Social media has shaped people’s lives in many ways starting out as platforms for friends and family to catch up with each other. From a handful of target audiences, social media now connects billions of people. Having envisaged the potential these platforms portend, marketers have clung on and devised new ways of reaching potential clients since this is where everyone hangs out. With the exponential rise of SMM, what does the future hold? Has the platform come of age or we can expect changes in the coming years?
What do these acronyms stand for?
Before delving into projections, an ideal starting point would be unraveling the abbreviations SMM and SEM.
What is SMM in full?
The initials stand for Social Media Marketing and refer to digital marketing initiatives carried out on social media platforms. Marketers target consumers by posting content on sites that they frequent most.
What is SEM in full?
Search Engine Marketing, the acronym in full, also refers to digital marketing but on search engines. The approach used in SEM is like the one adopted under SEO (search engine optimization). However, while optimization increases traffic by algorithms, SEM achieves a similar feat but through ads purchase on search engines.
How will SMM overtake SEM?
By monopolizing the interaction landscape
Judging by recent trends, leading social media platforms will buy-out their smaller peers. Eventually, these acquisitions will result in some merger where all users of bought-out sites converge. From there, advertising on such a mega-platform will offer a vast exposure to business owners. When will this happen?
Segmentation works is the opposite of monopolization. Large social media platforms might break-up into smaller ones that target specific people. With time, users will find the segments appealing and join them. For digital advertisers, does this development wield any potential? With the differentiated audiences, one can have a campaign that targets specific people.
With platforms beginning to reduce brand visibility on their sites, paid advertising is set to undergo some changes. Social media sites have started giving prominence to user content, in keeping with their objective of getting like-minded people to come together. Will there be any place left for brands? Yes, but they will pay more to reach an audience.
Everything in one place
What does this mean? Social media will mature and diversify into other digital interaction modes. For example, we have seen attempts by leading platforms to stop their members from migrating to other apps. The social platforms will provide everything you need online.
As a user, you want a situation where you can decide what content comes to your page. Social media will move to a phase where they will respond to your quest for content.
As social media grows, SMM appears set to capitalize on the expected changes. Monopolization, segmentation, paying for visibility, centralizing needs and individualism are the five ways through which SMM will win over SEM.
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