The Future of Social Media for Business

The Future of Social Media for Business

If your business is on social media, it’s a good time to start thinking about the benefits of your platforms and begin strategising how you can do more than simply maintain your online presence.

90% of executives agree that social media will eventually overtake other forms of communication as the primary way to interact with customers. Additionally, according to 91% of business leaders, social media marketing budgets for businesses are expected to rise over the next three years since social media directly impacts return on investment (ROI).

Successful companies have assembled teams of social media specialists to carry out their social media marketing initiatives, from content creation to crisis management. However, with social media moving rapidly, it can often feel like there are new trends that you need to hop on to stay relevant.

So, if you’re left wondering where social media is heading in the next few years, keep reading! As we intend to outline some of the up-and-coming trends across the most popular social media platforms that you should know about and capitalise on!


1. Search on Social Media

While Google remains the world's dominant search engine, younger generations are beginning to look to Instagram and TikTok when searching online. Whether a product, tip, or a review, Gen Z favour visually oriented content when it comes to discovery, making these apps more desirable than traditional search engines.

In fact, Google discovery tools such as Google Maps and Search are under threat from these apps due to their rising popularity. According to a survey by HubSpot, 87% of social media marketers believe consumers will search for brands on social media more frequently than via search engines in 2023. Additionally, TikTok is preparing to launch its own search ads platform, enabling advertisers to bid on specific keywords and phrases related to their products or services.

During the beta testing, advertisers collected search terms responsible for conversions and leveraged high click-through rates as headlines. Information about the new Search ads remains scarce since TikTok has yet to speak openly about its beta testing efforts. However, these Search ads can potentially be valuable to advertisers who can generate stronger sales.

2. The rise of influencers

In 2022, HubSpot surveyed more than 1,000 American customers and discovered that influencers’ opinions carry more value than family members. For example, when asked what affects their buying decisions, 30% of consumers said suggestions from influencers, compared to 27% from friends or family.

Since buyers view influencers' opinions as experts in their field, their voice has become more valuable than family members when buying products. Therefore, as buyers appreciate Influencers’ knowledge in specific areas, they are more likely to purchase based on their recommendations.

As pointed out by HubSpot - would you rather take a recommendation from a family member on a topic they hardly know? Or from an influencer who has gained a following by testing most of the products in that industry?

Nevertheless, for smaller companies, the cost of influencers can be quite extensive! As a result, 80% of influencer marketers work with small creators to help promote their products and services. Working with smaller influencers is more affordable, can be beneficial in establishing long-term partnerships, and offers brands access to engaged audiences.


3. Getting started with Shoppable Media

In Shoppable Media, Instagram has already achieved remarkable success; it's only a matter of time before other platforms do the same. Social media platforms must provide seamless purchasing experiences to attract and retain users.

As highlighted in our previous blog post, a new study by Accenture forecasted that by 2025, the $492 billion global social commerce industry is predicted to grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce. These staggering predictions mean by 2025, the industry could be valued at an eye-watering $1.2 trillion.

4. Adoption of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will become increasingly popular in the next years. In fact, 32% of people who use VR  buy products after shopping in the virtual world.  With headsets, VR creates an immersive experience that allows customers to walk around a virtual store, see products in 3D, and even interact with avatars. For example, people shopping with Hugo Boss can create avatars to try on clothes. Retailers are also using augmented reality, which overlays digital projections into the real world and is accessible via your smartphone, like IKEA’s Place App, which projects digital versions of furniture into the room where it is going to placed.


Final thoughts

The social media landscape continues to evolve with new platforms appearing, and existing platforms trying to rebrand themselves. Companies will need to stay flexible and keep adjusting to the ever-changing landscape. Testing out different platforms and jumping on the trends can help to attract new customers and keep your current customers engaged. It’s important that companies use social media as effectively as possible to stay ahead of the curve and competition.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Digital Consulting team at BDO.