In this post I aim to consider the impact of social media on our society. What will happen within the next few years and how both companies and individuals may deal with this fast evolving online world.
Companies And Consumers On Social Media
Social media dominates our lives in a big way, spending hours a day writing and reviewing blogs, editing personal profiles, private messaging, file sharing, streaming and checking in with our latest apps however no matter how much time we dedicate to our online life we will never be able to see everything that’s available to us. Companies are becoming more aware that thousands of their messages are getting lost in translation everyday due to an overflow of content and lack of consumer’s time. The world around us is going to become a breading ground for social media content and the more we are exposed to it the less interested we will become. In the next few years it’s going to take more than a post or 6 second viral ad to grab our attention and I believe if a company wants to be heard on social media it’s going to have to start paying big money to make itself visible. A detrimental proposition for smaller companies, as it’s likely they will get lost in all the white noise that’s already online, that will become even more dominated by the financially able.
The Double Edged Sword
Most of the time companies feel as long as their on social media their reaching their target market however as already explained this is clearly not the case and it’s only going to become more of a struggle. Being on social media is a double edged sword even when you are reaching those you deem valuable to you; in the blink of an eye high customer engagement can promote pitfalls and be full of risks. With brands and businesses getting slated by the public’s endless bad reviews money and popularity is being lost. The consumers are in control at the moment and their opinions are trusted and heard above most companies. But what if businesses start to distance themselves from social media? Will the public still have the same opportunities to share their opinions and will they do so as much if companies make it harder for them? Businesses could start pulling back some control over content available to us, filtering out the bad and only showing us the information that will benefit them financially. The customer could loose some power and this could leave us feeling more vulnerable than ever.
They Have More Control Than We Think Already! Thing’s Are Only Likely To Get Worse
When it comes to social media we are all guilty of giving away huge amounts of information each day on our personal profiles, so much so that companies are going to start to know us better than we know ourselves. We are giving companies an invitation to manipulate and predict our actions more than ever and individuals are already taking advantage of that. Insurance companies are judging their prices on our online presents, the more reckless we are perceived the higher our insurance becomes and employers are judging whether or not we are representing ourselves in a way that is good enough for their company image, if they don’t like what they see we could be living of a green card. Considering the next generation is growing up more rebellious and reckless than ever, could the future consist of even more unemployed youths who are going to pay for their behaviour later in life? As time passes it is possible that brands and businesses could start looking to our online profiles for information more than they look at us as people.
The Overall Outcome
Over the next 3-5 years I believe the scary reality is that social media will consume every aspect of our lives and we will never again be able to escape it. Businesses and services will use our online presents to create an in depth character profile of us, discovering character traits before we have time to do so yourself and those traits will more than likely be used against us. Larger businesses will almost defiantly pull back some power over consumers by using our online information and distancing their own online presents so we can’t portray them in a negative light. Meanwhile smaller companies will perish in the competitive dog eat dog world.