Simon Kemp is a global thought leader in digital marketing, CEO of Kepios, and the author of Hootsuite and We Are Social’s renowned Global Digital reports. In his talk ‘Don’t believe the hype: what people are really doing online’ at TNW2019 he explained how the imminent “social media apocalypse” that’s been proclaimed news stories is far from being true. Actually, it’s the exact opposite.
What happened to #DeleteFacebook? Well according to Kemp, not much. Facebook’s numbers have grown steadily since its massive privacy blunders, so there isn’t a mass exodus from Facebook — something marketers need to know to do their jobs effectively. A big part of Facebook’s growth and increased social media use in general is people in developing markets.
“Every single day, a million people come online today,” Kemp revealed. It’s quite amazing to think that people are still experiencing that for the first time. But what do they come online for? It’s simple: social media.
People come online to make connections with their friends and family, which opens up a whole new group of people to products and services. Does that mean all is peachy in Facebook land? Not really.
Kemp says the youngest generation is actually leaving Facebook, that’s true, but they’re not leaving for Instagram, as it’s also losing 13-17 year olds. That’s why Kemp says marketers need to be on their toes when deciding their future strategy. “Don’t believe click-baits when coming up with your campaign,” Kemp stated.
The more up-and-coming social media platforms don’t allow ads, especially where the youngest generation is congregating. That’s why Kemp says marketers need to adapt: “When a platform doesn’t allow ‘interruption,’ like ads, it’s time to find ‘inspiration’ to reach your audience.”
Another reason to be careful not to base your whole strategy on headlines is that it might skew your perspective and make you lose out on emerging markets. Kemp points out that the biggest users of voice assistants is in places like India — not Europe or the US. And if voice is truly becoming the next step, what will the AI provide you with when you ask for a beer? Heineken, Budweiser, or your last purchase? This is what marketers need to prepare for.
“Soon we’re not going to be marketing to humans, but to robots,” Kemp explained. The next challenge will be to get your product as the default choice, making the machine choose you.
The main takeaways for marketers were therefore: make friends with algorithms, inspiration beats interruption, and don’t base plans on click-bait. Luckily, you can find all of his reports here on TNW and stay up to date on what people are actually doing online.