Social Media in 2020



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I recently published a piece listing my predictions for social media in 2014.

But the real question is, what will it look like still further in the future? Like, in 2020?

Jeff Dachis, Teressa Iezzi, and I will be leading a discussion on this topic during SMW NYC on February 19 at 10am EST. For the New Yorkers reading this, we really hope you can come.

Last night, we hosted a Twitter Party. Using the hashtag #lifein2020, we invited you to ask questions and submit your own predictions for what will be happening just six years from now. If you are video-oriented, join our Vine Party to submit your thoughts. You can also go to Vine and upload a vid using #life2020. Regardless, we will curate your thoughts to make the session especially relevant to you and fill it with user-generated content — a staple of great social programs.

As a preview to our February 19 session, here are some thoughts:

  1. Social Media Won’t Exist (as we know it).
    Social Media will simply be synonymous with content marketing and will be the way virtually every marketer builds their consumer and customer engagement models. Long gone will be the day when digital marketing, and social media marketing, are viewed as an afterthought to amplify offline campaigns. Instead, social media will be the horizontal underpinning of every winning brand’s approach to content marketing. It will be less about platforms and tools, and instead, it will be all about content-driven engagement.
  2. Marketing Departments Will Become Maker Departments.
    Brand teams will be unlike anything we see today. Gone will be the traditional brand manager, and in her place will be an array of content innovators, audience managers, narrators, creative asset makers, data analysts, emerging platform engagement specialists, long-tail syndication gurus, writers, and responsive designers. The making of things will supersede the planning of things, and marketing departments will be all about the intersection of “think and do.” Their sole purpose will be turning thoughts into things, to drive continuous and measurable brand engagement.
  3. Pure Consumer (Organic) Environments Will Be Distinct From Pure Brand (Paid) Environments.
    Gone will be the days of building a social platform to serve a consumer need, only to be followed by a desperate, investor-driven need to monetize that audience. Instead, the Facebook of the future will exist purely for the audiences it serves, with no hint of brand integration or sponsored content.

    Instead, fully transparent brand-sponsored platforms will become a prevalent alternative, enabling consumers in a fully transparent mode to participate in exchange for their own financial gain. Social media will be driven by personal choice — over here, I hang out with my friends and family to share photos and experiences, and over there, I hang out to monetize my own personal information and derive relevant, functional information about the things that matter to me.

For sure, there’s not crystal ball to the future, but we hope to have a lively time predicting it at SMW NYC on February 19.

See you there.

Marc Landsberg is founder and CEO of socialdeviant, a Chicago-based social media and content strategy company. He will be speaking at Social Media Week New York to discuss what life will be like in 2020.

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