The Future of Social Media
The SM industry is constantly changing. And yet, Facebook continues to be the most important social platform for marketers. It is true that the company plans to increase its profits even more, but let's be honest for a minute and appreciate the huge number of useful features that are made available to its users for free.

So, what can a small business owner do to keep up with all these changes? Here are the key social media aspects that you should be aware of.

First, influencer marketing will continue to play a crucial part. You want to be friends with people who have at least tens of thousands of followers. Facebook is probably going to limit your potential audience in the near future, and this means that you will have to spend quite a bit of money on social media ads. Still, it may be much less expensive to become friends with a few social media celebrities, and then ask them to promote your services in exchange for a fee. It is crucial to connect with influencers which have an active presence and following in your industry, of course.
Then, social listening tools will become much more powerful. Most social listening tools were desktop-based until recently.

This means that they ran locally, using various search engines to gather a list of results. That list was far from being complete, obviously, because the data searching speed was limited by the number of queries that were allowed by each search engine per hour. It is true that some tools included proxy support, but that feature didn't significantly increase the number of qualified results.

Why? Because CPU power and memory are limited as well! This means that until recently, companies were unable to discover most of their social mentions. Things have changed for the better, though, once that more and more companies have started to use SaaS-based social listening applications. By moving the social listening tools in the cloud, results can be gathered 24 hours per day, each and every day, no matter if your computer is turned on or off.

This means that the list of targeted results will be much bigger, allowing companies to actively monitor what their potential and existing customers have to say about them. Another immediate benefit is the ability of creating engaging content, which is based on what the target audience is actually interested in.

Artificial Intelligence has made some serious progress during the last few years. These days, big companies use advanced AI systems to instantly reply to their customer's typical questions. The technology will be cheap enough soon, so you should definitely consider using it. Potential and existing customers want to get detailed answers as quickly as possible, and modern AI-based chat bots can now fulfill that need fairly well.

It's not a secret: people prefer live videos in greater and greater numbers. If you want to be prepared for the future of social media, you should invest some of your business resources into high-quality video equipment, or at least hire a company that can record, edit and produce professional videos for you.

Augmented Reality has been used for many years now. However, modern phones have only recently become powerful enough to offer a useful AR experience. It looks like the new iPhone models will incorporate a dedicated augmented reality chip, and this will allow companies to provide their potential customers several innovative methods of interacting with their products and services. So yes, Augmented Reality and Social Media Marketing will cross their paths soon!

Social media has evolved a lot during the last decade, rendering many of the old SM strategies useless. Still, business owners who will take these aspects into consideration should be on the safe side.
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