When we think about the future of social media, it must be a futuristic one. And it can feel like something similar to what we see in sci-fi movies too.
The wide usage of AI in speech recognition, real-time translation, and VR and AR technology in social media.
These are what the future of social media will look like, according to this article on Digital Doughnut.
Even Neil Patel also said in one of his videos that the future is social.
Of course, what you see here is barely scratching the surface.
As our technology advances, so does social media.
What you hear about the future of social media hasn’t been baked into the cake yet. I can bet that social media will evolve far beyond what we can imagine.
While so many people anticipate the future of social media to be glitzy, I find that the future of social media isn’t going to be much different from what we have right now, save for the advancement in AI, VR, and AR technology.
And depending on where we’re heading, it may become worse than what we have today.
You probably hear the same argument about the future of social media years ago
Call me cynical and backward-minded for saying out loud that the future of social media isn’t going to be much different from what we have now.
Heck, I won’t be surprised at all that the impact is going to be so much worse than what we have today.
I’ll save the argument about that for later on.
But if you’ve been doing social media marketing long enough, then I’m sure that you’ve heard these chants a lot.
Things like social media are the future of marketing. And if you’re not on social media, you’re leaving money on the table.
You’re going to miss out a lot since your existing and potential customers are on social media.
Hearing all the same things being chanted to you over and over again, it’s no wonder that many of us, myself included, jumped into the social media bandwagon.
And it’s even harder to resist when you hear many businesses saying that social media is a game changer for them.
When I say game changer, it’s the social media that generates the bulk of their sales. They even go as far as saying that people would never discover them in the first place if it were not because of social media.
And the best part of all? They can do all that without spending a dime on marketing.
Hooray, social media save them some money. And it should be the same for you and me, right?
It’s no wonder that so many of us jumped onto the social media bandwagon when you can get the word about your business for free.
But what happened after that was far from the glitzy things you hear about using social media to market your business.
People did discover you on social media. They engage with you when you post something on your profile. And you engage with them back when they ask you questions on social media.
You thought that your engagement with your audience will lead to sales.
But sad to say, the engagement that you have with your potential customers on social media doesn’t translate into sales.
Even if it does, the conversion rate is rather pitiful. It can feel like it’s not even worth spending your time on social media when the return is so minuscule.
You may as well go outside and stare into the sky if spending your time building your social media followers can waste your time this much.
You just need to give it some time to make it work for you
Some of you will say that the reason why social media isn’t working for most people is that you don’t have large followers.
For the most part, no one starts with millions of followers right off the bat unless you’re a celebrity. Just give it some time and you’re bound to get many followers over time.
Well, you’re not wrong to say that you need to have large followers to make social media work for you. After all, it’s easier to get a better conversion rate when you have a large following.
But I don’t subscribe to that ideology.
Provided that you understand your audience well, you don’t need a massive number of followers to generate sales.
Remember Kevin Kelly’s 1000 true fans concept?
If you can create $100 worth of products every year, you only need 1000 people to buy from you every year to sustain yourself.
1000 people may seem a lot to many of us. But when you compare it to the world population, it’s not a lot.
All you need to do is find 1000 people who love what you do and are willing to pay for anything that you create, and then you’re golden.
So, nope, you don’t need a large number of followers, fans, or whatever you want to call it to generate sales.
But what you do need is products to sell. And in the author’s case, then it has to be your book.
If books are the only thing you want to focus on, then you’d better be cracking up a new book as many as you can.
You can’t strike riches by having one book alone.
Where we are now
Since it’s been more than a decade when the web 2.0 is making a splash, we should already have a rough idea by now how much of an impact social media is on our business.
And guess what?
Social media doesn’t seem to differ much from the early days, at least in my business.
For one, 86% of the traffic that is coming to my fiction author website, Sekina Mayu, is still coming from the search engine.
What about traffic from social media then? Not surprisingly, it only makes up 4% of the total traffic coming to my website.
Sure, you can say that the reason why social media only makes up a small percentage of the traffic may have something to do with the plan that I shared in this post.
And I need to double down on how frequently I post on Twitter too. The posting frequency that I shared in this post is inadequate.
I need to do more of it, not less of it.
Guess what? It may not change that much.
Sure, I may get more followers. But it’s not going to convert better even with my follower numbers increasing.
This post from Tim Grahl somehow answers my suspicion about social media.
Say whatever you want. But I don’t think that social media works just like what many businesses initially claim.
What no one tells you about the social media audience in general
According to DataReportal, there are 4.74 billion social media users around the world in October 2022. And the number of users continues to grow to 190 million users over the past 12 months.
That’s 6 new users in one second!
But here’s what the statistic doesn’t tell you about the social media audience.
The number of people who are going cold turkey with social media is growing as well.
It’s understandable why so many people will quit social media altogether when it’s the leading cause of depression, anxiety, and any kind of mental disorder you can think of.
And it causes a distraction for many people too.
I don’t doubt that social media usage will increase over the years. But I won’t be surprised that the number of people who quit social media will increase along the way as well.
Even if they don’t quit social media, they don’t spend time on social media just as much as they used to.
That’s the reality of social media today.
These people still matter to you
Okay, why should we care about the people who quit social media, you ask?
Imagine that the people who quit social media happen to be your target audience. What are you going to do when you can no longer reach them through social media?
When I say they quit social media, it may not necessarily mean that they close their account and delete their profile altogether.
Their profile on social media remains. It’s just that they no longer post anything on their profile anymore.
That’s the problem when you only have social media to connect with your audience.
They won’t know anything new about you anymore unless they have the nudge to look for your new book on Amazon.
Well, that is they have the urge to do so. But for the most part, they don’t.
What you should do then?
Over the years, I realize that nothing beats having your own website and an email list.
I’ve seen plenty enough that social media platforms and anything equivalent come and go. People will always be moving to the next social media darling.
And if you don’t want to move to the next social media darling because you’ve already spent your effort building your following and content on that said platform?
Well, it sucks to be you, I guess.
But that’s not the case when you have your own website. They can always go to your website to find out any new information about you.
If there’s one thing you need to do for your author business, then it has to be to have your own website.
What the social media going to look like in the future
I don’t doubt that technological advancement will change social media in a big way. But from usage-wise and the user behavior, I don’t think it’s going to change that much.
People are still going to use the search engine to search for anything they want.
And people are still going out to socialize and attend in-person events even if they can do the same in the metaverse.
As for the future of social media, particularly in marketing? I don’t think it’s going to be any different either.
The conversion rate is still terrible as always, at least in my business.
P.S. If you only use social media as a way to connect with your readers and not so much about increasing your book sales, then social media can still play a role in your business.
If you love using Twitter and want to know how you can use it without taking too much of your time, then take a look at my Twitter Marketing for Business guide.
In this guide, you’ll learn all the things you need to know from setting your Twitter profile properly to managing your Twitter presence without sucking the life out of you.
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