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Published November 1st 2013

The Future of Social: Customer-led Brands

While brainstorming on blogging ideas for our “Future of social media” week, the first thing that crossed my mind was a quote I heard a couple of weeks ago during SMW in London:

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”

 – William Gibson

That got me thinking about the way social is transforming the world of brand marketing and what might be different in 10 years.

Kicking off with William’s quote, which, by the way, I totally agree with. I’d say that some of the excellent marketing examples we’re looking at now might reveal some insightful clues on what shall happen in the next decade.

It’s already common knowledge that social media landscape is changing so quickly. Consequently, brands will need to adapt to new trends and learn from all these top campaigns and ‘out of the box’ approaches.

So, long story short, here are a couple of things that I think are about to change or will become increasingly important in the future:

Social media monitoring will become vital and not just something ‘you probably should be doing’


A couple of years ago, social media monitoring vendors still had to convince potential customers of the importance and the impact that social media has on their business.

Now things are starting to change. It’s no longer just about having a social media presence, but also actually starting to measure the results of your online activity. Nevertheless, only 25% of B2B companies quantify and evaluate their social media presence.

In the future, social business intelligence and SMM will co-exist, being integrated into companies’ overall strategies.

Rich Media


If I had to choose two key words defining the future of social media, I’d say ‘shareability’ and ‘virality’. This ties in with the type of content that will prevail on all social media channels: imagery and videos.

We’ve already seen that some of the most successful marketing campaigns rely on visuals quite a lot, but in the future, we will notice an even higher emphasis on creative ways of sharing stories and appealing to people’s emotions.

Business to Consumer


But what will happen to B2C relationships?

Rather than focusing on promoting their services and talking about themselves, brands will embrace various platforms, creating genuine relationships and dedicating more resources to fulfilling customer needs, by adopting a holistic, conversation-based approach on social media.
Furthermore, brands will no longer invest time and money in researching what their audience expects from their products, as people will already be doing that by giving feedback or sharing their complaints and suggestions on social media channels, in real-time.

A great example in this case is Microsoft, which actually reversed some of its controversial Xbox One policies, based on the negative feedback it got from the community and the PR disaster that followed.

Excellent online customer service, customer marketing or high-quality, viral content are just few of the challenges in the next couple of years and time will tell whether they’ll rise up to expectations or even better, overcome them …

How do you think the future of brands on social media will look like?

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.