On 3 December I gave a lunchtime seminar at Royal Holloway University of London. The brief was to give an overview of social media marketing and also talk about how social tools are being used in other aspects of business, such as CRM and project management.

Royal Holloway was originally a university built for women – men weren’t admitted until 1965! The Founder’s Building – in all its Victorian gothic glory – is quite amazing. It wasn’t snowing when I visited (as in the beautiful photo above), but it was cold enough. I hope to get the chance to visit again soon.

Key trends

My talk covered current key trends in social media marketing including:

  • Short form visual content – the huge rise in emoji, stickers and photos
  • Emotive video – hoaxes and tear-jerkers (such as Save The Children’s Second A Day video – 51m views to date)
  • Cross-platform distribution – seeding one piece of content across all networks – Buzzfeed is doing this brilliantly

Here are the slides: Social media – the art of digital storytelling.

What’s next?

Social is now mass market. The terms “social” and “digital” are blurring. Today, it’s all about “content”. The Gartner Hype Cycle for new technologies says investment and interest reach a crescendo until expectations far outweigh realistic outcomes. Content marketing and native advertising are hitting this peak round about now.

Hacking and privacy issues are likely to push more people to reduce activity on social media and even go offline altogether.

We’ll see an increase in augmented reality: tactile communications will be the next stage of the Internet. Scientists at Ochanomizu University in Japan recently developed a device that lets pet owners “play” with their cats remotely – the system even allows owners to “feel” their cat when it scratches them. We can imagine the sort of impact this technology could have over social media!

Sadly, we’re also going to see a rise in silos. Increasing fragmentation and network proliferation will mean that there’s a danger of inhabiting our own like-minded bubbles. Gillian Tett addresses our silo mentality brilliantly in her new book, The Silo Effect. Luckily, she also offers some solutions.

For more, see my slides: Social media – the art of digital storytelling.

Photo: S Tore (via Flickr)