#Socialmedia - channels of the future for one-to-one marketing | DMA

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#Socialmedia - channels of the future for one-to-one marketing


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Social media are not only changing media consumption – they are changing the way we view communication, integrity and time.

There is above all a major difference in how companies are now using social media compared with when these digital channels were something new.

"Five years ago, many companies were letting students on placements take care of the brand's presence in social channels. Now social media are integrated into the business strategy of virtually all companies," says Ulrik Bo Larsen, Founder and CEO of Falcon Social in Copenhagen.

Communication that enhances relationships

Social media are here to stay. This is evident not least in users' behaviour. Most consumers nowadays conduct careful research in social channels before they buy something.

"Sales, transactions, customer service – everything happens in social channels nowadays. And this is also where consumers give the thumbs up or thumbs down to the brands they come across," says Ulrik Bo Larsen.

He is seeing clearly how more and more companies are appreciating the value of social media – and how they can be used to build stronger customer relationships and thus do better business.

"Awareness of the potential of Big Data analyses is quickly maturing. Even now, companies and brands can obtain incredible volumes of data about people's behaviour from social media."

Analyses without affecting integrity

Facebook is a social channel that now allows certain analytical tools to access users' data. This takes the potential of marketing in social media to a new level, believes Ulrik Bo Larsen.

"Marketers find out what consumers think and say about various brands and can use that knowledge to produce more effective marketing, while at the same time the personal information remains private. I believe that it's in such arenas that the one-to-one marketing of the future will be found.

Awareness of how much companies know about their customers is becoming tangible as the number of messages adapted to target groups increases. Furthermore, all the indications are that social media will continue to develop as a tool in order to manage and analyse customer data.

"It's staggering to think about the volume of customer data that companies will be able to act on. Everything from reviews to product design to topping up stocks. This change is already under way, and it's smart brands that are leading the way," says Ulrik Bo Larsen.

The age of live

The way we view the concept of time is also changing. Meerkat Stream and Twitter's Periscope app are two players already offering what is known as live streaming, videos played in real time.

Facebook is also testing its own version, Facebook Live.

"Video's the next stage in developments, and it's becoming more and more embedded in social media. There are also alternative messaging services on the way for virtual reality, for example Facebook's acquisition of Oculus Rift," says Ulrik Bo Larsen.

Will totally new social channels emerge – and new ways to use them?

“Without a doubt. Just look at Snapchat, they launched their app just a couple of years ago and shook up the way we view social media with their simple yet ground-breaking concept. Snapchat now has about 200 million users. There will definitely be more innovations on the way in social media."

Which social channels should we look out for? 

"The Kik Messenger app with its sponsored chats is becoming popular among both companies and users. Brands can use it to create automated responses that react to search terms.

"Ultimately it will be the social channels that use the technology that suits customers that will flourish in the future," says Ulrik Bo Larsen.

How will social media be used in five years' time?

"Here in the west we're already seeing shopping and transaction services emerge on Facebook and in other social networks. We'll soon be able to manage most of our everyday routines in social channels.

"China is an example of this already working. The Chinese have adopted a platform where they can effectively link up absolutely any digital channels to create their own social operating system. Among others, the WeChat app is used for everything from texting to ordering food and booking various services", says Ulrik Bo Larsen.

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