Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Less Advertising for Social Media Companies


In the few short years that social media marketing has been prevalent, it has already had an enormous effect on the way companies do business online and off-line.

In the coming years there will be even more changes, as social media marketing extends from the marketing department to nearly every aspect of a company's business operations.

eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson outlines several trends to watch in the coming years. "Advertising -- which some might say has already failed as a business model -- will not be the primary revenue driver for social media companies," said Ms. Williamson.

Instead, the strongest business models in the future will incorporate analytics, as social media becomes truly integrated into all marketing efforts. In addition, TV will become more social, as will online search.

Location will become more important to social media, and brand monitoring will increase in sophistication so that companies can begin to understand the "why" of consumer chatter as well as the who, what and when.

What will not change is the source of social media transformation today -- the people that actively use it.

"The voice of the consumer is only going to get louder and stronger," said Ms. Williamson. "It will shape what social media is and what it will become."

Not too long ago, a company might have made major changes to its products or services based on a few focus groups, some financial planning and a degree of gut instinct.

Social media has already changed all that. And more changes will come.