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The Future of Social Media: What’s Next?

Picture of Jocelyn Rimbey, Digital Marketing Manager

Jocelyn Rimbey, Digital Marketing Manager

The Future of Social MediaRecently, I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Digital Night, hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore. As a Digital Marketing Manager, it was obviously important that I was there to be part of the discussion of where digital marketing was headed in 2011.

Things in the digital marketing sphere have changed drastically over the past year. In 2010, organizations were struggling with the placement of social. Where would it live? Who would control it? Do you do it in-house? Hire a boutique agency or a large one? But over the past year, people have moved past the beginning stages of social and now are asking, “What now?”

This year will bring more specific questions than “how to.” As this form of advertising becomes more and more legitimate, there is going to be a stricter level of accountability on brands, companies, and agencies alike.

ROI & Metrics

Have we beat this one over your head enough? Metrics will become more and more important, and not just the number of fans and followers or the amount of site traffic garnered to your site. Think bigger picture – maybe how having a social media community in place can save you some dollars on a PR budget, or how your cost per lead has decreased since adopting word of mouth marketing tactics.


Companies will start to focus on making their branding extend across multiple channels. With that taking place, we must focus on providing a consistent message or brand across those channels. Sure, the tone might be different from one platform to the next, but at the end of the day, each must feed back into the identity of the brand.

Experiences and Interactivity

Static ads or messages won’t cut it anymore. We have to involve the consumers in our ad messages. We are already attempting this on social networks by making our audiences part of the conversation, but 2011 will require marketers to step up their game. We’ve got to make the actual ad an experience. Think Tippex.

E-Commerce on Social

Facebook has become the hub for consumers everywhere. We all know that their ad network is great, and that if you break away from the norm, it can be a place for brands to live and interact with their consumers. But lately, we’ve seen actual purchases on Facebook. Marketers are beginning to understand that people are comfortable on the Facebook platform, and will bring online merchandise to them in that sphere.

What do you think? Are these the future of online? Where do you think digital marketing is going in 2011?

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