The Way forward for Social Media [Research]: What Marketers Must Know


Social media has modified considerably for the reason that MySpace days, and it’s a part of a marketer’s job to remain on top of its advancements.

You are probably wondering what the social way forward for social media could appear like and the way marketers might want to adapt.

To reply your query, listed below are our guesses based on research, data, and current advancements in social media.

What is the Future of Social Media?

Search on Social Media Instead of Engines

More Reliance on Influencers Over Celebrities

More Chatbots as Consumers Slide into DMs for Customer Service

What’s the Way forward for Social Media?

Through our multiple surveys, research, and extra data, here’s what we predict for the longer term of social media:

  • Consumers will seek for information on social media or via AI as an alternative of traditional serps.
  • Brands will depend on influencers, especially micro-influencers, relatively than celebrities
  • Consumers will enjoy a seamless shopping experience on social media
  • Brands Will Leverage Chatbots as Consumers Slide into DMs for Customer Service

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of those trends.

Search on Social Media As a substitute of Engines

It’s becoming more common for consumers to look for products, recommendations, or reviews on social media relatively than serps.

In response to our 2023 Consumer Trends Report, 24% of consumers between the ages of 18-54 seek for brands using social media as an alternative of a search engine. This number jumps to 36% amongst Gen Z consumers.

Graph showing how generations of consumers use social media instead of search engines; The Future of Social Media

In a TechCrunch article, a Google exec suggested apps like TikTok and Instagram are threatening two staple Google discovery apps: Google Maps and Google Search.

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, after they’re searching for a spot for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” said Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information sector. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

Why is that this happening? Raghavan believes it’s because young adults prefer visual-forward content in terms of discovery.

With more people using TikTok as a search engine, it is smart the app added more search features to maintain users engaged.

In August 2022, TikTok tested a feature through which keywords from video comments are highlighted and linked to look results. This serves as an extra way for users to find latest content as they’re scrolling on the platform.

Now, whenever you’re watching a video on TikTok you will notice a small search bar at the underside of the screen with a keyword or topic related to it. Once you click on that search bar, the app will take you to more videos related to the keyword.

Screenshot of a TikTok video about journaling. At the bottom of the video is a search bar with a keywords associated with the topic of the video.

If traditional serps fail to maintain up with consumer needs, TikTok and other social platforms may take the lead in product and content discovery as they prioritize visual content.

One other rival for serps is AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Users can ask ChatGPT questions in the shape of prompts and the bot will generate answers to their queries.

Though data is restricted with reference to how often people use ChatGPT rather than serps, ChatGPT currently receives about 1 billion monthly website visitors and has an estimated 100 million energetic users.

More Reliance on Influencers Over Celebrities

80% of influencer marketers work with creators/influencers with under 100K followers while only 16% work with celebrities who’ve over one million followers, in line with our 2023 Social Media Marketing Report.

Working with smaller influencers is more cost effective for brands than working with celebrities. More importantly, consumers trust influencers and creators.

In our latest consumer trends report, we surveyed greater than 600 consumers. We found 31% of social media users prefer to find latest products on social media through an influencer they follow over another social format or channel.

The number shoots as much as 43% for Gen Z social media users. Furthermore, 21% of social media users 18-54 have made a purchase order based on an influencer’s suggestion prior to now 3 months. The number rises to 32% amongst Gen Z.

Graph showing the percentage of each generation who bought a product based on an influencer's recommendation in the past 3 months; Future of Social Media

This is probably going because, with influencers who specialise in an area, their opinion is more beneficial than a member of the family’s.

Say, I’m searching for mountain climbing gear. A mountain climbing influencer who hikes all 12 months long and has a history of reviewing mountain climbing products will probably offer more insight than a friend who went mountain climbing once.

Because of this, influencers – although strangers – might be deemed more beneficial than family members. In the longer term, that trend will likely proceed, as content creators are popping up each day.

Our survey revealed that 30% of 18-24-year-olds and 40% of 25-34-year-olds call themselves content creators. While not every creator is an influencer, those roles often intersect.

Seamless Shopping Experience on Most Socials

Instagram was one in all the primary social platforms to supply a seamless shopping experience and integration. Nonetheless, they likely won’t be the last.

Let’s set the scene: In a few years, Gen Z can have fully joined the working class and can have tremendous spending power.

Our consumer trends report found that almost all Gen-Zers prefer to find latest products on social media — specifically short-form videos.

Which means to stay competitive, social platforms can have to supply integrated shopping experiences to maintain consumers on the platform.

Instagram has already seen great success on this arena, it’s only a matter of time until other platforms follow suit.

More Chatbots as Consumers Slide into DMs for Customer Service

Our 2023 Social Media Trends Report shows 1 in 5 Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X social media users have contacted a brand through DMs for customer support prior to now three months.

Going further, 76% of social media marketers say their company already offers customer support on social media.

At the identical time, using AI chatbots in customer support is on the rise. By 2027, chatbots are expected to grow to be the primary customer service channel for 1 / 4 of companies.

A recent study also found that 62% of respondents would relatively interact with a customer support chatbot than wait for an agent to reply. Ch

So, we would not be surprised if more brands leveraged chatbots of their customer support tactics in the longer term, including using chatbots to reply DMs from consumers.

Social media moves incredibly quickly, so we are able to’t say with certainty what the longer term will appear like. But given recent data, we are able to say it’s likely headed on this direction.



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