Whether you are a social media marketer offering your services to businesses or a business owner using social media to reach customers, it is imperative you understand that social media is about to go through a dramatic shift.
Blockchain technology is disrupting numerous industries, and social media is one that is likely to feel the ramifications of blockchain disruption first. Companies used to building their brands on platforms like Facebook and Twitter are about to realize that all that investment of time may have been for naught. As blockchain technology changes the platforms consumers and businesses use and how they network, social media marketing will go through an upheaval like never before.
If you want to prepare yourself for the future of blockchain-enabled social media marketing, the following are five trends you should be tracking closely:
1) There is growing interest in verified online identities. With massive bot problems on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, business owners are increasingly looking for customer outreach platforms where they can increase their marketing ROI (return on investment). The ability to connect with consumers who have had their identities verified via blockchain technology and smart contracts is appealing for business owners who don’t want to continue to market into the black hole of social media and fraudulent PPC (pay per click) ad impressions.
2) Just as verified identities will influence the future of blockchain-enabled social media, so too will the verified marketplaces of like-minded individuals and companies. Marketplaces are already growing to address specific needs and this will continue as blockchain technology becomes mainstream and business owners realize its potential. The ability to market to a verified group of individuals and companies you know are already interested in what you’re selling can reduce your marketing efforts while increasing your return on investment of time.
3) The combination of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-enabled social media networking is another enticing example of the future of social platforms. When decentralized platforms become commonplace, social media users will have their choice of platforms on which to network. The ability to earn small amounts of cryptocurrencies for your activities will attract users to platforms where contributions to platform growth get rewarded. Think of how much time you currently spend on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and imagine if each post you made earned you a tiny amount of Bitcoin. A crypto-enabled social media future is intriguing indeed.
4) Blockchain and cryptocurrency collectibles are also influencing the future of social media. There is significant interest in the crypto-collectible sector, with some early movers like CryptoKitties raising millions of dollars in investor funding. While some might initially look at crypto-collectibles as nothing more than mobile games, the truth is some of these crypto-collectible companies plan eventually to their games into platforms like iOS or Android. When entire sub-markets are built on top of a crypto-collectible game (virtual goods, crypto-trading, etc.), the lure of these innovations becomes clear.
5) Smart contracts and blockchain technology will also influence the spread of fake content. Today’s social media networks get flooded with everything from fake news to spam bots. In the social media networks of the future, the content distribution will be based on verified information and the traceable spread of data. The ability to block content and its contributors is an enticing option for brand builders.
Blockchain-enabled social media will have a dramatic influence on currently popular platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Savvy social media marketers should already be exploring the blockchain landscape to become early adopters of new social networking opportunities. The sooner you understand the potential of blockchain-enabled social media marketing, the sooner you can adapt your current business strategies to accommodate this new reality.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.