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The Future of Social Media: Survival of the Fittest
It seems like the corporate world has embraced social media as a new technology in the various aspects of the sales domain. Indeed the selling tools reflect relationships and connectivity, and by that it maps out the DNA of individual consumers looking to purchase the product or service. The trend is that the real contribution of social media is to facilitate tacit knowledge sharing and of course the creation of certain sharing requirement that boost emotional wellbeing.
Disposable income does contribute to the use of social media and greatly affects the stratification of our society. The digital society has moved society to use social media to interact with each other. However, the crowd prefers to move within the social sphere that allows communication using a platform built upon shared experiences.
The consumer uses the media with respect to certain stages of their lives. Most corporate brands feel elated with the amounts of likes and engagement received by the general public. Brand awareness therefore follows the trend of increasing acceptability from the crowd that frequently wants to be acknowledged. Sometimes the platform believes that it’s increasing the volume of sales for the given brand. The truth though is that adults are just using social media to remain young among their teen cohorts.
The number of adults that use social networks has grown exponentially over the past few years. Now more adults maintain their profile on multiple social media sites simply because young adults are vivid creators of digital content. Social acceptance now comes in the form of likes, shares, and comments. It becomes a fix that adults crave daily giving them that euphoric high gained from perceived acceptance.
The paradigm reflects the corporate environment. Corporate companies use social marketing programs and campaigns promoting products and services to leverage their brand by reaching the most important segment of their audience: the millennial consumers. It’s simply a quest to be active no matter what the true engagement level is.
The explosive growth of social media may have evoked a gold rush response from corporate organizations. The sales force in an organization is there to determine overall value with their overall strategy approach of achieving a competitive advantage. The corporate world feels that extroverted men and women are the frequent users of social media tools. However it’s the opposite that’s the truth. Men and women with a greater degree of emotional instability were the more regular users resulting in a negative mode for corporate consumerism.
Social media marketing functions is now more of an entertainment centre. A consumer starts with nothing until a product or service is consumed. The consumer’s intrinsic value becomes an increasing asset and is strengthened as they mature. The real monetary value of social media is the word of mouth in their repetition of optimized content.
Social media groups fuel the digital ecosystem distinguishing dominant languages from weak ones. The future will be characterized by 2 or 3 dominant languages determining the overall experience of social media as weak languages are phased out. Social media has also made relationships and marriages more transient. The choices of relationships have been expanded and are now consumed. Our social norms and our technological world now take place in the context of social media.
Nonetheless, the social utopian reality speaks a different language. The Roman Coliseum represented social media. It calibrated Roman norms, culture, and shared strength as a dominant society. It also represented the self-representation of a collective group. The Coliseum became the collective action into a single verifiable identity of the Roman Empire. The entertainment provided the crowd with a shared celebratory world unfettered by discontent.
The Barbarians became innovative and disruptive towards the cultural product of Rome and its dominance. In other words, social media provided by the Coliseum positioned itself as an agent of social change that became a pendulum between law, order, and disorder. Today our own barbarians are commonly referred to as hackers, cyber-terrorists, expansionist terrorists, religious terrorists, or simply a collective group of antisocial introverted individuals collaborating and sharing their discontent.
Within this social marketing utopia, corporations have begun to engage with everyone by listening and inviting the crowd to shape their future. But the social media platforms used by the crowd to expand content that is viewed to purchase products or services could significantly impact a corporation’s reputation, sales revenue, and survival. In fact, social media is more of a tool for brand management against one’s competitors because of the notion that the crowd of networks have become brand authors in sharing brand experiences.
It is the crowd that generates brand stories to ensure brand success in the marketplace. But these stories carry a price far beyond anyone’s imagination. They need to be entertained and they need their shot of dopamine. Social media is essentially branding oneself and seeking validation. It’s simply pandering to gain followers and likes as a collective organized society.
Social media is intrinsically focused on the individual, but never fails to leave the crowd far behind as it becomes a part of everyday life. Social media has the appearance of thinking independently, but the true mathematical sequence will mean that we no longer see other humans face-to-face anymore. It means that man’s happiness now relies more on content that perpetuates and becomes transient.
The digital content has become a significant part of social comparison and a reflection of individual appraisal. Authenticity is the key to success in managing a brand message. The brand message is transient because it competes with voyeurism. If YouTube and Facebook eliminate meaningful individual voyeurism then they will fail to broaden their ecosystem that allows corporations to establish momentum in communicating their message.
Humans have now become conscious of the present moment with the sense of joy and self-esteem given by social media, but the joy rests on thinking with the majority of the crowd in determining an economic stimulant as an enterprise. For the first time social media can truly dominate somewhere in our portal allowing us to be quiet and alone, but at the same time giving us the right to reach for the heavens with the touch of a screen.
Perhaps the real future of social media may not rely on interpersonal communication, but shaping the crowd’s decisions to fuel demonstrations by participating in regime changes. A perfect example was Egypt’s Tahrir Square protest which illustrated Facebook’s dominance in shaping governments. Even though social media is a significant indicator of social capital, it deepens the polarity between equality and inequality. By the same token this will foster shallow relationships and disengagement among the public who is hungry for a competitive voice to be heard.
The real potential of social media will not only be the generation of content, but its role in predicting real world events innovated by the crowds of the coliseum that feel threatened in the survival of the fittest.
I'd like to thank Michael Ambrozewicz for his contribution to this article.