Is social media dead and if so, what will replace it?

Is social media dead? Not quite. But the signs aren’t promising. 

Let’s take Twitter as an example. The platform was haemorrhaging money long before Elon Musk took the reins – and the platform has been tainted by controversy caused by poorly handled layoffs and hate speech. These factors have led advertisers to abandon Twitter en masse.

Facebook, meanwhile, has been squaring up to its biggest rival, TikTok, which has acquired an astonishing 1.5 billion users since its launch and which shows no signs of slowing down. 

Zuckerberg has also plowed billions into developing his own take of metaverse,  a move that has yet to yield him a single cent of profit.

So what can we glean from these facts? Do they strongly indicate that social media is in peril and will soon meet its demise like the dinosaurs?

what is content marketing?

How many social media platforms are there?

If we discount start-ups with only a few thousand members and focus on big brands that attract high volumes of traffic, there are 36 platforms with 100 million users globally at this time of writing.

So, is social media dead? This number seems quite low, demonstrating how only a minority of platforms have been able to carve out a reputation in a highly competitive market.

Have social media platforms stopped innovating?

Social media platforms have no choice but to innovate. The Facebook vs TikTok debacle is a case in point. Despite having more users Zuckerberg is essentially cloning his nearest competitor in all but name – while also gambling billions on the success of technology still in beta stage.

But let’s switch our focus to new entrants. Have you heard of WeAre8? The chances are you haven’t, even though the platform was launched in 2012 and pays users (yes you heard that right – pays) to watch adverts. Earnings can then be used to pay off bills or donate to charities.

Whether social media will still be a staple of our daily lives in 2027 and beyond isn’t yet clear. One thing is for certain: the sector isn’t out of ideas yet and won’t go down without a fight.

man pitching ideas to group

Will regulations change how social media platforms work?

The harmful effects of social media have not gone unrecognised. In a decisive move TikTok was banned from U.S. government officials’ phones. This move could set a precedent, leading to a nationwide ban on the app full stop.

How algorithms on Twitter, YouTube, and similar platforms work is also under scrutiny – this speculation is largely fuelled by Elon Musk who has freely shared files that raise uncomfortable questions.

  • Can Twitter censor tweets?
  • Are individuals ever muted?
  • How impartial is the platform?

Again the question beggars: is social media dead? Not yet; but regulations could force platforms to change how they interact with their users. But only if there’s public backing. If the general consensus is that we’ve had enough then a social media revolution could be brewing on the horizon.

Strategic Positioning

In the meantime what should your business do – carry on, panic, pivot?

If your business is 100% reliant on social media to generate leads then it’s time to spread the inevitable risk by mastering other digital media. This might sound like a strange statement to make. Yet, in 2022, 27% of small businesses in the UK didn’t own a website.

If you do have a website then maximise the benefits of this resource by:

  • Generating regular blog content that matches user intent and which can be found on search engines
  • Using personalised email outreach to target, educate, and persuade your audience demographic

These are two digital tools you own and which enable you to talk to customers on a 121 basis and without competing against rivals on busy social platforms.

In the meantime continue using social media, using no more than two channels to build rapport with your prospects and customers. 

Ultimately social media is free so there’s no reason to abandon your strategy in haste because of changes that may or may not occur in the future.

So, is social media dead – and, if it isn’t, how can you use it to win more customers?

As far as we’re concerned social marketing is alive and kicking. But it’s a hard art to master. Why not book a free call with one of our specialists to learn more.

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