will keep you laughing, as well as informed.
  • Amy Porterfield’s podcast is called “Online Marketing Made Easy.”  Her credibility is based on her expert knowledge of Facebook marketing and course launches.  Her content comes in handy, as her guests continually deliver cutting edge information as to the future of the industry.

Pay Attention

Pay attention to what your kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews are doing.  Observe their habits, as it is very likely their demographic will be telling of the future.  As Gary V says himself, Facebook and Snapchat were perfect examples of this.

Events

Not surprisingly, the best social media conferences seem to take place on either coast.  Here are a few that I believe would be worth the trip (if you’re not local).

  1. Social Media Week – New York City, New York – February 27th to March 3rd
  2. Social Media Marketing World – San Diego, California – March 22nd to March 24th

If you’re looking for a getaway, what better excuse to make it out to one of these great cities?

No matter what platform you use or what approach you decide on, don’t forget that you’re still in the business of connecting with your audience.

As the aforementioned Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI, it’s about building relationships.”

If we are reading between the lines and sarcasm, he’s saying that the act alone of putting out content won’t get you to your goal.  It still has to be engaging and unique content!

Good luck!

Eric Estevez :Eric Estevez is a freelance writer, blogger, finance coach, and tax accountant. He has been training in the grappling art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2010, currently holding the rank of Purple Belt. JiuJitsuFinance.com combines his passion and life's work where he teaches you how to do Financial Jiu-Jitsu! The blog focuses on financial literacy, as well as current financial issues for all ages.