I have recently wondered – what is the next big thing when it comes to social platform usage. What are the social networks to watch and where we should be paying attention more. As an entrepreneur and business owner I can't afford to get this wrong. Or even worst – put the resources where they get wasted.
Thankfully I came across the 107 page report by We are Social and Hootsuit. Here are some of the most important elements of it and my interpretation.
- There are 7.476 bn people out there in the world. Did you know we have more people alive today than have ever died before in all of the history of the planet? To me this is absolutely staggering!
- Half of the world population is using the internet and 37% is active on social media. This number grows with the 20% rate.
- There are over 8bn mobile subscriptions – out of which 4.917 are unique. Mobile ownership is experiencing an active growth, especially where we see the urbanisation rates going fast up.
Smart phones have changed the way in which we use and interact over the internet. Firsly – your biggest investment right now, should be in a mobile friendly experience for your customers. Over 60% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. Those numbers are expected to grow year on year!
Social Platform No Longer Just a Network
One of the biggest revelations to me personally was the fact that social platform is not just a social network. It turns out that messenger apps are also classed as social platforms. I was also convinced that this is entirely different thing. That people just send each other messages such as you would expect to see in a sms. But it turns out that the whole communities and niche networks form conversations using the messenger apps. You can now order your shopping, renew your passport, send money to friends, order a taxi, book your doctor appointment, donate to charity, read news and of course play games. Sounds familiar to what we had with social networks before?
What is really intimidating to me as a business owner is how this trend will affect me and my online presence. I have been creating content for long enough to know that it matters how many people have seen it. Right?
Take a look at this graph, showing the number of active users per platform.
Top 6 shows me clearly that the most meaningful conversations are happening behind the closed doors.
We are now sending more messages via messenger apps than we do via email. Within the next 18 months social networks will be taken over by messenger apps with the number of active users.
Impact on Our Businesses
Those numbers will have a significant impact on our businesses and their online presence. If people choose to have conversations behind the closed doors of messenger apps – how can we show our content to them? As of now there is no way to advertise inside the messenger apps. There is no way to boost our content there. What is more frustrating is the fact that we will have far less accurate data as a result, we will also notice that the usual followers and likes will become less and less significant with time.
One thing is certain. With the changes that affect how we use social platforms we will need to adapt our content marketing strategies. I don't have all the answers but I do know that now it is more important than ever to look after our audiences and provide them with value and respect. As in the end when you remove all the artificial clothing. That's all that ever mattered.