Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter have become part of our daily vernacular. Many of us consume our news – fact or fiction – from a social media platform. In fact, most televised news programs refer to social media in some form at least once during the broadcast. Programs and support groups have been developed to address and cure social media addiction. Mobile apps have also been created to help us kick the social media habit or to at least keep us focused throughout the workday.
Just 10 years ago, no reasonable person would have read this and taken it seriously, much less believed these statements to be true.
In fact, fewer than 10 years ago, the early pioneers of social media – namely Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (not to mention Myspace) – were fledging networks. These social media sites forged the path for a whole new online landscape, driving personal and professional connections, innovative advertising opportunities, and yes: revenue figures that we never could have imagined. Now ingrained in our culture, social media is no longer the “new frontier” means of connecting with current and prospective customers. When it comes to social media marketing, particularly for events, many of us have been there, done that, and there’s nothing new to see here: move along.
But is that really true: is there nothing new in social media?
The established social media networks have no choice but to continue to innovate and to launch new products and services to retain the attention of their audiences, and, as a result, their advertising customers. Competition for viewing time is fierce, and as not-so-subtle threats of government regulation loom on the global horizon, opportunities for innovation still exist! New and emerging social networks are making their presence known: some will succeed, and regrettably, many will fail. With that in mind, however, intrepid and creative social media and event marketers are wise to keep their options open, and to at least consider alternative platforms.
While it’s unlikely that these emerging social networks will replace Facebook, the largest social media network worldwide, opportunities exist for the discerning social media marketer. In the U.S., some politicians allege that Facebook is a monopoly which must be deconstructed. If this dismantling actually take place, we will find ourselves in a brave new social media world.
We’ll look at a few of these emerging networks and the opportunities that they represent in our next post!