The world was a very different place before those platforms, and in many ways, social media is behind some of society’s biggest changes—for good and bad
Blockchain technology has proven to be potentially groundbreaking for just about every industry in the world. From big banks questioning the future of currencies to massive retailers seeking to better monitor their supply chains, this is the first time in history there has been clear evidence that the digital landscape of the future is just getting started.
However, there is one industry that still has a significant amount of exploration to do regarding blockchain technology: the social media space. According to Emarketer, Southeast Asia has among the highest social network usage in the world.
And for the past decade, social media has been one of the most influential emerging technologies, responsible for exponentially improving our ability to connect people with similar interests. Try, for a moment, to remember what life was like before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The world was a very different place before those platforms, and in many ways, social media is behind some of society’s biggest changes—for good and bad.
Here are a handful of social media trends that will be influenced by blockchain technology:
1. Influencer credibility
Ten years ago, the term “social media influencer” didn’t even exist. Over the past few years, however, influencer campaigns have become a staple in digital marketing. The problem is that measuring influencer impact, relevance and credibility has continued to be an uphill battle for brands.
“With bots, ‘boost groups’ and other tactics deployed by clever social influencers to inflate their metrics, brands are never quite sure if they’re getting what they think they’re paying for,” says Jonathan Foley, CEO of Wulf Marketing. “Furthermore, they aren’t sure how to effectively measure their return on investment. Conversely, it’s difficult for consumers to know if the content they’re seeing is genuine or an ad.”
With blockchain technology, it’s possible for influencers and brands to forge more honest relationships, and communicate to audience members when certain content is an ad and when the content is a normal “day in the life” post. On top of that, certain actions an influencer takes could one day give them a “credibility score” that increases (or declines) over time, providing consumers with another way to measure the true credibility of the person they’re following.
For instance, sharing economy platform Patron, uses a proprietary algorithm to score and rate influencers and their potential fit with brands. This helps drive credibility for all three key stakeholders in their ecosystem – brands, influencers, and fans. For CEO and Founder Atsushi Hisatsumi, this was a critical element of the platform. Based on this score, influencers can determine their market value and charge while saving as much as 25-30% off of traditional fees.
2. Social media impact
One of the biggest pain points blockchain technology is looking to solve is attribution.
Leveraging blockchain tech, companies are trying to better understand how certain outcomes happen, and what variables come into play in order to reach those outcomes. For example, in the freight and logistics industry, it’s incredibly difficult to understand how a package actually moves from the original manufacturer to the customer’s doorstep.
Each package touches a wide variety of hands, and moves through a number of different vendors. Transparency in this space will be tremendously impactful.
If it’s difficult to trace the movement of a physical package, imagine how difficult it is to truly understand how well a certain ad performs. Sure, companies like Facebook provide terrific analytics, but those KPIs are only capturing the data that’s happening within the Facebook ecosystem.
What you aren’t seeing (similar to the supply chain problem) are all the different ways that ad influenced other types of consumers who ended up finding their way to your company’s site and making a purchase.
If blockchain can solve this problem, social advertising is going to see a massive uptick in allocated ad spend, especially compared to other mediums where this is simply impossible, like print, radio and television.
3. Digital payment
What would the social space look like if you could easily donate cryptocurrencies to your favorite influencers? What if you could “tip” influencers for sharing certain pieces of content? What if influencers could create their own paywalls and receive money for unveiling certain types of content? Or what if 95% of the content you saw on your favorite Instagrammer’s page was free, and 5% of it you had to pay to access?
The blockchain world is currently wrestling with all of these scenarios and more. Right now, digital currencies are still a brand new concept to the majority of the world. But as platforms begin to present the option and social media users start utilising currencies in different settings, adoption will occur swiftly and new trends will present themselves.
The social landscape is ripe for massive disruption, and these types of questions are forging the way.
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