Social networks have become a phenomenon. They are worth studying from sociology, anthropology, and even psychology, specifically from the field of social psychology and, in some cases, of addictive disorders. They have profoundly modified the way people interact, making it possible to connect with people from all over the world in a matter of seconds and share any information instantly.
In the beginning, they were used mainly to seek emotional support and help – “Likes” -, with shocking cases of suicide in some cases due to negative comments, lack of followers, or cyber bullying. In other words, its impact has been very profound in today’s society.
But social networks have not stopped there. Little by little, they have evolved to offer new content and satisfy the need for immediacy. All this leaving aside fundamental aspects such as physical interaction. A process from more classic networks like Facebook to new platforms like TikTok.
In any case, great psychological dependence on them is generated, and they end up causing addiction if abused. Despite this, not everything is negative since they have become a fertile field for brand advertising. That is why many of the digital marketing strategies are aimed at them since it is estimated that there are more than three billion users and that each year the figure increases by 13%. It is not surprising that many companies dedicate up to 6 hours a week to attract customers.
What is a social network?
A social network is a service that allows people from anywhere to connect and allow information to be shared in real time using the Internet as a medium. Furthermore, these services can be implemented on both web platforms and client apps.
Within the social network, virtual communities can be generated where it is shared or discussed, such as Facebook or Twitter, or others that are more open where content is simply shared -TikTok, Instagram- or work contacts -LinkedIn- are strengthened for blogging -Medium, Tumblr- or discussions are generated -Reddit, Quora-
Types of social networks
To better understand the evolution and types of social networks that will be trending. First, you have to know the groups or families under which we can group all the known services. Among the types, two large categories or groups can be distinguished:
Horizontal: they are the most common, where any user can participate. Examples can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Vertical: users have points in common or affinity. Within this type are networks such as LinkedIn.
What will be a trend?
Now, the social media sector is evolving more than many imagine. Although platforms like Facebook have been maintained over the years, today’s Facebook has little to do with the one it started with. The same happens to other social networks. In addition, the one that seemed other platforms have surpassed the undisputed king. For example, who would imagine a few months ago that TikTok would become the phenomenon that it is today? Therefore, predicting what the networks will be like in the medium future or what will be a trend is somewhat complicated.
What can be done is to analyze trends in technology and how they are evolving to obtain a list of characteristics that social networks should have to adapt to new times and gain a foothold in the market:
Personalized sale: it is one of the objectives that have been sought in marketing for years. But now, with social networks, AI, bots, and Big Data, new opportunities open up. Thus, the content can be customized for each target segment to promote sales, automate tasks, resolve doubts automatically through chats, etc.
Adapted to mental health: Instagram, for example, hides Likes. Details like this can make some platforms gain followers and not be generated in hotbeds of psychological problems.
Video content: video is a format that you like and will continue to like. It is more pleasant for users to consume than text and other formats. That is why the Stories of Instagram or TikTok are succeeding.
Niche platforms: there will be an increase in platforms such as LinkedIn, Snapchat, or TikTok. Users tend to specific content that meets their tastes/needs instead of somewhat more generic networks.
VR, AR, RM: virtual reality, augmented, and mixed reality are also technologies that marketing departments have in mind and to which social networks must adapt. For example, being able to share content to view from VR glasses. That would be a major leap in UX capabilities.
Micro-influencers: the number of followers of a profile no longer matters so much. All those users with fewer followers have also become important, but who offer quality content from which brands will try to take advantage of.
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