There seems to be plenty of airtime being spent on predicting the future of social media.
A few weeks ago, I posted an article on wearable technology shuffling Facebook away from the personal and sharing role, to take the back seat as a telco, connecting people, and that’s about it. Driven by the consumer’s desire to be more discerning about what they share with whom and what they receive from whom.
This consumer need has also led to the rise of instant messaging – whats app and snapchat – away from parents (esp. youth), outer circle friends and acquaintances; and away from the constant bombardment of unwanted ads. Another recent post.
And this week’s article points to a similar trend, with branded web extensions coming into circulation. Consumers’ desire to interact with brands directly on Facebook versus the brand’s own website is driven more by consumers’ need for ease, need for speed, need for now, it seems. These branded web extensions are deemed easier to remember and quicker to enter directly into the URL bar rather than search. So if consumers want to have a relationship with you, it’s easier for them now to do that direct via your website. Its a more desirable experience because they are now part of a community of like-minded people, with the power to share what they want with whom, and in peace from unwanted promotions.
As marketers, we are constantly reminded to bring our consumers back to our website and database where we ‘own the data’ not Facebook or Twitter, so we can understand our consumers better and give them want they want, to nurture the relationship and strengthen the connection – so they keep buying from us and keep talking about us to their friends and circles of influence.
Is this the consumer-driven opportunity that brand owners have been waiting for?
Perhaps all roads do lead to Rome?