Social Media Is Dead, Long Live Social Media, Says Cheil’s Digital Chief

Peter Kim
“Social media, as we know it, will be gone in the next 10 years,” commented Peter Kim, Chief Digital Officer at Cheil Worldwide, while listing 10 trends of what brands will witness in the next 10 years.

Comparing the scenario five years ago, when social media was still in its nascent stage, Mr Kim remarked that brands will have to come up with new strategies, because social media has evolved much faster than other platforms. “Around 10 years ago, no one thought that social media could become a tool that can make or break a brand’s image. Brands will have to think on new strategies of connecting with the consumer.”

While Mr Kim’s first prediction is about the death of social media as we know it, some of the other points in his crystal ball gazing imply that social media will be ‘shoppable‘, and that brands should create snackable content. “In the beginning, brands had blogs and podcasts, but now consumers don’t have time. There is need to make short and snackable content which consumers can easily digest.”

Putting the spotlight onconsumer trends, his next six predictions are empowering, subcutaneous, integrated, automated, connective and filtered. “Social media will become more connected, bringing together not just individuals but societies, becoming automated and filtered as consumers will see what they want to see.”

His final prediction is that social media will dominated by the Chinese economy in the next decade. “There has been a drastic rise in Chinese technology companies and the country is witnessing tremendous economic growth. Statistics suggest that this trend will only continue.”

Even though the social media landscape has evolved over the last decade, brands continue to employ strategies from the pre-IPO days. Brands need to evolve their approach to succeed in a new social world that ridden with “overload, filter failure and narcissism”, according to Mr Kim.

“Just as brands have figured out how to use social media, the game has changed. Trends are moving off in new directions and people don’t want to just ‘join the conversation’ with brands. They want to engage brands in action.”

What does this mean for brands? Brands need to change engage, embrace the inner tech geek, think outside the border, and understand that its going towards a pay to play environment.

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