YouToo Social Media Conference: The Past and Future of Social Media

On April 21, members of #TeamProsper attended The 10th Annual YouToo Social Media Conference at Kent State University to learn about developments and trends in social media and digital communication.

The conference opened with speaker Greg Josken, digital marketing and social media manager for Disney Theatrical Group, who talked about Disney’s social media strategy now that we’re 10 years into the social media “revolution”.

As Greg walked us through a few of his extraordinary projects, one particular lesson stood out: When applied correctly, social media can be a successful and cost-effective tool across all levels of engagement with your audience, from awareness, consideration, and conversion to loyalty and advocacy.

It was pretty crazy to think about where social media was just 10 years ago. Some major social platforms were still fairly new at the time.

  • MySpace launched in 2002
  • LinkedIn began in 2003
  • Facebook launched for students at Harvard in 2003
  • Twitter was born in 2006

Even crazier is the fact that online social networking has been around for more than 30 years. Check out this infographic for neat facts about the past few decades of social media.

At “The Evolving Social Media Landscape – Pay to Play” breakout session, we learned how to make our ad dollars go further. Given the many changes to the Facebook algorithm and the decline of organic reach, approximately 80% of posts are not seen! So how do we ensure our message is reaching our audience? Through very targeted and affordable social media advertising. When developing content, it must be engaging, measurable, and have a purpose.

Another trend we must take into consideration when planning our social media strategies and advertising plans is the use of mobile. Mobile is taking over. Research by Google shows that 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. And 30% will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices. It’s time to invest in mobile and the first step you can take is to make sure your website is optimized for mobile usage.

An afternoon session focused on the future of social media and interactive tech. How will virtual and augmented reality technologies impact social media and communications over the next 10 years? What’s the difference between the two?

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real life environment or situation. It immerses the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing.

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. AR is developed into apps and used on mobile devices to blend digital components into the real world in such a way that they enhance one another, but can also be told apart easily.”

Some examples of AR and VR already being utilized today include Target’s Cartwheel app and Facebook Spaces.

So, how do we prepare for what the next 10 to 30 years will bring to social media? Be agile, be ready for change, and always remember that people want to do business with people. It’s important for brands to remain and be increasingly engaging and authentic on social platforms.

What does your future social media strategy look like? Email us if you need help or have questions!

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